Today between forty and sixty nations, home to more than one billion people, have either collapsed or are teetering on the brink of failure. The world's worst problems-terrorism, drugs and human trafficking, absolute poverty, ethnic conflict, disease, genocide-originate in such states, and the international community has devoted billions of dollars to solving the problem. Yet by and large the effort has not succeeded. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart have taken an active part in the effort to save failed states for many years, serving as World Bank officials, as advisers to the UN, and as high-level participants in the new government of Afghanistan. In Fixing Failed States, they describe the issue-vividly and convincingly-offering an on-the-ground picture of why past efforts have not worked and advancing a groundbreaking new solution to this most pressing of global crises. For the paperback edition, they have added a new preface that addresses the continuing crisis in light of ongoing governance problems in weak states like Afghanistan and the global financial recession.
As they explain, many of these countries already have the resources they need, if only we knew how to connect them to global knowledge and put them to work in the right way. Their state-building strategy, which assigns responsibility equally among the international community, national leaders, and citizens, maps out a clear path to political and economic stability. The authors provide a practical framework for achieving these ends, supporting their case with first-hand examples of struggling territories such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo and Nepal as well as the world's success stories-Singapore, Ireland, and even the American South.