Reality Check: How Bad Are They?

Worlds apart in language, culture, and daily routine, the top failed states still share a quality of life that is at best difficult and at worst fatal for the majority of the population.

567765_100619_Somalia_image2.jpg
567765_100619_Somalia_image2.jpg

MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/GETTY

MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/GETTY

Antonin Kratochvil / VII Network

Robin Hammond/PANOS

 

SHAH/MARAI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images

SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GETTY

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

LEE CELANO/Getty Images

KAMBOU SIA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

NEXT: Watch List: 4 Countries in Big Trouble

Andrew Swift is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands.

Xi-Biden Meeting May Help End China’s Destructive Isolation

Beijing has become dangerously locked off from the world.

The exterior of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, is pictured on March 27, 2018.
The exterior of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, is pictured on March 27, 2018.

Sweden’s Espionage Scandal Raises Hard Questions on Spy Recruitment

Intelligence agencies debate whether foreign-born citizens are more targeted.

President Joe Biden gestures with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the two leaders met in a hallway as Biden was going to a European Commission on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island of Bali, on November 15, 2022.
President Joe Biden gestures with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the two leaders met in a hallway as Biden was going to a European Commission on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island of Bali, on November 15, 2022.

The G-20 Proved It’s Our World Government

At a time of global conflict, world powers showed that cooperation can actually work.

An illustration for Puck magazine from 1905 shows the battle against bureaucracy.
An illustration for Puck magazine from 1905 shows the battle against bureaucracy.

Only an Absolute Bureaucracy Can Save Us

The West will only restore its stability when civil servants are again devoted to the public rather than themselves.