More fun stuff to look at!
Here is this year's Failed States Index, presented by Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace. It should come as no surprise that Sweden and Norway and Ireland, among others, come at the bottom of the list. Nor should it come as much surprise that Sudan, Iraq, and Somalia are at the top of the charts. Hooray for colossal failures! I bet Omar al-Bashir is busy putting the members of the Fund for Peace on his official "Enemies of the State" list.
There are some... oddities in the list. For example, noted Caribbean hellhole Barbados falls into the bottom half of the league tables in the categories of "Legacy of Vengeance-Seeking Group Grievance or Group Paranoia," and "Criminalization and/or Delegitimization of the State." Er... okay. I'm leery of any methodology that consists primarily of scouring the internet for information, but then I don't really feel like doing original work, either. Still, it's an interesting list and worth examining, and it's a great lead-in to... to... to the Annual Country Rankings! You know you can't want to see my annual country rankings. They'll be here soon!