Partyforumseasia: Are there any fragile states in Southeast Asia? The domestic and intra-regional perceptions may be more positive or optimistic than a world-wide comparative index with a comprehensive set of indicators. The “Fragile State Index 2017”, just published by the Washington based non-governmental research institute Fund for Peace (FFP), provides a ranking of roughly 180 countries. The Scandinavian countries, Finland with 178th place as the most stable, plus Switzerland rank on top, and South Sudan and Somalia are the most fragile states as no. 1 and 2.
For Southeast Asia the picture looks like follows:
The indicators for this ranking are well defined and tested for many years, details can be found on the FFP website: www.fundforpeace.org
The index is a reminder that on top of lingering issues between some neighboring countries, there are serious stability problems within the states which form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This can only confirm the importance and central role of ASEAN in fostering cohesion and mutual support for the common stability of the region. The political process and the responsibility of political parties, on the other hand, are central for the internal stability of the member states.
PS: Stability in political terms can change rather fast. The ranking for the United States as no. 160 looks somewhat overrated after the tumultuous start of the Trump administration…