Towards a theory of fragile state transitions
Evidence from Yemen, Bangladesh and Laos
This article uses the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP) fragile states framework to evaluate fragile state transitions. Our objective is to find out why some states considered fragile have recovered, while others remain fragile for long periods. We identify three categories of countries: those in a fragility trap, those that have exited it, and those that fluctuate between fragility and stability. CIFP data are used to examine state transitions for each category. One state from each category is then subjected to further country-level analysis. Our findings reinforce the view that state transitions do not follow a unique path and that effective engagement in fragile states requires different approaches across cases.