Middle-income fragile states

Andy Sumner asks whether there’s “a new kind of fragile state”:

What do Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Sudan and perhaps Libya, Egypt and Tunisia have in common? Fragility and middle-income status.
[…]
In short, there are only 35 low-income countries remaining out of around 200 countries that the World Bank tracks. And that’s down from 63 in 2000 and this is projected to fall to perhaps 20 or so low-income countries by 2025.
[…]
In between the two ways of looking at countries – income and fragility – there is a new kind of country – countries which are fragile and middle income. This isn’t supposed to happen though is it? Countries are poor, then they stabilise and then they get rich don’t they?

Maybe not any more. Look at the kind of countries that are both fragile and now middle income, taking the OECD’s combination of fragile states lists: Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Sudan (and perhaps now add Libya, Egypt and Tunisia).
[…]
Maybe being a poor and/or fragile state isn’t going to be the main international issue for peace and security in the future. Maybe instead it’s the fragile states who are not-so-poor?

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