Fragile State

Glossary Term

Fragile State

A state is considered fragile when it is unable to meet its populations' expectations or manage changes in expectations and capacity through the political process. Fragility thus arises from substantial disequilibrium in state-society relations. It has multiple underlying causes, both chronic and acute, and it can produce multiple consequences, most worryingly vulnerability to internal conflict, inability to cope with humanitarian disaster, and high risk of state collapse.