Vulnerable Countries Part I

By | October 21, 2021

Vulnerable countries are one of the biggest threats facing the world community. Such poor countries are often associated with violent conflicts , which have regional consequences. Conflicts not only make the fight against poverty more difficult; they also make it possible for armed groups and organized crime to establish a foothold.

  • What is a vulnerable country?
  • What sets such countries apart from other countries?
  • How do vulnerable countries also concern the outside world?
  • What does it take to get out of the situation?

According to gradphysics, the effects of such country collapses have in recent years moved closer to Europe . The refugee crisis around the Mediterranean, which has also reached Norway with great force, is a result of war and country collapse in the Middle East, the Sahel and Central Asia. These are conflicts that we hardly see any immediate solution to; the challenges associated with vulnerable countries will therefore be with us for a long time to come.

2: What is a vulnerable country?

Countries’ vulnerability is thus a major problem – both for those who live in them and for the world community. By a country we usually think of a clearly defined physical territory with a population governed by a country apparatus . This country apparatus has both control over its own borders and a monopoly on the use of coercive force within these borders. This country’s authority over both territory and people is recognized and accepted by other countries .

This acceptance in the outside world can never be taken for granted. That is, all countries are vulnerable in one way or another, but some are much more fragile and far more vulnerable than others. Most of the countries that are today defined as vulnerable are also poor . However, poverty can not be a decisive criterion since only a small minority of the world’s poorest countries are considered vulnerable countries. Vulnerable countries are therefore countries that have either had their monopoly on coercive power undermined , or they are in great danger of getting it. In other words, it is not only the level of prosperity that determines whether a country is significantly exposed to having the country’s monopoly on the use of coercive power undermined.

The poorer, weaker and more fragile a country is, the greater the chance that armed groups can gain a foothold and room for maneuver in the country’s territory. Such countries are in the process of or are in danger of losing both a monopoly on the use of coercive force within their own borders as well as control over their borders with other countries. Then the country is no longer the dominant center and forum for balancing political disputes. Then it is only one of several players competing to fill this important role. In a vulnerable country, therefore, an armed movement can be as relevant to human living conditions as the apparatus of the country. This is clearly seen in most areas of conflict today.

3: Why do some countries lose their grip?

In Africa, the Sahel is the region where the interplay between vulnerable countries, poverty and deteriorating living conditions is most evident. There, several of the countries are weakened, and their authority is challenged by several non-country actors. Traditional lifestyles have deteriorated sharply due to climate change . It gets drier – the rain comes less often, and it does not come in the usual, cyclical fluctuations. A less predictable climate means that farmers can not plan the year as they used to, and once the rain comes, they are unable to utilize it as much as they should. Most countries in the Sahel have insufficient resources to put in place effective measures to counteract this – even if they wanted to.

The countries’ weak resource base is one reason why they are unable to implement countermeasures. Equally important are the characteristics of vulnerable countries, namely deep social and / or ethnic divides , often in combination with disagreements about which groups are entitled to citizenship. There is thus no agreement on who constitutes the country’s inhabitants and who therefore has the right to land, work or social services such as schooling. We see this in a number of countries that have ended up in a vulnerability crisis. Such issues are, for example, an important feature of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

Disputes over religious issues may be another feature of such countries. Both Afghanistan and Somalia are examples of such strife, and this is often related to the fact that the little that exists of institutional and administrative structure lacks general legitimacy. Neither those who work in country administration nor in the political leadership are perceived as individuals who are to do a job for the whole people. They are seen more as representatives of special interests such as an ethnic or social group, or simply someone who only works to fill their own wallet with public funds.

Vulnerable Countries 1