Friday, November 12, 2010

Honduras: A Failed State?

In the next couple of weeks I will explore this question in quite detail. There is no clear or unambiguous definition of the term. The Fund for Peace ( proposed the following criteria in defining a "Failed State"

1) Loss of physical control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein,
2) Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions,
3) An inability to provide reasonable public services, and
4) An inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

Source: Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy 2010
I will discuss each one of these criteria, while at the same time propose some additions that may help explain why Honduras may be in danger of becoming a failed state. By the way, the qualification that the Fund for Peace and the journal Foreign Policy have for Honduras is of a "warning" in their "Failed State Index 2010"

The following are just two of the writers that have addressed this question in our newspapers.
Benjamin Santos: "?Honduras: Estado Fallido?" and Octavio Pineda Espinoza: "Convirtiendo a Honduras en un Estado fallido a propósito"


  1. Jose, It's been a while, good to see that you're writing interesting postings as always! I share your pessimism regarding Honduras, and I look forward to your follow-up posting on the failed state question. Saludos, T

  2. Given their generous use of warning color, with Yellow even for the US, UK, and Germany, I'm positively surprised that Honduras is only Orange and not Red in the map. The glass is half full! :-)