State Weakness in the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African Countries. A Statistical Analysis

Background paper to the ERD2009


José María Larrú – CREMed – Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean


Paper prepared for the Conference on “The challenges of fragility to development policy”, organised by the European Report of Development in Barcelona, Spain, 7-8 May, 2009


Although the Mediterranean countries are not classified as fragile states when the CPIA index is exclusively used, they have obvious features of fragility, such as violence and political instability. Moreover, their neighbouring countries are critically weak states and negative externalities are related to this fact. Using a state weakness methodology that combines political, security, economic and social welfare indicators, the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African region share common features. Political and security dimensions are the principal components of state weakness in both regions, when analysed separately. A social welfare component appears as the second main component analysed jointly. The Mediterranean region scores worse than Sub-Saharan Africa in the “Voice and Accountability” governance indicator. Whereas further knowledge and evaluation are needed to reverse this fragility feature, some Mediterranean countries are scoring better than average in aid effectiveness analysis. Their lower level of donor fragmentation should be a good practice that EU members, and particularly the EC, should promote under their current process of division of labour among donors in African countries.

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