When the state fails: a survival guide
Armed groups and mafias usually manage to impose their law on areas no longer controlled by the state, like in Colombia. But when the state is non-existent or stripped of power, autonomous grassroots organizations also flourish. In Mogadishu, the Congolese city of Bumba (ex-Zaire), the Afghan countryside and the slums of Guatemala City and Port-au-Prince, self-governing communities are devising innovative ways to provide basic services. Some are giving new vigour to citizenship. Could these grassroots powers be the base ingredient for rebuilding ailing states?