Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace just released their joint 2007 failed states index. Now, first of all, I include myself in the camp that has trouble with the term "failed state" for both empirical and value-based reasons. However, when the term is defined -- as it is using specific measures in the FP index -- then I can go with the usefulness of the battery. In other words, this is a list worth noting.
Want the real shocker? Six of the top seven most unstable countries on this list are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Having spent a fair amount of time and energy with some of the named issues and countries especially over the last year, it's disappointing but not too surprising.