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《经济学人》:富国、穷国和弱国

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Wealth, poverty and fragile states
富国、穷国和弱国

MIFFed by misrule
劣政生怨

A new category of countries mixes modest affluence with miserable governance
有点钱却又不善管制的新型国家

Jul 21st 2011 | from the print edition

MOST people think they know what a failed state looks like. An obvious one is Somalia, where an outbreak of famine in the south was formally acknowledged by the United Nations this week. Help has started to trickle in after the Shabab, an Islamist militia, lifted its ban on aid agencies that it once termed anti-Muslim. In most ways the afflicted region epitomises the collapse of authority: extremists control roads and markets; the government is powerless outside the capital; outsiders provide what little assistance exists.

大多数人自以为懂得何谓失败的政权。索马里就是一个典型的例子。这个星期联合国正式承认索马里南部闹饥荒。伊斯兰民兵组织Shabab解除被它称为“反伊斯兰教”的援助机构入境的禁令之后,援助终于缓缓而来。这个备受磨难的地区很大程度上体现了这个国家政权的崩塌:极端主义者控制了道路和市场;政府在首都外无能为力;外援少之又少。

But not all failed or fragile states look like Somalia. This month the World Bank issued its annual list of countries by income category: rich, middle, poor. Several African countries are faring rather better than Somalia; they have graduated from poor to middle-income status. Yet strikingly, some 15 of the 56 countries on the bank’s lower-middle income list (ie, over a quarter) also appear on the list of fragile and failed states maintained by the OECD, a rich-country club. They range from Côte d’Ivoire to Yemen; the most important of them are Pakistan and Nigeria. State failure, it appears, does not necessarily go hand in hand with other human woes, such as poverty.

但并非失败或脆弱的政权就该这样。这个月世界银行发布了一份清单:它将国家分为富裕、中等、贫穷几个级别。好几个非洲国家的状况比索马里好:它们脱离贫穷了。然而令人惊讶的是,在56个收入属于中等偏低的国家(超过四分之一的国家属于这一行列)里,大约有15个被经合组织(一个富国俱乐部)列为政权不稳。从科特迪瓦到也门都属于这一行列,其中最重要的是巴基斯坦和尼日利亚。似乎政权衰败并不总是与人类其它灾难——例如贫穷——共进退。

Why should it matter that a group of countries has crossed some arbitrary line separating poor from middle-income status? Perhaps, some may say, it shows that state failure is an extremely elastic term, embracing both countries in total collapse (Somalia, Chad) and those which merely contain large ungoverned spaces. In fact, the emergence of a group of middle-income but failed or fragile states is more than a curiosity. The group—call them MIFFs—includes countries crucial to the future of west Africa and South Asia. The new state of South Sudan , which combines oil wealth with instability and underdevelopment, will surely join its ranks.

为什么一些不贫穷的国家也表现出贫穷国家的一些特征呢?有人也许会说,这反映了政权衰败是一个很灵活的用语,既包括哪些完全分崩瓦解的国家(如索马里和乍得),也包括那些有大半领地处于无政府管辖的国家。确实,这些不贫穷但政权衰弱的国家的存在显得很怪。这些国家(暂且叫做MIFFs)中,有些对西非和南亚的未来发展很关键。石油为苏丹南部的新政权带来财富,但那里依旧属于欠发达地区,并且不稳定。毫无疑问,它将会加入这一行列。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
poverty ['pɔvəti]

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n. 贫困,贫乏

 
emergence [i'mə:dʒəns]

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n. 出现,浮现,露出

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calculate ['kælkjuleit]

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v. 计算,估计,核算,计划,认为

 
stable ['steibl]

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adj. 稳定的,安定的,可靠的
n. 马厩,

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status ['steitəs]

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n. 地位,身份,情形,状况

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chaos ['keiɔs]

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n. 混乱,无秩序,混沌

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merely ['miəli]

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adv. 仅仅,只不过

 
affluence ['æfluəns]

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n. 富裕;丰富;流入;汇聚

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fell [fel]

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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v

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category ['kætigəri]

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n. 种类,类别

 


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