Foreign Policy magazine, in collaboration with The Fund For Peace, has issued the sixth edition of its incredible Failed State Index which uses a Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) which analyses trends and news coverage online.
CAST is a model which uses a four-step trend-line analysis, consisting of rating 12 indicators - demographic pressures, refugees/IDPs, group grievance, human flight, uneven development, economic decline, delegitimisation of the state, public services, human rights, security apparatus, factionalised elites, and external intervention - and assesses the capabilities of five core state institutions considered essential for sustaining security and identifying idiosyncratic factors and surprises. It then takes this data and plots it on an interactive infograph.
In brief, CAST takes a look at hundreds of thousands of news articles and gives a quantifiable score to each country based on the indicators listed above. Basically, it's a list that you don't want your country to be near the top of.
Somalia has topped the index for the last three years and the usual suspects such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan are all there or there abouts.
The UK is ranked 161st out of the 177 countries included, meaning that we're pretty functional. Try telling that to this Pocket-linters nan, who insists that we're on the verge of a violent revolution and that the country has "gone to the dogs".