Foreign Policy Magazine and the Fund for Peace have an annual Failed States Index that you should definitely check out. It’s one of the best guides to the state of the world and of any given country, and its presentation, on either of the organization’s sites, is done beautifully.
Just like with ESPN, you can see MVPs, “most improved” and “most worsened,” and many other trends and stats over time. There are all kinds of great articles on both sites showcasing various aspects and trends, including case studies, surveys, and interviews. It’s a great way to see where the world has been and where it is going, all the way back to 2005.
Rankings are based on meticulously measured metrics concerning demographic pressures, refugees, IDPs, group grievance, human flight, uneven development, economic decline, delegitimization of the state, public services, human rights, security apparatus, factionalized elites, and external intervention. And FP has a cool slide show called “Postcards from Hell.”
You get the picture, so go click away and learn about your world.