Africa is a Country gives a hard time to a 2012 Failed States Index. Here at the Development Research Institute, we are always glad when we can recycle an old "Failure of State Failure" post making the same point 2.5 years ago as something today. The basic problem is that "failed states" is either (1) a less well-defined way to express other more well-defined concepts like "civil war" or "lousy institutions" or (2) just has no coherent definition.
Maybe we can get unstuck by being more creative about the definition. How about "states that someone might like to invade?"