Reporting from Yemen
Is Yemen - the Arab state bordering Saudi Arabia and across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia - on the verge of collapse?
That is a question which is beginning to push its way up the international agenda as the country is wracked by two insurgencies, an internal refugee crisis, food shortages and fears that al-Qaeda could return to a country which seemed to have driven them out a few years ago.
Part of the answer is that it has been overshadowed by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by the piracy in the Indian Ocean emanating from its neighbour Somalia.
This means foreign correspondents have been diverted to these stories and also editors back at base sometimes take the view that their audiences/readers can only take so much war and conflict on a day to day basis.
It is also partly because it is not an easy place to report from - it can be dangerous for foreigners with some being kidnapped and killed.
Added to this, the government has not been keen to allow too many journalists access to the areas affected by insurgencies and humanitarian agencies have been reluctant to jeopardise their ability to operate in the country by allowing journalists access to their work - which is one of the ways reporters can travel and report from conflict zones.
But this week on The World Tonight and Newshour on the BBC World Service, Owen Bennett-Jones will be reporting from there and assessing how fragile the country is and whether al-Qaeda can re-establish itself.
Yemen is not the only state in the world that is seen to be in a fragile condition and such states are seen as a cause of conflict, instability and a potential source of terrorist violence, so The World Tonight is planning to hold a conference with the Royal Institute of International affairs at Chatham House in February to look at how some states like Macedonia avoided collapse, while others like Somalia didn't which we will broadcast from.
We hope you find the coverage interesting and informative.
Alistair Burnett is the editor of The World Tonight.