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World map of the Global Peace Index 2008. Countries appearing more green are ranked as more peaceful, countries appearing more red are ranked as less peaceful.
Change of number of countries in each GPI class from 2007-2009.

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. It is the product of Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and analysed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The list was launched first in May 2007 and then in May 2008 and recently on 2 June 2009 and is claimed to be the first study to rank countries around the world according to their peacefulness. The study is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Steve Killelea and is endorsed by individuals such as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President Martti Ahtisaari, Muhammad Yunus, economist Jeffrey Sachs, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson and former US president Jimmy Carter. Factors examined by the authors include internal factors such as levels of violence and crime within the country and factors in a country's external relations such as military expenditure and wars.

Contents

Methodology

The research team was headed by The Economist Intelligence Unit in conjunction with academics and experts in the field of peace. They measured countries' peacefulness based on wide range of indicators, 24 in all. A table of the indicators is below.[1] In the table, UCDP stands for the Uppsala Conflict Data Program maintained by the University of Uppsala in Sweden, EIU for The Economist Intelligence Unit, UNSCT for the United Nations Survey of Criminal Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, ICPS is the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London, IISS for the International Institute for Strategic Studies publication The Military Balance 2007, SIPRI for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Arms Transfers Database, and BICC for the Bonn International Center for Conversion.

#
Indicator
Source
Year(s)
Coding
1 Number of external and internal wars fought UCDP 2000 to 2005 Total number[2]
2 Estimated deaths due to external wars UCDP 2004 to 2005 Total number[2]
3 Estimated deaths due to internal wars UCDP 2004 to 2005 Total number[2]
4 Level of organized internal conflict EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
5 Relations with neighbouring countries EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
6 Level of distrust in other citizens EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
7 Number of displaced persons as percentage of population World Bank 2003 Refugee population by percentage of the origin country's population
8 Political instability EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
9 Level of respect for human rights (political terror scale) Amnesty International 2005 Qualitative measure
10 Potential for terrorist acts EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
11 Number of homicides UNSCT 2004 and 2002 Intentional homicides, including infanticide, per 100,000 people
12 Level of violent crime EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
13 Likelihood of violent demonstrations EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
14 Number of jailed persons ICPS 2006 Persons incarcerated per 100,000 people
15 Number of police and security officers UNSCT 2002 and 2000 Civil security officers per 100,000 people[3]
16 Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP IISS 2004 Cash outlays for armed forces, as a percentage of GDP[4]
17 Number of armed services personnel IISS 2004 Full-time military personnel per 100,000 people
18 Imports of major conventional weapons SIPRI 2001 to 2005 Imports of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people[5]
19 Exports of major conventional weapons SIPRI 2001 to 2005 Exports of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people[5]
20 United Nations deployments IISS 2006 to 2007 Total number
21 Non-United Nations deployments IISS 2006 to 2007 Total number
22 Number of heavy weapons BICC 2003 Weapons per 100,000 people[6]
23 Ease of access to small arms and light weapons EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
24 Military capability or sophistication EIU 2007 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5

Indicators not already ranked on a 1 to 5 scale were converted by using the following formula: x=(x-Min(x))/(Max(x)-Min(x)) where Max(x) and Min(x) are the highest and lowest values for that indicator of the countries ranked in the index. The 0 to 1 scores that resulted were then converted to the 1 to 5 scale. Individual indicators were then weighted according to the research team's judgment of their importance. The scores were then tabulated into two weighted sub-indices: internal peace, weighted at 60% of a country's final score, and external peace, weighted at 40% of a country's final score.[7]

The main findings of the Global Peace Index are:

  • Peace correlated to indicators such as income, schooling and the level of regional integration (source and numerical coefficient?)
  • Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of government and low corruption
  • Small, stable countries which are part of regional blocks are most likely to get a higher ranking.[8]

Statistical analysis was applied to discover more specific drivers of peace. Specifically, the research team looked for indicators that were included and excluded from the index that had high levels of correlation with the overall score and rank of countries. Among the statistically significant indicators that were not used in the analysis were the functionality of a country's government, regional integration, hostility to foreigners, importance of religion in national life, and GDP per capita.[9]

Notably absent from the 2007 study are Belarus, Iceland, many African nations, Mongolia, North Korea and Afghanistan. They were not included because reliable data for the 24 indicators was not available.[10]

Criticism and response to criticism

The Economist, in publishing the index, admitted that, "the index will run into some flak." Specifically, according to The Economist, the weighting of military expenditure "may seem to give heart to freeloaders: countries that enjoy peace precisely because others (often the USA) care for their defense." The true utility of the index may lie not in its specific rankings of countries now, but in how those rankings change over time, thus tracking when and how countries become more or less peaceful.[11]

The Peace Index has been criticised for not including indicators specifically relating to violence against women and children. Riane Eisler, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, argued that, "to put it mildly, this blind spot makes the index very inaccurate." She mentions a number of specific cases, including Egypt, where she claims 90% of women are subject to genital mutilation and China, where, she says, "female infanticide is still a problem," , according to a 2000 UNICEF study."[12]

The Index has received endorsements from a number of major international figures, including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, the Dalai Lama, archbishop Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus and former United States President Jimmy Carter.[13] Steve Killelea, the Australian philanthropist who conceived the idea of the Index, argues that the Index "is a wake-up call for leaders around the globe."[14].

Global Peace Index rankings

Nations considered more peaceful have lower index scores. Countries with rankings in green are in the most peaceful 20% for that year; those in red are in the bottom 20%.[15]

Country 2009 Rank 2009 Score 2008 Rank 2008 Score 2007 Rank 2007 Score 2007–2008 Change
Afghanistan Afghanistan 143 3.285 137 3.126
Albania Albania 75 1.925 79 2.044
Algeria Algeria 110 2.212 112 2.378 107 2.503 −05
Angola Angola 100 2.105 110 2.364 112 2.587 +02
Argentina Argentina 66 1.851 56 1.895 52 1.923 +01
Australia Australia 19 1.476 27 1.652 25 1.664 −02
Austria Austria 5 1.252 10 1.449 10 1.483 0
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 114 2.327 101 2.287 101 2.448 0
Bahrain Bahrain 69 1.881 74 2.025 62 1.995 −12
Belarus Belarus 98 2.103 94 2.194
Bangladesh Bangladesh 90 2.045 86 2.118 86 2.219 0
Belgium Belgium 15 1.359 15 1.485 11 1.498 −04
Bhutan Bhutan 40 1.667 26 1.616 19 1.611 −07
Bolivia Bolivia 81 1.990 78 2.043 69 2.052 −09
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 50 1.755 66 1.974 75 2.089 +09
Botswana Botswana 34 1.643 46 1.792 42 1.786 −04
Brazil Brazil 85 2.022 90 2.168 83 2.173 −07
Bulgaria Bulgaria 56 1.775 57 1.903 54 1.936 −03
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 71 1.905 81 2.062
Cambodia Cambodia 105 2.179 91 2.179 85 2.197 −06
Cameroon Cameroon 95 2.073 92 2.182 76 2.093 −16
Canada Canada 8 1.311 11 1.451 8 1.481 −03
Central African Republic Central African Republic 133 2.733 134 2.857
Chad Chad 138 2.880 135 3.007
Chile Chile 20 1.481 19 1.576 16 1.568 −03
People's Republic of China China 74 1.921 67 1.981 60 1.980 −07
Colombia Colombia 130 2.645 130 2.757 116 2.770 −14
Costa Rica Costa Rica 29 1.578 34 1.701 31 1.702 −03
Côte d'Ivoire Cote d'Ivoire 117 2.342 122 2.451 113 2.638 −09
Croatia Croatia 49 1.741 60 1.926 67 2.030 +07
Cuba Cuba 68 1.856 62 1.954 59 1.968 −03
Cyprus Cyprus 48 1.737 52 1.847 51 1.915 −01
Czech Republic Czech Republic 11 1.328 17 1.501 13 1.524 −04
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo 139 2.888 128 2.707
Denmark Denmark 2 1.217 2 1.343 3 1.377 +01
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 70 1.890 82 2.069 74 2.071 −08
Ecuador Ecuador 109 2.211 100 2.274 87 2.219 −13
Egypt Egypt 54 1.773 69 1.987 73 2.068 +04
El Salvador El Salvador 94 2.068 89 2.163 89 2.244 0
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 61 1.801 64 1.964 71 2.059 +07
Estonia Estonia 38 1.661 35 1.702 28 1.684 −07
Ethiopia Ethiopia 128 2.551 121 2.439 103 2.479 −18
Finland Finland 9 1.322 8 1.432 6 1.447 −02
France France 30 1.579 36 1.707 34 1.729 −02
Gabon Gabon 51 1.758 55 1.878 56 1.952 +01
Germany Germany 16 1.392 14 1.475 12 1.523 −02
Ghana Ghana 52 1.761 40 1.723 40 1.765 0
Greece Greece 57 1.778 54 1.867 44 1.791 −10
Guatemala Guatemala 111 2.218 103 2.328 93 2.285 −10
Haiti Haiti 116 2.330 109 2.362
Honduras Honduras 112 2.265 104 2.335 98 2.390 −06
Hong Kong Hong Kong 23 1.608 23 1.657 0
Hungary Hungary 27 1.575 18 1.576 18 1.575 0
Iceland Iceland 4 1.225 1 1.176
India India 122 2.433 107 2.355 109 2.530 +02
Indonesia Indonesia 67 1.853 68 1.983 78 2.111 +10
Iran Iran 99 2.104 105 2.341 97 2.320 −08
Iraq Iraq 144 3.341 140 3.514 121 3.437 −19
Republic of Ireland Ireland 12 1.333 6 1.410 4 1.396 −02
Israel Israel 141 3.035 136 3.052 119 3.033 −17
Italy Italy 36 1.648 28 1.653 33 1.724 +05
Jamaica Jamaica 102 2.111 96 2.226 81 2.164 −15
Japan Japan 7 1.272 5 1.358 5 1.413 0
Jordan Jordan 64 1.832 65 1.969 63 1.997 −02
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 84 2.018 72 2.018 61 1.995 −11
Kenya Kenya 113 2.266 119 2.429 91 2.258 −28
Kuwait Kuwait 42 1.680 45 1.786 46 1.818 +01
Laos Laos 45 1.701 51 1.810
Latvia Latvia 54 1.773 39 1.723 47 1.848 +08
Lebanon Lebanon 132 2.718 132 2.840 114 2.662 −18
Libya Libya| 46 1.710 61 1.927 58 1.967 −03
Lithuania Lithuania 43 1.687 41 1.723 43 1.788 +02
Luxembourg Luxembourg 13 1.341 9 1.446
Madagascar Madagascar 72 1.912 43 1.770 41 1.766 −02
Malawi Malawi 47 1.711 73 2.024 68 2.038 −05
Malaysia Malaysia 26 1.561 37 1.721 37 1.744 0
Mali Mali 96 2.086 99 2.238
Mauritania Mauritania 124 2.478 120 2.435
Mexico Mexico 108 2.209 93 2.191 79 2.125 −14
Moldova Moldova 75 1.925 83 2.091 72 2.059 −11
Mongolia Mongolia 89 2.040 88 2.155
Morocco Morocco 63 1.811 63 1.954 48 1.893 −15
Mozambique Mozambique 53 1.765 50 1.803 50 1.909 0
Myanmar Myanmar 126 2.501 126 2.590 108 2.524 −18
Namibia Namibia 65 1.841 77 2.042 64 2.003 −13
Netherlands Netherlands 22 1.531 22 1.607 20 1.620 −02
New Zealand New Zealand 1 1.202 4 1.350 2 1.363 −02
Nicaragua Nicaragua 61 1.801 59 1.919 66 2.020 +07
Nigeria Nigeria 129 2.602 129 2.724 117 2.898 −12
North Korea North Korea 131 2.717 133 2.850
Norway Norway 2 1.217 3 1.343 1 1.357 −02
Oman Oman 21 1.520 25 1.612 22 1.641 −03
Pakistan Pakistan 137 2.859 127 2.694 115 2.697 −12
Panama Panama 59 1.798 48 1.797 45 1.798 −03
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 93 2.059 95 2.224 88 2.223 −07
Paraguay Paraguay 73 1.916 70 1.997 55 1.946 −15
Peru Peru 79 1.972 80 2.046 70 2.056 −10
Philippines Philippines 114 2.327 113 2.385 100 2.428 −13
Poland Poland 32 1.599 31 1.687 27 1.683 −04
Portugal Portugal 14 1.348 7 1.412 9 1.481 +02
Qatar Qatar 16 1.392 33 1.694 30 1.702 −03
Republic of Macedonia Republic of Macedonia 88 2.039 87 2.119 82 2.170 −05
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo 106 2.202 117 2.417
Romania Romania 31 1.591 24 1.611 26 1.682 +02
Russia Russia 136 2.750 131 2.777 118 2.903 −13
Rwanda Rwanda 86 2.027 76 2.030
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 104 2.167 108 2.357 90 2.246 −18
Senegal Senegal 80 1.984 71 2.011 65 2.017 −06
Serbia Serbia 78 1.951 85 2.110 84 2.181 −01
Singapore Singapore 23 1.533 29 1.673 29 1.692 0
Slovakia Slovakia 24 1.539 20 1.576 17 1.571 −03
Slovenia Slovenia 9 1.322 16 1.491 15 1.539 −01
Somalia Somalia 142 3.257 139 3.293
South Africa South Africa 123 2.437 116 2.412 99 2.399 −17
South Korea South Korea 33 1.627 32 1.691 32 1.719 0
Spain Spain 28 1.577 30 1.683 21 1.633 −09
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 125 2.485 125 2.584 111 2.575 −14
Sudan Sudan 140 2.922 138 3.189 120 3.182 −18
Sweden Sweden 6 1.269 13 1.468 7 1.478 −06
Switzerland Switzerland 18 1.393 12 1.465 14 1.526 +02
Syria Syria 92 2.049 75 2.027 77 2.106 +02
Republic of China Taiwan 37 1.652 44 1.779 36 1.731 −08
Tanzania Tanzania 59 1.796 58 1.919 57 1.966 −01
Thailand Thailand 118 2.353 118 2.424 105 2.491 −13
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 87 2.035 98 2.230 94 2.286 −04
Tunisia Tunisia 44 1.698 47 1.797 39 1.762 −08
Turkey Turkey 121 2.389 115 2.403 92 2.272 −23
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan 101 2.110 102 2.302
Uganda Uganda 103 2.140 114 2.391 104 2.489 −10
Ukraine Ukraine 82 2.010 84 2.096 80 2.150 −04
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 40 1.667 42 1.745 38 1.747 −04
United Kingdom United Kingdom 35 1.647 49 1.801
United States United States of America 83 2.015 97 2.227 96 2.317 −01
Uruguay Uruguay 25 1.557 21 1.606 24 1.661 +03
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 106 2.202 111 2.377 110 2.542 −01
Venezuela Venezuela 120 2.381 123 2.505 102 2.453 −21
Vietnam Vietnam 39 1.664 37 1.720 35 1.729 −02
Yemen Yemen 119 2.363 106 2.352 95 2.309 −11
Zambia Zambia 58 1.779 53 1.856 53 1.930 0
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 134 2.736 124 2.513 106 2.495 −18
Note: There have been changes to the methodology for the 2009 data.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ All information in indicator table from "Global Peace Index: Indicators". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.com/GPI_Indicators/index.php. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  2. ^ a b c In this case, a conflict is defined as, "a contested incompatibility that concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths in a year."
  3. ^ Excludes militia and national guard forces.
  4. ^ This includes, "cash outlays of central or federal government to meet the costs of national armed forces—including strategic, land, naval, air, command, administration and support forces as well as paramilitary forces, customs forces and border guards if these are trained and equipped as a military force."
  5. ^ a b This includes transfers, purchases, or gifts of aircraft, armoured vehicles, artillery, radar systems, missiles, ships, engines
  6. ^ Weapons defined in four categories: armoured vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft, major fighting ships.
  7. ^ "Global Peace Index: Methodology". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.com/WPI_Methodology/index.php. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  8. ^ First Global Peace Index Ranks 121 Countries, PP Newswire
  9. ^ "Global Peace Index: Drivers of Peace". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.com/WPI_PeaceDrivers/index.php. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  10. ^ Charles, Deborah (May 30, 2007). "New Peace Index Ranks US Among Worst Nations". Reuters. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/30/1553/. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Give peace a rating". The Economist. May 31, 2007. http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9266967. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  12. ^ Eisler, Riane (July 26, 2007). "Dark underbelly of the world's most 'peaceful' countries". Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0726/p09s01-coop.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Endorsers for GPI". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.com/endorsementsForGPI/index.php. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  14. ^ "Norway rated most peaceful nation". BBC News. 2007-05-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/6704767.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  15. ^ All information in the table of rankings from: Both are linked from: Vision of Humanity (2008). "EIU Reports - Documents - Global Peace Index". http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/documents/results-report.php. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  16. ^ Global Peace Index - Methodology and Data Sources

External links

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