Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Read more on
|Africa Peace & Security|
URL for this file: http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/gpi0706.php
Print this page
Africa: Global Peace Index
Jun 12, 2007 (070612)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
A new Global Peace Index, researched by the Economist Intelligence
Unit and based on 24 indicators of both international and domestic
"peacefulness," includes 121 countries, 21 of them in Africa, for
which data was available. The United States ranked 96th, between
Yemen and Iran, while South Africa ranked 99th, between Honduras
and the Philippines.
The five top ranked African countries were
Tunisia, Ghana, Madagascar, Botswana, and Morocco; while the lowest
five included were Sudan, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Angola, and
Algeria. African countries not ranked included a number with
serious internal conflict, including Somalia and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains excerpts from Global Peace Index
reports, including general background, rankings, and a discussion
paper on peace and sustainability. For more information, visit
The ten top-ranked countries on the Global Peace Index were Norway,
New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Finald, Sweden, Canada,
Portugal, Austria. The ten lowest-ranked countries, beginning with
the lowest, were Iraq, Sudan, Israel, Russia, Nigeria, Colombia,
Pakistan, Lebanon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Angola.
Only 21 African countries were included, because of lack of data.for others.
The rankings of those countries that were included, compared to the
rankings of the G-8 group of rich countries, is as follows:
5. Japan, 8. Canada, 12. Germany, 33. Italy, 34. France, 39.
Tunisia, 40. Ghana, 41. Madagascar, 42. Botswana, 48. Morocco, 49.
United Kingdom, 50.Mozambique, 53. Zambia, 56. Gabon, 57. Tanzania,
58. Libya, 64. Namibia, 65. Senegal, 68. Malawi, 71. Equatorial
Guinea, 73. Egypt, 76. Cameroon, 91. Kenya, 96. United States of
America, 99. South Africa, 103. Ethiopia, 104. Uganda, 106. Zimbabwe, 107. Algeria,
112. Angola, 113. Côte d'Ivoire, 117. Nigeria, 118. Russia, 120.
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletin on peace and related issues,
Many thanks to those subscribers who have recently sent in a
voluntary subscription payment to support AfricaFocus Bulletin. If
you haven't recently sent in such a payment and are able to do so,
please help AfricaFocus continue reaching more people with reliable
information on Africa. Send in a check or pay on-line with Paypal
or Google checkout. See http://www.africafocus.org/support.php for
details. Checks can be mailed to AfricaFocus Bulletin, PMB 540,
3509 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008-2470.
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++
Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index
The Vision of Humanity website was launched in May 2007 as the
reference point for the Global Peace Index (GPI) and to highlight
the relationship between Global Peace and Sustainability. It is our
very firm belief that unless we can achieve a world which is
basically peaceful, then the major challenges facing humanity will
not be solved. The question is: How will we achieve the global
co-operation necessary to reverse global warming, loss of
bio-diversity, provide adequate drinking water and a sustainable
population without peace?
The project was developed by a group of committed individuals who
have the support of a group of philanthropists, business people,
politicians, religious leaders and intellectuals.
The Global Peace Index aims to:
- Highlight to the general population the relative position of
nations' and regions' peacefulness;
- Catalyse philanthropic support for further research of peace and
funding of peace initiatives;
- Serve as a foundation for primary, secondary and tertiary
- Emphasise the need for governments to consider the drivers of
peace in policy decisions.
The Global Peace Index has been developed in conjunction with:
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
- an international panel of peace experts from Peace Institutes and
- the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney,
Global Peace Index
Steve Killelea, an international businessman and philanthropist,
in conjunction with an international team of academics,
businesspeople, philanthropists and peace institutions, has
initiated an innovative project to compile a Global Peace Index
(GPI), ranking 121 nations according to their relative states of
peace. Mr Killelea commissioned the Economist Intelligence
Unit to assist with the project, asking them to take the lead in
developing the methodology underlying the index, and collecting
the required data. A team of international peace experts also
provided valuable input.
The Global Peace Index is composed of 24 indicators, ranging
from a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with
neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights.
The index has been tested against a range of potential "drivers"
or determinants of peace - including levels of democracy and
transparency, education and material wellbeing. The team has
used the latest available figures (mainly 2004-06) from a wide
range of respected sources, including the International Institute
of Strategic Studies, the World Bank, and various UN offices
and Peace Institutes. Steve Killelea and his team hope that
this project will contribute significantly to the public debate
on peace. For more information on the Global Peace Index,
including more detail on the results, methodology and potential
uses, please visit http://www.visionofhumanity.com.
Asked to evaluate the state of world peace in 2007, many might
despair at humanity's seeming insatiable appetite for conflict,
pointing to the ongoing bloodbath in Iraq, genocide in Darfur,
civil wars in previously stable Nepal and C“te d'Ivoire and the
rise in international terrorism since September 11th 2001. However,
a deeper analysis reveals that the number of armed conflicts
throughout the world - both international and civil wars - has
decreased dramatically since the end of the Cold War in 1990,
although interstate warfare has picked up again since 2002. The
fact that this statistic is little known is indicative of how the
study of peace has failed to make a significant impact across the
This has been part of the motivation behind the compilation of the
Global Peace Index (GPI). The project's ambition is to go beyond
a crude measure of wars and systematically explore the texture of
peace. The hope is that it will provide a quantitative measure
of peace, comparable over time, that will provide a greater
understanding of the mechanisms that nurture and sustain peace.
This, in turn, will provide a new platform for further study and
discussion, which will hopefully inspire and influence world
leaders and governments to further action.
The concept of peace is notoriously difficult to define. The
simplest way of approaching it is in terms of harmony achieved by
the absence of war or conflict. Applied to nations,this would
suggest that those not involved in violent conflicts with
neighbouring states or suffering internal wars would have achieved
a state of peace. This is what Johan Galtung defined as a "negative
peace"- an absence of violence. The concept of negative peace
is immediately intuitive and empirically measurable, and can be
used as a starting point to elaborate its counterpart concept,
"positive peace": having established what constitutes an absence of
violence, is it possible to identify which structures and
institutions create and maintain peace?
The Global Peace Index is a first step in this direction; a
measurement of peace that seeks to determine what cultural
attributes and institutions are associated with states of peace.
The difficulties in defining the concept of peace may partly
explain why there have been so few attempts to measure states of
peace across nations.
This project has approached the task on two fronts - the first aim
is to produce a scoring model and global peace index that ranks 121
nations by their relative states of peace using 24 indicators. The
indicators have been selected as being the best available datasets
that reflect the incidence or absence of peace, and contain both
quantitative data and qualitative scores from a range of trusted
sources. The second aim is to use the underlying data and results
from the Global Peace Index to begin an investigation into the
relative importance of a range of potential determinants or
"drivers" that may influence the creation and nurturance of
peaceful societies, both internally and externally.
The Research Team
As with all indexes of this type, there are issues of bias and
arbitrariness in the factors that are chosen to assess peace and,
even more seriously, in assigning weights to the different
indicators (measured on a comparable and meaningful scale) to
produce a single synthetic measure. In order to minimise these
risks, the choices of indicators and the weights assigned to them
have been decided upon following close and extensive consultation
with an international panel of experts.
Professor Kevin P Clements - Panel Chair
Director, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPCS)
University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Daniel Druckman
Visiting scholar, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPCS)
University of Queensland, Australia
Paul van Tongeren
Executive Director, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC),
Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees
Sydney Peace Foundation,
University of Sydney, Australia
Dr Manuela Mesa
Director, Peace Research Center (Centro de Investigación para la Paz, CIP-FUHEM)
& President, Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (AIPAZ), Spain
Professor Andrew Mack
Director, Human Security Centre,
University of British Columbia, Canada
Alyson JK Bailes
Director, Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden
Author, in a private capacity
Associate Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer
School of International Service,
American University, Washington DC, USA
Measuring States of Peace: The indicators
[The indicators and the weights were]
Indicator Weight (1 to 5)
Internal Peace 60%
External Peace 40%
Level of distrust in other citizens 4
No. of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people 3
No. of homicides per 100,000 people 4
No. of jailed population per 100,000 people 3
Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction 3
Level of organised conflict (internal) 5
Likelihood of violent demonstrations 3
Level of violent crime 4
Political instability 4
Respect for human rights 4
Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons, as recipient
(imports) per 100,000 people 2
Potential for terrorist acts 1
No. of deaths from organised conflict (internal) 5
Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP 2
No. of armed services personnel per 100,000 people 2
UN Deployments 2006-07 (percentage of total forces) 2
Non-UN Deployments 2006-07 (percentage of total forces) 4
Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people 3
Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as supplier
(exports) per 100,000 people 3
Military capability/sophistication 2
No.of displaced people as a percentage of the population 4
Relations with neighbouring countries 5
No. of external and internal conflicts fought: 2000-05 5
Estimated number of deaths from organised conflict (external) 5
Global Peace Index Rankings
This section lists the results of the analysis into each nation's
peace. This is the prime table in the Global Peace Index section.
The countries are ranked from most peaceful to least peaceful,
highlighting their ranking as well as their score.
[Addition by AfricaFocus. G8 countries are marked with && before the
name, African countries are marked with ++ before the name]
2. New Zealand
13. Czech Republic
23. Hong Kong
31. Costa Rica
32. South Korea
38. United Arab Emirates
&&49. United Kingdom
++71. Equatorial Guinea
74. Dominican Republic
75. Bosnia and Hercegovina
88. Papua New Guinea
89. El Salvador
90. Saudi Arabia
94. Trinidad and Tobago
&&96. United States of America
99. South Africa
111. Sri Lanka
++113. Cote d'Ivoire
Peace and Sustainability:
Cornerstones to survival in the 21st century
Discussion Paper, May 2007
Vision of Humanity http://www.visionofhumanity.com
The aim of this document is to create discussion around the role of
peace and its relationship to sustainability. It uses the
groundbreaking research done by the EIU on the Global Peace Index
to highlight peace research and to create further debate around the
relationship of peace, economics and business.
Peace is one of the most powerful and well used words in every
language. However, the notion of peace, and its value in the world
economy, is not well understood. Historically, peace has been seen
as something won by war, or else as an altruistic ideal. There are
competing definitions of peace, and most research into peace is, in
fact, the study of violent conflict. It difficult to understand
what we can't measure and without measurements, it is equally
difficult to know whether our actions actually help or hinder the
achievement of our goals.
The Global Peace Index is a ground breaking milestone in the study
of peace. It is the first time that an index has been created that
will rank 120 nations of the world by their peacefulness. Nations
are ranked by measuring their 'absence of violence', using metrics
that combine both internal and external factors associated with the
peacefulness of a nation. Absence of violence is a concept that
most people can relate to as being indicative of peace. By
measuring the internal peacefulness of a nation, better
understanding will emerge of what they can do to improve their
Additionally, there are identifiable structural conditions that
create or sustain peace. Having established a Global Peace Index
other social development indictors can now be run against the Index
to determine how closely aligned these indicators maybe. This will
now allow societies to better understand what drivers help to
create or sustain more peaceful societies.
Although many people would feel that the prospects are bleak, the
reality is that wars and internal conflicts have fallen
substantially in the last 25 years.
The first Human Security Report found that the number of armed
conflicts has declined since the early 1990's by 40%, additionally
genocides and political killings also declined from 1988 to 2001 by
80% and international crises fell by more than 70% between 1981 and
2001. Since 2001 some of the gains have been lost, but these
figures do give hope that humanity can work towards solving its
conflicts without resorting to violence. Work needs to be done to
reverse the slippage of the last couple of years and to improve on
the gains of the late 20th century.
The number of conflicts currently running is still substantial and
the number of people affected directly or indirectly from war is
If we cannot solve these major challenges facing humanity, it will
not only be the nations directly affected that will suffer. Nations
unaffected directly by wars or major environmental disasters will
also suffer significant economic loss. The nations of the world are
more dependent on the health of each other, economically,
financially and ecologically, than at any stage in history.
A Global Economic Model Inclusive of Peace
We have become accustomed to viewing economics from a national
perspective. Most individuals have some knowledge of how the
economics of a nation operate. Very few individuals would argue
that some services need to be delivered by government. However, the
same is not true of the global economy or the services that should
be provided globally. Peace and sustainability should be viewed as
key global services that need to be provided for the common good of
A national economy cannot operate effectively without the provision
of public goods or services. So, too, the global market economy
cannot be efficient without global public goods or services.
Examples of national public goods and services are infrastructure
development, education, public health and economic stimulus.
Examples of global goods and services are peacekeeping and peace
building, development aid and environmental regulation.
It could be argued that the under-provision of global public goods
and services occurs for much the same reason as at a national
level. As Adam Smith noted in 1776 regarding nations 'they may be
of the highest degree of advantage to a great society, however the
profits could never repay the expenses to any individual or group
of individuals'. Similarly, what is good for the citizens that
comprise the nations of the globe cannot be at the expense of the
citizens of any one nation or group of nations.
Although the greatest economic good for all citizens is global
peace and sustainability, some citizens of any one nation may
benefit from the destructive forces unleashed in another nation, or
even their own.
Global public response is therefore necessary to fill the gaps left
by national responses, just as national public response fills the
gaps left by individuals or collections of individuals. The
resulting benefits are not just economic. They may result in
greater security without fear, healthier lives and an environment
that can sustain more lives.
If we look within the most peaceful nations of the world, there are
many attributes of these societies that create their richness which
would hold true in creating a global civil society. An
international rule of law or a global system of justice is
essential to economic growth that will benefit all nations, their
citizens and the businesses that operate within their borders. The
proposed International Criminal Court, which aims to enforce crimes
against humanity, is a foundation. The role of global law needs to
be extended to persons, property and contract.
Global institutions will evolve as humanity and the leaders of
humanity realize that the survival of their civilizations revolve
around the dynamics of global sustainability and peace.
Sustainability cannot be achieved without peace.
Economic Benefits of Peace
Some ground-breaking research has been undertaken in this area,
although work on the economic benefits of peace is in its infancy.
The economic benefits of peacekeeping and peace building are not
well understood. According to Collier and Hoeffler, 2004, a typical
civil war in a developing country costs at least US$64 billion
dollars. This exceeded the annual global Official Development
Assistance in 2004, a significant part of which was committed to
post-conflict reconstruction. Secondly, economic activity is
inhibited by high transaction costs associated with weak security
of person and property. Private investment falls and is distorted
away from employmentgenerating activities towards quick turnaround
activities. This is the natural consequence of uncertainty: risk
greatly increases even over a short period time.
Additionally, conflict over scarce resources increases the scarcity
of these resources. This may occur through events that destroy the
infrastructure that extracts these resources, lack of adequate
capital investment into the resources being fought over and the
difficulty of transferring the goods to market in a conflict area.
The uncertainty of future supply will also build a premium into the
cost of the resource. The sustainability debate takes on new
dimensions when conflict scenarios are taken to their logical
conclusion. As natural resources such as timber and fresh water
become scarce, conflict to control these resources will degrade the
resources ever further. This, combined with the uncertainty
premium, will drive costs higher.
The finite level of resources and the effects of the consumption of
these resources on the sustainability of our habitat lead to the
inevitable question of how to fund global public goods and services
to avoid conflict and economically reward sustainable practices. It
should be noted that the economies of the rich nations have more
than doubled in the last thirty years, yet they are spending a
substantially smaller proportion of their GDP apparent that the
resources necessary to fund public global goods and services are
available. What is lacking is political will.
As with the maintenance of any asset, the cost of repair
accelerates over time when adequate maintenance is not performed.
Similarly, environmental damage works in the same way except that
resources such as old growth forests and coral reefs have longer
lead times to recovery.
By initiating public global goods and services to fund peace
building, development aid and conservation, future costs can be
alleviated by early action.
AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with
a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.
AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin,
or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about
reposted material, please contact directly the original source
mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see