Yesterday The Guardian’s Datablog published the results of the Global Peace Index, which ranks the ‘calm’ and ‘peacefulness’ of 153 countries across the world. The index takes into account a broad array of factors, including crime rates, internal and external relations and conflicts, arms sales, military size, democratic indices and social indicators. In the overall ranking of countries Israel – not including the Palestinian territories – ranks 145 out of 153, its lowest ever rating.
The methodology of the index, devised by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was questioned by the unit’s sister company, The Economist, at its inception in 2007. ‘Give peace a rating’ suggested that ‘the index will run into some flak’, as it was weighted against more militarised countries:
‘By unconditionally endorsing low military budgets and marking down high ones, the index may seem to give heart to freeloaders: countries that enjoy peace precisely because others (often America) care for their defence.’
The Guardian makes it clear that the 2011 Global Peace Index takes into account events during the Arab Spring, as it ‘sees dramatic falls in middle east countries after the Arab spring’. However, several key Arab states that have typified the last several months of regional unrest, seeing mass demonstrations and thousands of deaths, continue to rank far above Israel on the peace scale.
Read the rest of the post, here.