Friday, May 23, 2008

World more peaceful in 2008

According to the second world peace index the world was more peaceful in 2008. Even so Canada slipped to number 11, partly with an addition of other countries in the second index to be published.

In fact the Group of Eight major economic powers were a mixed bag. Japan ranked fifth, Canada 11th, Germany 14th, Italy 28th, France 36th and Britain 49th. The US comes in at 97th and Russia was near the bottom at 131st, the only one in the group below the United States. Australia slipped a couple of spots to 27th.

But the world did get a bit more peaceful compared to last year, according to a measure of 24 different indicators. The factors include internal ones, such as levels of crime, government corruption, prison population, spending on weapons and the threat of terrorism.

There is some argument that the index supports ‘freeloader’ states which depend on others for defence. The US, for example, plays a world policeman role which calls for a much higher military involvement than many other countries.

Of course the question of the appropriateness of the US assumed role is another issue, and is still subject to justifying an aggressive stance as defending anything. Australia plays a policing role in their region, which for some reason extends to the Middle East. Again, some of that activity is being questioned and troop withdrawals underway in Iraq at least.

Like Canada, Australia claims some justification for a presence in Afghanistan. To be fair this action has not been tainted by trade imperatives. Australian’s are far more accepting of casualties in Afghanistan than Canadians are. But the country is probably more within their sphere of influence than Canada’s.

It is only the second year for this index, and I expect the researchers will shake a few bugs out of it in coming years. But it is a worthy exercise, giving various nationals some measurable basis for their concerns.

I can only find reports like Global Peace Index 2008 Report and a partial Peace list. I’ll be following this up.


12 comments:

Utah Savage said...

This seems mighty strange to me. We are 28th. Did I get that right? How is that possible, with our gulag in Cuba and our high rate of crimes with guns? Odd, that. Can you link to the whole list?

Cart said...

Sorry, my omission, i didn't list the US at 97 :( I've fixed it now, thanks.

Cart said...

Savage, I have added some partial lists. I'm still trying to find the original.

abi said...

The complete list is here.

http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings.php

Cart said...

Abi, thank you. I've enough trouble just getting writing access time at the moment. Sadly my research time is seriously curtailed.

D.K. Raed said...

Our ranking must be the result of our "peace dividend", right? Orwell would be so proud. War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, etc.

Cart said...

DK, sorry. It has been a difficult day here. But made far better by the creative image your comment conjured. I'm working on it :)

D.K. Raed said...

Well if Orwell's imagery smooths out a difficult day, then I am glad to be of help!

Cart said...

DK, you inspired a piece on Ragebot :) Actually you probably inspired some other future pieces. Thank you

D.K. Raed said...

I just tried to leave you a comment on Ragebot. I always have a tough time with their comment format. I gave up after about 5 tries. Do me a favor, if my comment appears more than once, please delete the extras.

Cart said...

Sorry DK, despite your spamming efforts the comment only appeared once :)

D.K. Raed said...

Well it IS Monty Python weekend (SPAM!).