2011 Global Peace Index Launch

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2011

  • The world in 2011 is less peaceful than a year prior, according to results from the 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI) presented at CSIS by Clyde McConaghy, board member of the Institute for Economics and Peace, Leo Abruzzese of the Economist Intelligence Unit, and journalist Barabara Slavin. Mark Quarterman, director of the CSIS Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3), moderated a discussion of the findings, which ranked the United States 82 out of 153 countries.

    Quarterman called the GPI a powerful quantitative tool, observing that it captures both short-term electoral disorder and long-term evidence for greater peacefulness in democratic institutions and respect for human rights. He cited Egypt, which dropped 26 spots in 2011, as an example of short-term declines due to political transition that could catalyze peacefulness going forward.

    McConaghy discussed the 2011 GPI results and the economic impact of peace. By monetizing the opportunity costs of violence, the GPI estimates the global benefits of peace at $7.3 trillion per year. McConaghy said that 25 percent more peacefulness would generate enough money to finance the Millennium Development Goals, EU climate change measures, the Japanese tsunami recovery, and repayment of debt owed by Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.

    Abruzzese discussed the report methodology, building the index on 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators. He said the 2011 survey was extended into March to capture the Arab Spring protests, a considerable factor in Egypt’s 26-spot drop and Libya’s 83-spot free fall. Abruzzese noted that countries at the top tend to be democracies with small populations, while those on the bottom are often plagued with civil war, political instability, and internal violence.

    Slavin observed that China outranks the United States in peacefulness, which she attributed to the high incarceration rate in the United States, where 743 people for every 100,000 are imprisoned, and U.S. involvement in foreign military interventions. She hypothesized that some small NATO member states are rated as more peaceful because of their reliance on U.S. military leadership.

    In a world often described by crisis and conflict, which countries are the most peaceful? How do we measure peace? What can we learn about the structures of peaceful environments?
    The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) that ranks 154 countries by their peacefulness and seeks to identify the determinants of peace.  Its aim is to understand the factors that create and sustain peace. Comprised of a range of indicators measuring the absence or presence of violence in society, the GPI takes into consideration both internal and external factors. The GPI has been endorsed by hundreds of high profile individuals and organizations, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mr. Kofi Annan.
    The Index is collated for the IEP by the Economist Intelligence Unit and developed with the guidance of an international panel of peace experts.
    Please join us as we announce the results of the fifth annual Global Peace Index.


    Clyde McConaghy
    Board Member, Institute for Economics and Peace
    Leo Abruzzese
    Editorial Director, North America, Economist Intelligence Unit


    Mark Quarterman
    Senior Adviser and Director, Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3)
    Additional speakers to be announced


  • Contact

    Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation
    (202) 741-3945


Center for Strategic and International Studies
1800 K Street, NW
Washington DC, 20006