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Adrienne Warren

The Peace Index 2013 and the European Post Soviets

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, the world has become a less peaceful place. In their annual report, the Global Peace Index, 162 countries were ranked by measuring security in society, the extent of conflict and the degree of militarisation. This year’s report reinforces a pattern  that has emerged in recent years: since 2008 levels of peace have fallen by 5%. However, it’s not all bad news, the Index shows that while 110 states have become less peaceful but that 48 have become more so.  Eastbook.eu takes a look at where the European Post-Soviet nations stand…

Plum Blossoms on Hand. author: chant0m0. source: Flickr

Plum Blossoms on Hand. author: chant0m0. source: Flickr

The Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, uses a multi-layered methodology to reach its results. The definition of peace is looked at from both a positive perspective (institutional capacity and resilience) as well as negative peace, defined by Johan Galtung as ‘the absence of violence or fear of violence’.

Countries are given scores on 22 indicators that measure internal peace–for example, levels of perceived criminality, number of police per 100,000 people and level of organised crime, as well as external peace indicators– including military expenditure as a percentage of the GDP and nuclear weapons capabilities.

The report also counts the cost of violence to the global economy. The estimated economic impact of containing violence was $9.46 trillion in 2012, equivalent to 11% of global GDP. The report elucidates:

“Were the world to reduce its expenditure on violence by approximately 50 per cent it could repay the debt of the developing world ($4076bn), provide enough money for the European stability mechanism, ($900bn) and fund the additional amount required to achieve the annual cost of the Millennium Development Goals.”

Among the European Post-Soviet nations, Estonia ranked the highest in the index, placing at 38 out of 162 countries. Neighbouring Baltic nation, Latvia, placed at 41, and Lithuania placed next at 46. All three nations ranked quite low in the category of militarisation, but placed slightly higher in the areas of society and security.

Peace Index 2013 * Post-Soviet States in Europe, source: Eastbook.eu

Peace Index 2013 * Post-Soviet States in Europe, source: Eastbook.eu

Neighbouring Belarus placed 96th, demonstrating higher levels of concern in relation to society and security. Similarly, Ukraine’s rank at 111th place was influenced by a high score in society and security–an area of concern echoed by Moldova, albeit at a much lower level,  as the nation ranked at 75th place. All three nations also had higher showings of peace-issues in the area of domestic and international conflict.

In the South Caucasus, Armenia had the best ranking, placing at 98--with the area of greatest concern being at the level of domestic and international conflict. Next, Azerbaijan, at 126, demonstrated a near-statistical tie in the areas of society and security and domestic and international conflict. Georgia had the worst ranking, at 139th–with the highest level among the European post Soviets in the area of domestic and international conflict.

Today’s most amazing stat: #Armenia improves position in Global Peace Index from 115th to 98th news.am/eng/news/15763…

— Ani Wandaryan (@GoldenTent) June 11, 2013

source: The Guardian 

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Graduated in International Relations and Russian. Resident of Estonia, but a citizen of the world. Most interested in contributing to the progress and education of mankind--as the primary tool of achieving global unity.

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