Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Giving Peace A Chance?

American Peace Sign

The Global Peace Index has released its 2008 Rankings, and the United States did not do well, coming in 97th place out of 140 countries.

If you go to the rankings and click on each individual country, you can see how it fares in the 59 measures used to determine the index. The U.S., for example, does well in "Political Stability," but terribly in "Number of jailed population per 100,000 people."

From The Guardian:

"The world appears to be a marginally more peaceful place this year," said Steve Killelea, the Australian technology entrepreneur and founder of the Global Peace Index. "This is encouraging, but it takes small steps by individual countries for the world to make greater strides on the road to peace."

The index, which was launched under the auspices of the global thinktank the Institute for Economics and Peace is endorsed by the Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Muhammad Yunus. It also enjoys the support of business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson and Sir Mark Moody Stuart.
His Holliness the Dalai Lama is another supporter. You can see the full list of Global Peace Index endorsers here.

Here are the Top Ten most peaceful countries in the world:

1. Iceland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. New Zealand
5. Japan
6. Ireland
7. Portgual
8. Finland
9. Luxembourg
10. Austria

Spain came in 30th. France 34th. The U.K. 49th. Canada 11th.

And the five least peaceful countries:

136. Israel
137. Afghanistan
138. Sudan
139. Somalia
140. Iraq

I guess the U.S. has helped Iraq achieve one clear distinction in the world.

And here's John Lennon, with Eric Clapton on guitar, doing a ragged live version of "Give Peace a Chance" from Live Peace in Toronto 1969.


Liam said...

Where's Liberia?

Garpu the Fork said...

If Japan was trying to take over the world a generation ago, but is in the top 10, maybe there's hope for us.

crystal said...

Since 1947, Japan's constitution (thanks to American influence) has forbidden a traditional military force, although they have a Self Defense Force, but the attitude behind that is starting to change.

cowboyangel said...

Liam, I don't know. I scanned the actual report, but I didn't see anything about why certain countries weren't included. They did have 19 more this year, however. Maybe next year.

cowboyangel said...


Good point. Whenever our imperial ambitions come to an end - as they always do - we'll probably chill out a lot more. I was always struck by that in Spain. Once the largest empire in the world and now . . .

cowboyangel said...


I've heard that attitudes in Japan towards the military are changing somewhat. Will be interesting to see how they deal with the rise of China and India.

Jeff said...

Yeah, I thought I heard recently that in the Japanese Diet, they were rethinking their pacificst stance.

People can turn it around, I suppose. Look at the top 3, and 4 out of the top 10 - The land of the Viking raiders.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine - "From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord."

crystal said...

William, thanks for the game :)