Foreign Policy Blogs

Arab Spring makes its impact felt in 2011 Global Peace Index

The world has become less peaceful in 2011, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI). This is the third consecutive year that the GPI, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has shown a decline in the levels of world peace.

The 2011 Index dramatically reflects the impact on national rankings of the Arab Spring.  Libya (143) saw the most significant drop – falling 83 places; Bahrain (123) dropped by 51 places – the second largest margin; while Egypt (73) dropped 24 places.  The economic cost of this to the global economy was $8.12 trillion in the past year.

The GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. It gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarisation in 153 countries by taking into account 23 separate indicators. According to Steve Killelea, founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP “the fall in this year’s Index is strongly tied to conflict between citizens and their governments; nations need to look at new ways of creating stability other than through military force”. Killelea continued “despite a decade-long war on terrorism, the potential for terrorist acts has increased this year offsetting small gains made in prior years”.

Unrest caused by economic instability also led to falls in levels of peacefulness in Greece (65), Italy (45), Spain (28), Portugal (17) and Ireland (11).


•    Libya tumbles 83 spots in rankings, largest ever fall in GPI history
•    Iceland bounces back from economic woes to top ranking
•    Somalia displaces Iraq as world’s least peaceful nation with Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region least at peace
•    Violence cost the global economy more than $8.12 trillion in 2010
•    US peacefulness shows minimal change
•    Western Europe remains the most peaceful region