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The Economist: The world is more stable than the news suggests
But fragility increased in some unexpected places last year according to a new index
2016 was a dismal year for liberal internationalism. Britain voted to leave the European Union; Donald Trump was elected as America’s president and the grip of authoritarians tightened in China, Russia and Turkey. Despite all efforts to dissuade it, North Korea continued its march towards nuclear-power status; bloody wars continued in South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It might seem obvious, then, that it was a year in which the world became less stable.
But a new index of global “fragility” by the Fund for Peace (FfP), a think-tank, suggests that, overall, it did not. Since 2005 the FfP has measured the stability of 178 countries by combining three different types of information. First, its researchers scour 40m-50m English-language articles from 10,000 sources to find evidence of fragility, from landslides to displaced people. Second, they use quantitative data from multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and the IMF. Finally, experts sense-check the result to ensure that each country’s score aligns with expectations. In total, 100 measures are blended into 12 indicators of fragility, from “group grievances” to the quality of public services.
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WNU Editor: Yes .... the world is more stable than what the news suggests .... and definitely when viewed from a historical perspective. But there are some very serious trouble spots becoming more and more evident with Venezuela, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan being on the top of my list.