• very high100%
  • high100% -75%
  • medium75% - 50%
  • low50% - 25%
  • very low< 25%
  • no data available
  • UN interim administration
  • multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement
  • peacebuilding and peacekeeping
  • multi-dimensional peacebuilding
  • peacebuilding
  • peacekeeping
  • no data available
1948 2014
peacebuilding
peacekeeping
multi-dimensional peacebuilding
UN interim administration
no data
peacebuilding, peacekeeping
peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding
multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement
peacebuilding, UN interim administration
peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement
multi-dimensional peacebuilding, UN interim administration
peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding, UN interim administration
peacekeeping, UN interim administration
  • EU
  • OSCE
  • NATO
  • others
  • no conflicts or no data available
  • EU
  • NATO
  • OSCE
  • UN
  • others
  • very high1,000
  • high1,000 - 250
  • medium250 - 80
  • low80 - 15
  • very low< 15
  • no data available
  • very high> 0.5
  • high0.5 - 0.2
  • medium0.2 - 0.06
  • low0.06 - 0.01
  • very low< 0.01
  • no data available
  • all
  • no data available
  • carried out
  • no data available
  • very high> 75,000
  • high75,000 - 40,000
  • medium40,000 - 25,000
  • low25,000 - 8,000
  • very low8,000 - 0
  • no data available
  • internationalised intra-state conflicts
  • inter-state
  • intra-state
  • extra-state/-systemic violent conflicts
1946 2014
  • internationalised intra-state
  • inter-state
  • intra-state
  • non state
  • very high> 2
  • high2 - 0.5
  • medium0.5 - 0.3
  • low0.3 - 0.1
  • very low< 0.1
  • no data available
  • very high> 20
  • high20 - 15
  • medium15 - 10
  • low10 - 5
  • very low< 5
  • no conflicts or no data available
  • affected state
  • affected state
  • very high> 25
  • high25 - 10
  • medium10 - 5
  • low5 - 1
  • very low< 1
  • no data available
  • very high> 150
  • high150 - 60
  • medium60 - 30
  • low30 - 10
  • very low< 10
  • no data available
  • permitted
  • not imposed for more than 10 years
  • permitted, only imposed by military or under exceptional circumstances
  • no death penalty
  • high> 50
  • medium49 - 1
  • none
  • very high5
  • high4
  • medium3
  • low2
  • very low1
  • no data available
  • very high> 6
  • high6 - 4
  • low4 - 2
  • very low< 2
  • no data available
  • very high> 5
  • high5 - 0
  • medium
  • low0 - -5
  • very low< -5
  • no data available
  • very high> 0.785
  • high0.785 - 0.698
  • medium0.698 - 0.520
  • low< 0.520
  • no data available
  • very high> 60
  • high60 - 50
  • medium50 - 40
  • low40 - 30
  • very low< 30
  • no data available
  • not respected
  • restricted
  • generally respected
  • no data available
  • very high> 80%
  • high80 - 60%
  • medium60 - 40%
  • low40 - 20%
  • very low< 20%
  • no data available
  • affected state
  • contested area
  • very high> 5.2 bn
  • high5.2 - 1.6 bn
  • medium1.6 - 0.43 bn
  • low0.43 - 0.12 bn
  • very low< 0.12 bn
  • no data available
  • very high> 3
  • high3 - 2
  • medium2 - 1.5
  • low1.5 - 1
  • very low< 1
  • no data available
  • very high> 60
  • high60 - 45
  • medium45 - 30
  • low30 - 15
  • very low< 15
  • no data available
  • very high> 750,000
  • high750,000 - 375,000
  • medium375,000 - 100,000
  • low100,000 - 25,000
  • very low< 25,000
  • Null
  • no data available
  • very high> 100,000,000
  • high100,000,000 - 100,000
  • medium100,000 - 50,000
  • low50,000 - 10,000
  • very low< 10,000
  • no data available
  • very high> 80
  • high80 - 50
  • medium50 - 30
  • low30 - 20
  • very low< 20
  • no data available
  • very high> 215
  • high215 - 60
  • medium60 - 24
  • low24 - 9
  • very low< 9
  • no data available
  • very high> 26
  • high26 - 11
  • medium11 - 6
  • low6 - 2
  • very low< 2
  • no data available
  • very high> 2
  • high2 - 1
  • medium1 - 0.5
  • low0.5 - 0.3
  • very low< 0.3
  • no data available
  • very high> 2
  • high2 - 0.7
  • medium0.7 - 0.3
  • low0.3 - 0.1
  • very low< 0.1
  • no data available
  • very high> 2,650
  • high2,650 - 1,100
  • medium1,100 - 400
  • low400 - 90
  • very low< 90
  • no data available
  • very high> 800
  • high800 - 600
  • medium600 - 400
  • low400 - 200
  • very low< 200
  • no data available
  • very high> 20
  • high20 - 15
  • medium15 - 10
  • low10 - 5
  • very low< 5
  • no data available
  • very high
  • high
  • medium
  • low
  • no data available
  • very high> 30 mil
  • high30 - 8.5 mil
  • medium8.5 - 1.5 mil
  • low1.5 mil - 85,000
  • very low< 85,000
  • no data available
  • very high> 700
  • high700 - 170
  • medium170 - 45
  • low45 - 15
  • very low< 15
  • no data available
  • very high> 410
  • high410 - 160
  • medium160 - 55
  • low55 - 20
  • very low< 20
  • no data available

Peace and demobilisation

Which country has been peaceful the longest? What are peace missions and how many are there? Which country provides the most troops for peace missions? What multi-national deployments has Germany participated in? Where have disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) measures taken place?

Besides answers to these questions, this module on “Peace and Demobilisation” presents further information on the topics of peace and peace missions as well as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR).

This first topic, peace and peace missions, explains why the United Nations conducts peace missions and on what basis. It also sheds light on peace missions of other actors, such as the OSCE.

The second topic of this module – DDR – elaborates on a widely used and important process towards achieving peace. DDR measures are financed by various actors, such as the United Nations and national ministries. The process of reintegration is particularly difficult, especially if former fighters know nothing but how to fight and do not have any civilian skills or knowledge that would allow them to earn a peaceful income.

Peace missions

Peace missions are defined as multilateral peace operations that have been launched to help stabilise societies after an external or internal violent conflict, to maintain peace or to build the foundations for a durable peace. Read more

Peace missions have come to public attention through the deployment of UN peace operations. The actors in these peace missions are diverse. According to calculations of the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI, 52 peace missions were conducted in 2010 of which 19 were led by the United Nations, 12 by the European Union, seven by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and three by NATO. The mission, mandate, composition and dimension of peace operations differ greatly. Many are political support operations. Within these operations, some are purely ‘observer’ missions, while others support the build-up of security forces (police or army). Usually peace missions are multidimensional operations, meaning they include military and civilian actors who are responsible for a range of different activities: political, social, cultural and security-related, for example.

According to the UN Charter, the most important task of the UN Security Council is to keep or re-establish peace. This is why, in general, the Security Council decides on and implements them or they are led by other international organisations but with a mandate by the Security Council. The basic principles of such missions are: Impartiality, deployment only with the consent of the host government, and a use of force that is mainly restricted to self-defence.

Besides these types of political peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations, there are also peace enforcing missions. These missions do not require the consent of the respective governments. This is why the UN very rarely decides to carry out such missions.

Wars, such as the NATO intervention in Serbia/ Kosovo in 1999 or the war led by the United States and some of their allies to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003 are not recognised as “peace missions.” Coalitions of states initiated these wars without authorisation by the Security Council even if they were justified by the argument that peace could only be safeguarded by these means. Only after these wars had found some sort of closure were UN peace missions established in these countries as quasi ‘post-operative’ measures.

Political peacebuilding missions

Political peacebuilding missions differ from peacekeeping missions mainly due to the small role of the military in peacebuilding activities. Such missions are often important before and during peace negotiations between conflict parties. Sometimes, after successful negotiations, they are replaced by peacekeeping missions.

According to SIPRI, the United Nations maintained five such missions in 2010 with a total of 1200 staff, including a mere 200 soldiers. The largest political peacebuilding mission of the European Union is still ongoing and started in 2008 in Kosovo. With about 1650 international staff, amongst them approx. 1100 police officers, EULEX Kosovo is to help develop rule of law structures and practices.

Peacekeeping missions

The most well-known peacekeepers are the so-called Blue Helmets—soldiers that serve in UN-led missions. In 1988, their received the Peace Nobel Prize.

The first UN peacekeeping mission was the “UN Truce Supervision Organization” that was established after the first Arab–Israeli war in 1948. It is still ongoing and consisted of 149 observers in 2011.

Since 1946, the UN has carried out 66 peacekeeping operations in total. Until the end of the Cold War, only 13 missions were established. Between 1988 and 1995, on the contrary, 26 operations were initiated. The number of Blue Helmets increased during that time from 10,000 to about 80,000. Along with this went a massive broadening of tasks. Building-up state institutions, monitoring elections, and addressing the causes of conflicts were increasingly added to the original tasks of monitoring a ceasefire and the implementation of peace agreements. The Blue Helmets also were given so-called robust mandates, which provides the soldiers with permission to use military violence not only for self-defence but also to enforce their mandate—for instance, for the protection of the civilians.

After a phase of disillusionment and restraint towards the end of the 1990s, the number and dimension of UN peacekeeping missions increased markedly after the year 2000. In 2011, UN peacekeeping missions consisted of a good 120,000 persons, amongst them about 85,000 soldiers and 14,000 police officers.

The United Nations often delegate peacekeeping missions with a strong military component to other actors, such as NATO. In December 2001 accordingly, the United Nations tasked the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, to support the new Afghan government in securing peace in the country. This government was appointed after the expulsion of the Taliban by the US-led military coalition. In 2011, ISAF consisted of 140,000 soldiers. Even though this deployment can be considered a ‘war’, it is generally viewed as a peacekeeping activity.

Costs of peace missions

The participation in peace operations are paid by the respective organisations that lead the missions according to their regulations. Costs for NATO troops in Afghanistan, for instance, are paid for by the deploying states. UN peace missions are financed by UN member states according to a special allocation formula. States that deploy soldiers and materials receive compensation payments – US $1,028 for each Blue Helmet.

Origin of Blue Helmets

In 2011, more than 100 countries participated in UN peace missions. The largest numbers of Blue Helmets are from Bangladesh and Pakistan with 10,600 soldiers respectively, followed by India (8,400) and Nigeria (5,800). The participation of developed industrial countries is minimal. If we were to include the NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, both mandated by the UN, the United States deploy by far the most troops (90,000).

Problems and criticism

The results of peace missions are mixed. While in many cases, the missions made it possible to contain a violent conflict, they often still did not succeed in fostering a sustainable peace. UN peacekeeping activities hit rock bottom in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina; when the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis began in 1994, the UN Security Council pulled the majority of its Blue Helmets out of the country. Only a year later in 1995, Blue Helmets did not prevent the killing of 8,000 people in Srebrenica, Bosnia Herzegovina.

One of the reasons for such mixed results of peace missions are the particular interests of large states, in particular those of the five veto powers of the United Nations (Russia, China, United States, United Kingdom and France). Unclear mandates and bad equipment are repeatedly a challenge to the Blue Helmets. The mission of the African Union, for instance, has been in need of a helicopter for years, but no country is prepared to make one available. Also, the challenge, or often futility of providing military solutions to civil wars has become extremely apparent in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo . Hopes of being able to safeguard human rights while also building up democratic structures have been often proven difficult if not impossible in some cases.

Sources and further information:

Current UN missions

According to the UN Charter, the most important task of the UN Security Council is to keep or re-establish peace. This is why, in general, the Security Council decides on and implements peace missions or these missions are led by other international organisations but with a mandate by the Security Council. The basic principles of such missions are: Impartiality, deployment only with the consent of the host government, and a use of force that is mainly restricted to self-defence. 32 peace missions were conducted in 2010 of which 25 were peacebuilding and/or peacekeeping missions. UN missions for 2010 are classified in six categories:

  • peacebuilding,
  • peacekeeping,
  • peacebuilding and peacekeeping,
  • multi-dimensional peacebuilding,
  • multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement,
  • UN-transitional administration.

Current missions of other actors

Peace missions have come to public attention through the deployment of UN peace operations. Meanwhile, the actors have become diverse. In total, 52 peace missions were conducted in 2010, amongst them 12 by the European Union, 7 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), three led by NATO and 13 of other actors besides the United Nations. The mission, mandate, composition and dimension of peace operations differ greatly. Many are political support operations. Some are purely observer missions, while others support the build-up of security forces (police or army). Part of a peace mission has primarily military components. Often, peace missions are multidimensional operations.

Times of peace

This map layer shows the number of years at peace between 1946 and 2014.

Times at peace refer as a percentage to the entire period and are shown in five categories. Participation in wars within one’s country as well as in other countries was taken into consideration. The underlying definition of war takes wars or conflicts into account in which at least one state is party to the conflict and in which more than 25 persons have been killed due to fighting.

For presentation sake, the number of years with a participation in war were added up and subtracted from the period under review (sum of all years minus sum of participation in war).

Sources: UCDP 2015, PRIO 2015

Infotext

This map layer presents the percentage of peacetime between 1946 and 2014.

Example of how to read the map:

Between 1946 and 2014, the ratio of Germany not participating in any war amounts to 78 percent; therefore Germany was peaceful.

Sources:

  • UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program) and PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

UCDP and PRIO publish the Armed Conflict Dataset on an annual basis. This dataset shows the participation of countries in wars. The dataset is based on a definition of war or conflict where there is at least one state actor, and in which more than 25 persons have died as a result of armed fighting.

Links:

Current UN missions

This map layer presents the current UN ‘peace missions’ for 2015, classified in six categories (peacebuilding, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding, multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement, UN-transitional administration).

By combining the sources UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) and UN DPA (United Nations Department of Political Affairs) it was possible to create a nearly complete data set with all UN missions. Differences between the individual sources were solved on the basis of further research.

Sources: UN DPKO 2015, UN DPA 2015

Infotext

This map layer presents the current UN ‘peace missions’ for 2015, classified in six categories (peacebuilding, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding, multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement, UN-transitional administration).

Example of how to read the map:

Currently there is a UN Peace Enforcement Mission in South Sudan, the so-called. UNMISS (UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan). This mission has 14,342 staff members.

The shown graph shows the longest-ongoing UN missions in years (up to 31 March 2015).

Sources:

  • UN DPA (United Nations Department of Political Affairs)

    The UN DPA co-ordinates and administers political operations and peacebuilding support offices that work towards conflict prevention, measures to promote peace and post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa, Central Asia and in the Middle East. It lists data on current peace operations under the aegis of the DPA.

  • UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations)

    On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the DPKO leads the peace forces of Member Countries during monitoring missions and peace operations. On the websites of UN DPKO one can find data on past and current peace operations.

Links:

Missions with UN mandate

This map layer line presents the timeline of UN-mandated missions for the years 1946 to 2014, classified in 13 categories, which is a combination of the categories peacebuilding, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding, multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement, UN transitional administration.

By combining the sources UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) and UN DPA (United Nations Department of Political Affairs) and CIC (New York University Center on International Cooperation) it was possible to create a nearly complete data set with all UN missions. Differences between the individual sources were solved on the basis of further research.

Sources: UN DPA 2015, UN DPKO 2015, CIC 2013

Infotext

This map layer line presents the timeline of UN-mandated missions for the years 1946 to 2014, classified in 13 categories, which is a combination of the categories peacebuilding, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, multi-dimensional peacebuilding, multi-dimensional peacebuilding and peace enforcement, UN transitional administration.

Example of how to read the map:

Slider position: year 1997: In 1997, there were three multidimensional peacebuilding missions, namely UNSMIH, UNTMIH and MIPONUH.

The shown graph shows the longest-ongoing UN missions in years (up to 31 March 2015).

Sources:

  • UN DPA (United Nations Department of Political Affairs)

    The UN DPA co-ordinates and administers political operations and peacebuilding support offices that work towards conflict prevention, measures to promote peace and post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa, Central Asia and in the Middle East. It lists data on current peace operations under the aegis of the DPA.

  • UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations)

    On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the DPKO leads the peace forces of Member Countries during monitoring missions and peace operations. On the websites of UN DPKO one can find data on past and current peace operations.

  • CIC (New York University Center on International Cooperation)

    The CIC is affiliated with the University of New York. In close co-operation with the United Nations, the CIC gives an overview of peace operations worldwide on an annual basis. In 2013, it published a review of Political Missions that gives an overview of civilian deployments of various actors.

Links:

Current missions of other actors

This map layer presents the current peace missions of transnational alliances, except the United Nations, classified in four categories according to actors. Both data sources ZIF (Center for International Peace Operations) und CIC (New York University Center on International Cooperation) have been combined to be able to present as broad a spectrum of missions as possible. The four categories are the organisations European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and “others”.

Sources: ZIF 2014, CIC 2013

Infotext

This map layer presents the current peace missions of transnational alliances, except the United Nations, classified in four categories according to actors.

Example of how to read the map:

In Afghanistan, currently there are three non-UN but EU-and NATO-mandated peace missions.

Sources:

  • ZIF (Center for International Peace Operations)

    “ZIF is tasked with strengthening civilian capacities for crisis prevention, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.”

  • CIC (New York University Center on International Cooperation)

    The CIC is affiliated with the University of New York. In close co-operation with the United Nations, the CIC gives an overview of peace operations worldwide on an annual basis. In 2013, it published a review of Political Missions that gives an overview of civilian deployments of various actors.

Links:

German participation in missions

This map layer presents the German participation in current missions classified into five categories of actors.

The colour of the pie charts shows who carries out the missions. The combination of UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) and ZIF (Center for International Peace Operations) allows an overview of the German personnel in missions of various actors.

Sources: UN DPKO, ZIF 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the German participation in current missions classified into five categories of actors.

The colour of the pie charts shows who carries out the missions.

Example of how to read the map:

Currently 29 German soldiers are deployed in Ukraine. These soldiers participate in EU- and OSCE-missions.

The graph shows the current number of German personnel deployed in a mission country.

Sources:

  • UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations)

    On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the DPKO leads the peace forces of Member Countries during monitoring missions and peace operations. On the websites of UN DPKO one can find data on past and current peace operations.

    Due to major changes in personnel, the United Nations publish monthly updated data. Data on personnel by the UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) indicate the total number of personnel (police, military and military experts) provided by the respective countries for UN missions.

  • ZIF (Center for International Peace Operations)

    “ZIF is tasked with strengthening civilian capacities for crisis prevention, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.”

    The combination of UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) and ZIF (Center for International Peace Operations) allows an overview of the German personnel in missions of various actors.

Links:

Quota of participating countries in UN missions

This map layer presents the current (as at 30 April 2015) personnel of countries participating in UN missions, classified in five categories.

Due to major changes in personnel, the United Nations publish monthly updated data. Data on personnel by the UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) indicate the total number of personnel (police, military and military experts) provided by the respective countries for UN missions.

Sources: UN DPKO

Infotext

This map layer presents the current (as at 30 April 2015) personnel of countries participating in UN missions, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

Currently, India has made available 8,112 staff for UN missions.

The graph shows the Top 10 countries with the highest number of staff deployed in UN missions (as per 30 April 2015).

Sources:

  • UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations)

    On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the DPKO leads the peace forces of Member Countries during monitoring missions and peace operations. On the websites of UN DPKO one can find data on past and current peace operations.

    Due to major changes in personnel, the United Nations publish monthly updated data. Data on personnel by the UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) indicate the total number of personnel (police, military and military experts) provided by the respective countries for UN missions.

Links:

Number of “Blue Helmets” per 10,000 inhabitants

This map layer presents the number of “Blue Helmets” per 10,000 inhabitants that a country makes available for UN missions, classified in five categories.

Data provided by UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) were only evaluated according to military personnel and set in relation with the numbers of inhabitants provided by the World Bank.

Sources: UN DPKO 2015, The World Bank 2015

Infotext

This map layer presents the number of “Blue Helmets” per 10,000 inhabitants that a country makes available for UN missions, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2015, Nepal has made available 1.57 soldiers per 10,000 inhabitants to the United Nations.

Sources:

  • UN DPKO (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations)

    On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the DPKO leads the peace forces of Member Countries during monitoring missions and peace operations. On the websites of UN DPKO one can find data on past and current peace operations.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank, located in Washington, supports developing countries all over the world by financial and technical means. It focus lies in combating poverty in a sustainable manner through further training activities and advisory services. The World Bank has 188 members and is divided in five institutions. It obtains its data indicators on the population from the United Nations. United Nations estimates are based on the latest official census, as not all governments update their figures each year. It takes into account the birth and death rates as well as international migration.

Links:

Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR)

Following the end of an armed conflict, the international community is often needed to support the stabilisation and reconstruction of the affected country(-ies). An important aspect of this support is to deploy a United Nations peacekeeping or observation missions to ensure that all parties to the conflict respect their commitments to end armed conflict. Read more On behalf of the UN Secretary General, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), which was founded in 1992, is responsible for leading such missions, which are composed of armed soldiers from various UN Member States. Part of the mandate of UN peacekeeping missions is often the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants—DDR. The United Nations Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Resource Centre (UNDDR) currently conducts country missions in Africa (Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda), in the Asia–Pacific region (Afghanistan, Nepal and Solomon Islands) as well as in Central America (Haiti).

What is DDR?

DDR is a process in which men, women and children who participating in a fighting force are formally disbanded from this force and return to civilian life and employment. Depending on the country and the conflict, DDR varies from one context to another. In order for DDR to be successful, the process must therefore consider and be implemented according to the local context, which includes an understanding of the country and its people, the (conflict) history, the culture and the local economy. If any of this knowledge is missing, DDR is unlikely to succeed.

What does DDR mean in detail?

Disarmament: This is usually the first step in a DDR process, where the fighters relinquish their arms, mostly in specially prepared centres, such as camps. It must be said, though, that disarmament alone does not automatically create safety. It can also contribute to a worsening of the security situation, for instance when the credibility of the armistice or peace agreement is questioned or when disarmament is not voluntary and is carried out under great duress.

Demobilisation: Demobilisation is the formal release of fighters and the dissolution of a fighting force – be it a professional army or a rebel force. Often, a formal document seals the transition from military to civilian life. This, however, is only the beginning of a much longer process that first and foremost has to be completed in the minds of those affected. During the demobilisation process, former fighters often receive medical or psychological treatment as well as support with everyday necessities, such as food, shelter and clothing. Demobilisation officials hold individual talks with former combatants and collect their data with the overall aim to learn what each former combatant would like to do once demobilised, whether they are interested in any of the skills training courses offered via the DDR programme, and where he/she wants to settle down

Reintegration: The final step is reintegration. Reintegration is a medium- to long-term process that includes the provision of training to former combatants, income generation opportunities, and cash payments. All of this serves to increase the potential of former combatants and their families to integrate back into economic and social life. Socio-economic reintegration is a very challenging and difficult path. Economic structures in post-conflict countries are often weak due to destroyed infrastructure from the armed conflict, which caused economic development to come to a standstill. What is more, some fighters are socially stigmatised because they committed atrocities against the civilian population during the armed conflict. Reintegration is particularly difficult when former fighters have learnt nothing but fighting and do not have any civilian skills or knowledge which might permit them to gain a sustainable income based on a peaceful activity.

Therefore, socio-economic reintegration deals with:

  • physical and psychological health,
  • adaptation to and integration in civilian life ,
  • finding a job and generating income,
  • gaining recognition and receiving social status.

Political reintegration focuses on access to political processes that also include developing an informed opinion of one’s own. It is not only about elections but mainly about participation in societal processes such as political party work, participation in civil society or in different decision-making processes in society.

Hence, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration is by no means a simple sequence of technical steps that former combatants have to take. DDR is a political process with many connections to areas such as:

  • security sector reform,
  • creation of security and stability in the country,
  • economic (re-)construction of the country,
  • reconciliation processes,
  • fight against HIV / AIDS,
  • political adjustment processes,
  • cultural issues regarding the possession of weapons (militarised manhood),
  • having to deal with groups that are not interested in peace.

What does DDR cost?

The participation of one person in a DDR process in 2006 cost on average approx. Euro 1,200 (Caramés, 2009). This amount is by no means paid out to the participant but denotes the costs of a DDR programme per person. It is made up of in-kind benefits or costs for schooling and further training. In light of the generally low per capita income of most countries where DDR processes are currently taking place, this average is remarkably high. Examples from 2008 (Caramés & Sanz, 2009) underline this: the DDR process in Angola (from 2003 to 2009) amounted to euro 181,000,000 for 138,000 participants; the DDR process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2005 to 2008) cost euro 18,400,000 for 30,000 participants.

Total costs of such a DDR process can be broken down, depending on the origin of the funds into:

  1. Costs of the UN mission,
  2. Costs of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) or World Bank for reintegration,
  3. Costs incurred to the national government (personnel of the reintegration office, etc.)

In the past decade, the character of DDR has changed dramatically. While DDR during the Cold War focussed on the disarmament and demobilisation of state armies, it became part of transformation processes from conflict to peace in the 1990s. Even though classic peacekeeping and monitoring missions still exist, UN missions today represent more complex state-building and -stabilisation processes in which DDR is only a part.

In the following info texts, some examples of DDR are presented.

Sources and further information:

What is reintegration?

Socio-economic reintegration is a very challenging and difficult path. Economic structures in post-conflict countries are often weak due to destroyed infrastructure from the armed conflict, which caused economic development to come to a standstill. What is more, some fighters are socially stigmatised because they committed atrocities against the civilian population during the armed conflict. Reintegration is particularly difficult when former fighters have learnt nothing but fighting and do not have any civilian skills or knowledge which might permit them to gain a sustainable income based on a peaceful activity.

This is why first and foremost, further education and training measures must be taken. Furthermore, it is also about physical and psychological health, adaptation to and integration in civilian life, finding a job and generating income as well as gaining recognition and receiving social status.

Current DDR activities

This map layer shows the countries in which currently disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) activities are taking place. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

DDR is an integral part of peace missions. Through DDR, men, women and children who participated in a fighting forces in military structures in an armed conflict are formally disbanded from this force and return to civilian life and, particularly, civilian employment.

DDR activities are a precondition for sustainable security when an armed conflict has come to an end. They often last for many years and are closely connected with reforms in other areas, such as politics, education and health.

Sources: BICC 2015, UNDP 2015, diverse other sources 2015

Infotext

This map layer shows the countries in which currently disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) activities are taking place. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

Example of how to read the map:

In Sudan, currently the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants is taking place.

The graphs show the number of DDR activities per region since 1990 and the costs for DDR activities of a country in millions of US dollars.

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies.

    BICC has been supporting the DDR programme in South Sudan since 2009. On the basis of this expertise, it also helps other African countries to implement DDR programmes. The disarmament of former combatants is the first step on a long journey towards reintegration. This is why BICC provides support to a number of African countries in developing measures for a secure stockpiling and marking of small arms and light weapons.

  • UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

    UNDP collects reports on finished projects for information management, planning, evaluation, results- and knowledge management. This includes DDR activities that were supported by UNDP. On its website, these reports can be searched systematically.

    All information presented have been collected manually, complemented and verified by a number of other sources.

Links:

DDR activities since 1990

This map layer presents DDR activities since 1990. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

DDR is an integral part of peace missions. Through DDR, men, women and children who participated in a fighting forces in military structures in an armed conflict are formally disbanded from this force and return to civilian life and, particularly, civilian employment.

DDR activities are a precondition for sustainable security when an armed conflict has come to an end. They often last for many years and are closely connected with reforms in other areas, such as politics, education and health.

Sources: UNDP 2013, diverse other sources 2015

Infotext

This map layer presents DDR activities since 1990. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

Example of how to read the map:

In Columbia, DDR activities have been ongoing since 1990.

The graph shows the costs of DDR activities of a country in millions of US dollars since 1990.

Sources:

  • UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

    UNDP collects reports on finished projects for information management, planning, evaluation, results- and knowledge management. This includes DDR activities that were supported by UNDP. On its website, these reports can be searched systematically.

    All information presented have been collected manually, complemented and verified by a number of other sources.

Links:

Number of demobilised combatants

This map layer presents the number of combatants demobilised in the course of DDR activities in a respective country, classified in five categories. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

DDR is an integral part of peace missions. Through DDR, men, women and children who participated in fighting forces in military structures in an armed conflict are formally disbanded from this force and return to civilian life and, particularly, civilian employment

DDR activities are a precondition for sustainable security when an armed conflict has come to an end. They often last for many years and are closely connected with reforms in other areas, such as politics, education and health.

Sources: UNDP 2013, diverse other sources 2013

Infotext

This map layer presents the number of combatants demobilised in the course of DDR activities in a respective country, classified in five categories. The main data source for this layer is from UNDP, complemented by various other data sources.

Example of how to read the map:

In Uganda, so far 16,256 former combatants have been demobilised in a DDR activity.

The presented graph shows the Top 5 countries with the highest numbers of demobilised combatants per country (in thousand).

Sources:

  • UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

    UNDP collects reports on finished projects for information management, planning, evaluation, results- and knowledge management. This includes DDR activities that were supported by UNDP. On its website, these reports can be searched systematically.

    All information presented have been collected manually, complemented and verified by a number of other sources.

Links:

Violent conflicts and war

Overall violence presents itself as war and violent conflicts but also as violent crime. The module war and violent conflicts will shed light on these three aspects. Read more

War

What is war? A generally accepted broad definition is the following: War is a dispute between two or more organised groups, fought with systematic violence that lasts for a longer period of time. But, is that all? Who is waging war against whom? Where are they fighting? How long has this fighting been going on? And what is it really about?

In the early 19th and 20th century, scholars were able to clearly define war. At the time, they defined it as an armed conflict that follows the formal declaration of war by a state against another (or others). Locally, war used to take place at the borders between states. It was at the borders that states’ armies fought against each other on the battlefield. One side won, the other lost; the war was decided in a final battle: the victor was able to enforce his will against the looser. After that, peace reigned—at least until the next diplomatic dispatch arrived containing a declaration of war.

Even though this idea of war is still popular today, it is, and was even then, far from the reality of organised and systematic violence between groups. If indeed there has ever been such a ‘clear cut’ war, it was more of a historic exception rather than the rule. In the Middle Ages in Europe, organised violent conflicts were an omnipresent experience. Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430) ascertained that peace (pax) was only to be expected in the afterlife. In the political reality of that time, the promise of peace was not much more than a utopian idea or rather a means of propaganda justifying renewed violence. Some group always waged war against one another, independent of fixed political and spacial concepts; a religious order called for a crusade, a group of mercenaries and bandits travelled through the country plundering, a small count waged war for decades against the neighbouring castle. Violence itself, just like collective violence, was not ‘banned’ to the border of society; it was always present around the corner.

Today’s expressions of violent conflicts, it seems, have more in common with the Middle Ages than with the 19th and 20th century idea of war. Wars are hardly formally declared. Indeed, states are often involved but are rarely the only relevant violent actors. The United States, for instance, employed private military and security companies on a large scale to attack Iraq in Spring 2003—and during the following war of occupation—representing the renaissance of a modern version of mercenary warfare seen in the 30-year war. Yet armed rebel groups, warlords, pirates and clandestine networks of jihadists are waiting for their turn. And indeed, in some present day wars, no state actor is directly involved as can be seen, for instance, in Latin America in the clashes between the private armies of large companies, powerful drug cartels or informal gangs. When cargo ships of private shipping lines, protected by heavily armed security personnel, have to defend themselves against the attack of pirates in the Horn of Africa, there probably won’t be any state representatives in sight.

Moreover, violent conflicts can hardly be located. This means that fighting is no longer confined to certain spaces, i.e. those border areas far from society. Since the nightly bombing raids of World War II, it has become clear that war can permeate society as a whole, strike at its very heart and take the lives of civilians and combatants alike. This observation remains true for today’s so-called asymmetric wars, which are violent conflicts between two radically unequal opponents (unequal in the sense of their capacities and resources). The high-tech armies of Western states hardly ever encounter their ‘match’ in open confrontation. From the attacks of 9/11 to the bombings in London and Madrid, to the booby traps and suicide bombers in Afghanistan and Iraq, opponents can attack at any time and in any place. The same is true for the drone attacks of the US military in Pakistan. As the front lines dissolve, the war disregards any geographical and chronological boundaries. The “war against terror” knows no end, there is no “decisive battle” as Clausewitz put forth. It is a potentially never ending state of emergency, a constant state of alert in view of a mostly invisible opponent.

The permanent feature of wars in society is a characteristic of violent conflicts in the global periphery that political scientists sometimes call “new wars”. Here, organised violence is often no longer a means to achieve a certain political goal, but rather a means in itself. In the so-called civil war economies of the South, wars are involved in complex accumulation processes that keep reproducing themselves. They mostly only come to an end when those immanent economic cycles are broken, i.e. when a war is no longer profitable.

Violent crime

“Drug wars” in Central and Latin America, gang wars in the United States and Great Britain, Mafia vendettas in Italy and Russia or new piracy in the world’s oceans—violent crime is a global phenomenon and at times claims high numbers of civilian victims. Violent crime worldwide is classified according to its different manifestations of violence, such as homicide, robbery, assault, kidnapping, rape, burglary, car theft or drug-related crime.

Further information can be found in the infotext on violent crime, which focusses on homicide and robbery.

State violence

In 2010, Amnesty International (ai) conducted a study on human rights violations worldwide in 157 countries and regions. State violence against its own citizens has many faces: it encompasses the unlawful limitation of freedom of speech, jailing of non-violent political prisoners, torture and other kinds of maltreatment, the death penalty, the refusal of fair trials and the pursuit of unfair trials, arbitrary arrests and the ‘disappearance’ of members of the opposition as well as physical and psychological intimidation such as death threats or the threat of torture. Further information can be found in the infotext on state violence.

Sources and further information:

What are violent conflicts and war?

A very general definition that most scientists will probably agree on is the following: War is a dispute between two or more organised groups, fought with systematic violence that lasts for a longer period of time. In the early 19th and 20th century, war was an armed conflict that follows the formal declaration of war by a state against another and that was decided in a final battle: the victor was able to enforce his will against the looser.

Today, there is hardly any formal declaration of war. Indeed, states are often involved, but are rarely the only relevant violent actors. And indeed, in some present day wars no state actor is directly involved and violent conflicts disregard any geographical and chronological boundaries. Today, so-called asymmetric wars, which are violent conflicts between two radically unequal opponents (unequal in the sense of their capacities and resources) are becoming more and more prominent.

Wars and violent conflicts

In this map layer, wars and violent conflicts of the year 2014 are classified in four categories.

A conflict can develop into a violent conflict and even a war. There are various criteria that help differentiate conflict from war. One of these criteria is a quantification of the number of victims of war, or the determination of certain features of conflict. This module is based on a definition of war where only wars or conflicts are taken into account in which at least one state is party to the conflict and in which more than 25 persons have been killed due to fighting. It also differentiates between four categories of war/violent conflict: extra-state/-systemic violent conflict (state against non-state actors beyond existing borders) inter-state (between two states), intra-state ( state against non-state actor within existing borders) and internationalised intra-state conflicts (state aided by other states against non-state actor within existing borders).

Sources: UCDP 2015, PRIO 2015

Infotext

In this map layer, wars and violent conflicts of the year 2014 are classified in four categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, an inter-state conflict/war took place in India.

The presented graph shows the number of wars and conflicts per region.

Sources:

  • UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program) and PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

    The UCDP and PRIO annually publish the Armed Conflict Dataset and the Battle-Related Deaths Dataset. These have been combined to localise wars and conflict. The underlying definition of war only recognises wars or conflicts in which at least one state is involved and which results in at least 25 battle-related deaths. They classify wars into extra state / extra systemic violent conflicts (state against non-state actor outside of existing borders), inter-state conflict (between two states) and intra-state (state against non-state actor within existing borders) and internationalised intra-state conflicts (state aided by other states against non-state actor within existing borders).

Links:

UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)

PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Timeline of wars

This map layer line presents the timeline of wars and conflicts for all available countries, classified in four categories for the years 1946 to 2014.

The underlying definition of war takes wars or conflicts into account in which at least one state is party to the conflict and in which more than 25 persons have been killed due to fighting. It also differentiates between four categories of war/violent conflict: extra-state/-systemic violent conflict (state against non-state actors outside of its own borders) inter-state (between two states), intra-state (state against non-state actor within its own borders) and internationalised intra-state conflicts (state aided by other states against non-state actor within its own borders).

Sources: UCDP 2015, PRIO 2015

Infotext

This map layer line presents the timeline of wars and conflicts for all available countries, classified in four categories for the years 1946 to 2014.

Example of how to read the map:

In 1946, an internationalised internal war took place in Iran.

Sources:

  • UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program) and PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

    The UCDP and PRIO annually publish the Armed Conflict Dataset and the Battle-Related Deaths Dataset. These have been combined to localise wars and conflict. The underlying definition of war only recognises wars or conflicts in which at least one state is involved and which results in at least 25 battle-related deaths. They classify wars into extra state / extra systemic violent conflicts (state against non-state actor outside of existing borders), inter-state conflict (between two states) and intra-state (state against non-state actor within existing borders) and internationalised intra-state conflicts (state aided by other states against non-state actor within existing borders).

Links:

UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)

PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Number of victims of war per 100,000 inhabitants

This map layer presents the intensity of conflicts in 2013 as ratio of victims of war per 100,000 inhabitants.

The data refer to acts of war that, according to the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset, are defined as war, i.e at least one state must be party to the conflict and more than 25 persons have died due to fighting. All direct casualties and those who died from wounds inflicted in that war are included in the statistics. All data have to be interpreted as guided values. One cannot exclude that those part of the conflict minimise their numbers of own casualties and exaggerate those of their opponent or report higher losses in their civilian population and less victims of their opponent to be able to officially justify the act of war and to influence public opinion and that of the media as to generate a higher readiness for war. A verification of the number of victims is often difficult and depends on the conflict country.

Sources: UCDP 2014, World Bank 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the intensity of conflicts in 2013 as ratio of victims of war per 100,000 inhabitants.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, 8.82 persons per 100,000 inhabitants were killed in Somalia due to conflicts and wars.

Sources:

  • UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)

    The UCDP annually publishes the Battle-Related Deaths Dataset with numbers of victims of war. The current dataset comprises data from 1989 to 2013, and they refer to violent conflict that, according to the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset is defined as war. A war is defined as at least one party to the conflict is a state, and the conflict results in at least 25 battle-related deaths. All direct victims as well as victims that have died from injuries sustained in a war are included in the statistics. All information is to be understood as guide values. It cannot be excluded that parties to the conflict play down their own losses in military personnel and, at the same time, blow up those of the opposite party or their losses of their own civilian population while minimising those of the opponent to generate an official justification for the war and to influence public opinion (media, increase readiness for war in the population). Depending on the country, a verification of the data is difficult.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank is based in Washington, DC. With financial and technical funds, it supports developing countries worldwide. Its focus is the sustainable fight against poverty by further training and advisory activities. The World Bank has got 188 members and consists of five institutions. It obtains its data on the population from the United Nations. As not all governments regularly present (accurate) data, the United Nations base their estimates on the latest official census, taking birth- and death rates as well as international migration into account.

Links:

Prevalence of conflict

This map layer presents the participation in conflicts between 1946 and 2013, classified in five categories.

The data refer to the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset and the total number of participations of a country in war. Only countries that were directly involved in a conflict have been taken into account. The underlying definition contains wars and conflicts in which at least one state was party to the conflict and more than 25 persons died due to fighting.

The graphics show the five countries who participated most frequently and the five who participated least frequently in conflicts between 1946 and 2013.

Sources: UCDP 2014, PRIO 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the participation in conflicts between 1946 and 2013, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

Between 1946 and 2013, China participated in 11 violent conflicts and wars.

The graphs presented show the five countries with the most and the five countries with the least participation in armed conflict for the years between 1946 and 2013.

Sources:

  • UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program) and PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

    The UCDP and PRIO annually publish the Armed Conflict Dataset. This is used to count the participation of countries that have been directly involved in conflicts. The underlying definition only considers wars and conflicts in which at least one party to the conflict is a state, and the conflict results in at least 25 battle-related deaths.

Links:

UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)

PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Child soldiers in conflicts

This map layer presents the countries where child soldiers took part in conflicts and wars between January 2010 and June 2012 (as at 2012).

The underlying definition of children is that of all persons who are younger than 18 years old. Child soldiers do not necessarily have to fight in the conflict carrying weapons but are also used as couriers, spies, sentries, cook, carriers, etc. Children who were trained and recruited before they turned 18 are also included in the data set.

Sources: Child Soldiers International 2012

Infotext

This map layer presents the countries where child soldiers took part in conflicts and wars between January 2010 and June 2012 (as at 2012).

Example of how to read the map:

In the DR Congo, children participated in violent conflicts as child soldiers.

Sources:

  • Child Soldiers International

    Child Soldiers International was established in 1998 to improve the available data and public perception of child soldiers in conflict situations. The underlying definition of children is that of persons under the age of 18. Children do not have to actively use weapons but can, either constantly or for a certain period of time work as courier, spy, guard, cook, messenger, carrier, etc. Children who were trained and recruited before they turned 18 are also included in the dataset.

Links:

Sexual violence in wars

This map layer shows those countries in which the use of sexual violence against the civilian population or soldiers either within or outside of its borders has been proven since the end of World War II until 2009.

Sexual violence is defined as 1) rape, 2) sex slavery, 3) enforced prostitution, 4) forced pregnancies, 5) forced abortions, - sterilisations, 6) sexual mutilations and 7) sexual torture.

Perpetrators are members of an armed group, either of state armed forces, rebel forces or paramilitary forces.

Sources: Bastick; Grimm; Kunz (2007), PRIO 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows those countries in which the use of sexual violence against the civilian population or soldiers either within or outside of its borders has been proven since the end of World War II until 2009.

Example of how to read the map:

Since the end of World War II rapes have been perpetrated within Russia’s borders during times of war.

Sources:

  • Bastick, Megan; Karin Grimm and Rahel Kunz (2007)

    The data are mostly based on the book „Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector“ by Megan Bastick, Karin Grimm and Rahel Kunz. BICC has complemented and updated the data on wartime rape from other sources. Due to the difficulty of obtaining reliable data on the use of sexual violence (rape) in wars and conflicts, this data set does not claim to be complete.

  • Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

    The Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) Data Set is the most current and complete data set presenting reports of conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated by armed forces (state armed forces, rebel groups or paramilitary forces) for 1989 to 2009. The data set contains information on incidences, group of perpetrators, victims, kind of sexual violence used, time and location of the reported incidences. The data for the SVAC data set have been supplied by the US State Department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Links:

What is violent crime?

Violent crime worldwide is characterised by different forms of the use of violence, which manifests itself as homicide, robberies, hold-ups, abductions, rape, burglaries, car theft or drug-related crime. This portal shows a global comparison of data on two kinds of violent crime, homicide and robberies.

The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations – HEUNI, defines these two acts of violent crime as follows:

  • Intentional homicide or homicide is defined as the intentional and inadmissible killing of a person by another;
  • Robbery is defined as theft of property from a person, overcoming resistance by force or threat of force.

Number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants

This map layer shows the number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants for the respectively most current year, classified in five categories.

In 2013, UNODC published the "Global Study on Homicide" based on the "UNODC Homicide Statistics dataset" updated in 2012. For its collection of data, UNODC defines homicide as the “unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person". Data on homicide serve as an indicator for the degree of national security. They are also used to compare violent crime on an international scale. Gaps in the data are due to the transfer of information of single countries with the respective data collection by the police and reports of citizens.

Complete data table

Sources: UNODC 2013

Infotext

This map layer shows the number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants for the respectively most current year, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In Honduras, 90,4 homicides were committed per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012.

The graph shows the ten countries with the highest homicide rates per 100,000 inhabitants.

Sources:

  • UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

In 2013, UNODC published the "Global Study on Homicide" based on the "UNODC Homicide Statistics dataset" updated in 2012. In the publication, the data on violence and crime to 2012 are discussed. All country data have been collected by queries to the police of the individual countries and then harmonised. Gaps in the data are due to the transfer of information of single countries with the respective data collection by the police and reports of citizens.

Links:

Number of robberies per 100,000 inhabitants

This map layer shows the number of robberies per 100,000 inhabitants of all available countries, classified in five categories for the most current year.

In 2013, HEUNI and UNODC published the study “International Statistics on Crime and Justice.” In the study, the authors discuss the existing data on violence and crime for 1995 to 2008; data issued in 3013 expand the time frame until 2012. All country data are collected through enquiries with the police of the respective countries and then standardised. Gaps in the data are due to the transfer of information of single countries with the respective data collection by the police and reports of citizens.

Complete data table

Sources: UNODC 2013

Infotext

This map layer shows the number of robberies per 100,000 inhabitants of all available countries, classified in five categories for the most current year.

Example of how to read the map:

In Spanien, 1074.9 robberies per 100,000 inhabitants were committed in 2012.

The graph shows the ten countries with the highest numbers of robberies per 100,000 inhabitants.

Sources:

  • UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

    On a regular basis, UNODC publishes global statistics on crime and criminal justice, on the drugs trade and prices, on drugs production and use. Member states are advised to gather data for an annual Criminal Trend Statistics - CTS and to pass this on to UNODC. Gaps in the data are due to the transfer of information of single countries with the respective data collection by the police and reports of citizens.

    In the study, robbery is defined as a “theft of property from a person, overcoming resistance by force or threat of force”. Robbery does not include extortion and pickpocketing.

Links:

What is state violence?

State violence has many faces. It encompasses the unlawful limitation of freedom of speech, jailing of non-violent political prisoners, torture and other kinds of maltreatment, the death penalty, the refusal of fair trials and the pursuit of unfair trials, arbitrary arrests and the ‘disappearance’ of members of the opposition as well as physical and psychological intimidation such as death threats or the threat of torture.

The victims of such state repression can be found amongst members of the political opposition, the media, opposite ethnic groups as well as competing societal or business interest groups. Depending on the prevailing state ideology and legal concept, violent attacks against freedom of speech and individual freedoms are also geared to those with different faiths or ‘infidels’. Often, threats from ‘outside’ are given as a reason why people are unlawfully persecuted ‘to protect the state’.

Death penalty

This map layer shows which countries allowed and practiced the death penalty in 2013, classified in four categories.

Amnesty International collects data on the probability of enforcement of the death penalty, the number of death penalties and the number of executions in individual countries. Only a few countries have and publish statistics on the number of death penalties and executions. A lot of data is either calculated or estimated by Amnesty International and published as minimum specification. This is why all data can only be used as guiding values.

Sources: Amnesty International 2013

Infotext

This map layer shows which countries allowed and practiced the death penalty in 2013, classified in four categories.

The graph shows the ten countries with the highest number of executions (in part based on estimates by Amnesty International) in 2013.

Example of how to read the map:

In the United States it was possible to impose the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 2013.

Sources:

  • Amnesty International

    Amnesty International collects data on the probability of enforcement of the death penalty, the number of death penalties and the number of executions in individual countries. Only a few countries have and publish statistics on the number of death penalties and executions. A lot of data is either calculated or estimated by Amnesty International and published as minimum specification. This is why all data can only be used as guiding values.

Links:

Torture

This map layer shows the frequency of torture in 2011, classified in three categories, for all available countries.

Based on the reports of the US State Department and Amnesty International, CIRI codes the occurrence of torture in three categories. The first category stands for ‘no torture‘ or no reported cases of torture. The second category consists of countries in which 1–49 cases of torture were reported or in which, according to the reports, torture happens occasionally. If more than 50 cases of torture were reported or if reports indicate frequent cases of torture, the country is put into the third category.

As torture is not officially documented or cannot officially be inflicted, data can only be used as guiding values; there are no established data to back this up.

Sources: CIRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the frequency of torture in 2011, classified in three categories, for all available countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In Saudi-Arabia, there were more than 50 cases of torture in 2011. It is recorded in which country torture took place and not by which state torture was committed or ordered.

Sources:

  • CIRI (Cingranelli-Richards)]

    The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights dataset documents how states deal with human rights, how they adhere to and disregard 15 different human rights worldwide for 1981 to 2011. Based on the reports of the US State Department and Amnesty International, CIRI codes the occurrence of torture in three categories. It records the country in which people are tortured rather than the state that tortured or ordered them to be tortured. Torture is defined as the intentional and targeted infliction of physical or psychological pain by state officials or civilian actors on state orders. As torture is not officially documented or cannot officially be inflicted, data can only be used as guiding values; there are no established data to back this up.

Links:

Amount of state violence against its citizens

This map layer shows the amount of state violence against its citizens with the help of the Political Terror Scale Index, classified in five categories, for the year 2013 in all available countries.

The PTS refers to extrajudicial killings, torture, abduction, political imprisonment and calculates its index on the basis of data from Amnesty International and the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The index values are grouped in five classes: Class 1, with values up to 1 signifies that a country is free and only infrequently imprisons people due to their opinion. Class 5, with a value of 5 signifies that a state oppresses its entire population and heads of state do everything to promote their own ideological and/or private interests and goals. All data have to be understood as guiding values; the corresponding country reports are a more detailed source of information on the country.

Sources: PTS 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the amount of state violence against its citizens with the help of the Political Terror Scale Index, classified in five categories, for the year 2013 in all available countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, Pakistan had the index value of 5,0. This means that in Pakistan, inhabitants are affected by state repression and that heads of state do everything in their power to enforce their ideological and private interests.

Sources:

  • PTS (Political Terror Scale)

    The PTS refers to extrajudicial killings, torture, abduction, political imprisonment and calculates its index on the basis of data from Amnesty International and the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The index values are grouped in five classes: Class 1, with values up to 1 signifies that a country is free and only infrequently imprisons people due to their opinion. Class 5, with a value of 5 signifies that a state oppresses its entire population and heads of state do everything to promote their own ideological and/or private interests and goals. All data have to be understood as guiding values; the corresponding country reports are a more detailed source of information on the country.

Links:

Adherance to the right to physical integrity

Based on the Physical Integrity Rights Index that is classified in four categories, this map layer shows the adherence to the right to physical integrity for 2011 in all available countries.

To be able to show data on the adherence to the right of physical integrity, Physical Integrity Rights Index is calculated. Physical integrity is a human right and contains the absence of torture, extrajudicial killings, political imprisonment and the disappearances of unwanted persons. The values of the index range from 0 to 8, with 8 representing a total adherence of that human right and 0 represents no adherence to the right to physical integrity.

Sources: CIRI 2014

Infotext

Based on the Physical Integrity Rights Index that is classified in four categories, this map layer shows the adherence to the right to physical integrity for 2011 in all available countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2011, Egypt had a Physical Integrity Rights Index of 0. This means that the Egyptian government did not adhere to the right to physical integrity.

Sources:

  • CIRI (Cingranelli-Richards)

    The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights dataset documents how states deal with human rights, how they adhere to and disregard 15 different human rights worldwide for 1981 to 2011. It calculates the Physical Integrity Rights Index to be able to show data on the adherence to the right of physical integrity. Physical integrity is a human right and contains the absence of torture, extrajudicial killings, political imprisonment and the disappearances of unwanted persons. The values of the index range from 0 to 8, with 8 representing a total adherence of that human right and 0 represents no adherence to the right to physical integrity.

Links:

Main causes of violent conflict

What is it that makes people wage war? Many people are ready to point the finger (too) quickly at some alleged basic ill that is responsible for all violent conflicts of the present and the past—be it religion, capitalism or the alleged aggressiveness, viciousness and greediness of human nature. Read more Yet, such an abridged explanation does not do justice to the complexity of the matter. Indeed, there is no easy answer to the question of the causes of war. Violent conflict can have many causes. In the history of humankind there is probably not one case where war was waged based on one single cause. The reasons that convince a group to suddenly enforce its goals using direct violence against another group are both multifaceted and complex.

To support this observation, BICC has developed a matrix that systematically clusters the different ideas and theses on causes of war. The matrix is based on a qualitative understanding of war as a process of the collective use of physical violence. There is a logical sequence of different cause categories for the outbreak of wars, and thus causal explanations have been allocated to these categories accordingly.

Inspired by the concept of a “grammar of war” developed by the Working Group for Research on the Causes of War (AKUF) at Hamburg University, five cause categories are allocated to the vertical axis of the conflict matrix:

  1. Structural contradiction. The assumption is that each war is based on a societal contradiction that can be established objectively. The exact contents of this contradiction, sometimes called “root causes”, remains open; it could thus be of a cultural, economic or political nature.
  2. Motivations and goals. On this level, affected actors perceive, interpret and evaluate given differences. Here, it is less about the objective structure but rather about the subjective targets of the parties embedded in this structure. In conflict studies, one often speaks of “motivation strategies” in this context.
  3. Catalysts before the outbreak of violence. According to AKUF, wars presuppose the “change in societal relations into behaviour.” Here, the subjective interpretation of the real contradiction manifests itself in the concrete actions of the affected actors as, taken in isolation, neither root causes nor mobilisation strategies can explain the transition from peaceful to violent conflict resolution patterns. A number of catalysts are required to cause the conflict parties to commit a “civilisational break,” hence to commit violence on a large scale.
  4. Trigger. The exact point in time of the outbreak of violence is often determined by a so-called trigger event. While this event can be directly connected to the root causes, it can also be totally removed from them.
  5. Catalysts after the outbreak of violence. Once a war has broken out, scale and intensity of the use of violence can be influenced by a number of factors—be it the resources and weapons available to the warring parties or the weather conditions, for instance.

The horizontal axis of the conflict matrix describes five functional dimensions — politics, economy and demography, culture, military / security, environment — each of which has an influence on the five cause categories described above.

The matrix is not about solving the partially tedious debates about whether resource wealth or a shortage of resources, greed or grievance, ethnicity or class plays the most important role with a one fits-all resolution. Rather, it aims to integrate different explanatory approaches into an overall model that can be adjusted to concrete cases, while taking into consideration the varying importance of individual conflict dimensions. The matrix thus treats all dimensions equally and does not reduce wars to a certain cause. It keeps the search for possible causes as open as possible.

In total, the BICC conflict matrix shows 25 causal complexes for violent action. Of course, one complex will not be as important as another in the different violent conflicts. The relevance of each individual complex will differ from war to war. This means that each violent conflict has its very own “map” showing the interplay of various different cause complexes.

Sources and further information:

Working Group for Research on the Causes of War (AKUF) an der Universität Hamburg

What are the causes of violence?

Violent conflict can have many causes. The reasons that make a group suddenly enforce its goals with direct violence against another group are both multifaceted and complex. To support this observation, BICC has developed an interactive matrix that systematically clusters the different ideas and theses on causes of war. The matrix is based on a qualitative understanding of war as a process of the collective use of physical violence.

The matrix combines five cause categories (structural contradiction, motivations and goals, catalysts before the outbreak of violence, trigger, catalysts after the outbreak of violence) with five functional dimensions (politics, economy and demography, culture, military / security, environment). In total, the BICC conflict matrix shows 25 cause complexes for violent action. Of course, one complex will not be as important as another in the different violent conflicts. The relevance of each individual complex will differ from war to war. This means that each violent conflict has its very own “map” showing the interplay of various different cause complexes.

Political system

This map layer shows the countries’ political systems in 2013 by way of an index that is classified in five categories.

Values between -10 and 6 represent autocracies, values between -5 and 5 for anocracies, and values higher than 6 represent democracies. The index value is calculated from six components, one of which is the selection of the executive officers or political competition.

Sources: CSP 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the countries’ political systems in 2013 by way of an index that is classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2012, Venezuela has an index value of 4. This shows that Venezuela is an anocracy with highly democratic features.

Sources:

  • CSP (Center for Systemic Peace)

    The CSP runs the Polity IV project, which codes political systems of countries with an index value between -10 and 10 for the years 1800 to 2013. Values between -10 and 6 represent autocracies, values between -5 and 5 for anocracies, and values higher than 6 represent democracies. The index value is calculated from six components, one of which is the selection of the executive officers or political competition.

Links:

Human Development Index

This map layer shows the human development of a country in 2013 by way of the Human Development Index, classified in four categories.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is used as a global indicator of wealth and shows ‘differences in development’. The Index is made up of various dimensions of human development: life expectancy, years of schooling and further education, education index and the gross national income. According to their index value, countries are assigned to one of the four classes: Very highly developed countries, highly developed countries, countries with medium human development, and countries with low human development.

Complete data table

Sources: UNDP 2014

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This map layer shows the human development of a country in 2013 by way of the Human Development Index, classified in four categories.

The two graphs below the map window show the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest Human Development Index for 2013.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2012, Mexico had a Human Development Index-value of 0.76 and is thus a country with a high human development.

Sources:

  • UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

    Since 1990, the UNDP publishes the annual Human Development Index (HDI). This is used as a global indicator of wealth and shows ‘differences in development.’ The Index is made up of various dimensions of human development: life expectancy, years of schooling and further education, education index and the gross national income. According to their index value, countries are assigned to one of the four classes: Very highly developed countries, highly developed countries, countries with medium human development, and countries with low human development.

Links:

Distribution of wealth

This map layer shows the distribution of wealth by way of the Gini-Coefficient of a country for the latest year (2012). The Gini-coefficient has been classified in five categories.

The Gini Coefficient (0 to 100) shows the equality (low levels) and the inequality (high levels) of distribution of wealth within a country. Raw data are household surveys in the countries or data from the World Bank country offices. Data for countries with a high income are taken from the Luxemburg Income Study database. As there is no constant global annual data set for the Gini coefficient, the values indicated mirror the data of the past 10 years. Data used to calculate the Gini coefficient were/are only collected and calculated for a share of all countries on a yearly basis.

Complete data table

Sources: World Bank 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the distribution of wealth by way of the Gini-Coefficient of a country for the latest year (2012). The Gini-coefficient has been classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2009, South Africa had a Gini coefficient of 63 and is thus a country in which wealth is distributed very unevenly.

The graph below the map shows the five countries in which wealth is most evenly distributed for the latest year available.

Sources:

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank publishes the Gini Coefficient on a yearly basis. This Index (0 to 100) shows the equality (low levels) and the inequality (high levels) of distribution of wealth within a country. Raw data are household surveys in the countries or data from the World Bank country offices. Data for countries with a high income are taken from the Luxemburg Income Study database. As there is no constant global annual data set for the Gini coefficient, the values indicated mirror the data of the past 10 years. Data used to calculate the Gini coefficient were/are only collected and calculated for a share of all countries on a yearly basis.

Links:

Participation in the political process

This map layer shows the degree of participation of the population in the political process of a country by way of an index value, classified in three categories, for 2011 and for all available countries.

The Electoral Self-Determination dataset in an annual index that describes the opportunities for co-determination of the population in political life and in elections. The Index differentiates between three classes of participation in the political process:

  • Not respected by the state; i.e. there are neither free nor fair elections; the right to self-determination is massively curtailed; governments regularly retaliate against citizens who claim or try to exercise that right.
  • Respected by the state to some degree, i.e. there are moderately free and fair elections; full execution of the statutory right of self-determination may be curtailed (example: intransparency of the election process).
  • Generally respected by the state, i.e. there are regular, free and fair elections; the citizens are legally entitled to the right of self-determination and can be fully exercised.

Sources: CIRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the degree of participation of the population in the political process of a country by way of an index value, classified in three categories, for 2011 and for all available countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2011, the right to self-determination by political participation was not granted by the government of Nigeria. There were no regular, free and fair elections through which the electorate could have influenced the country’s politics or changed (the composition of) the government. The Electoral Self-Determination dataset in an annual index that describes the opportunities for co-determination of the population in political life and in elections. The index consists of three classes: no participation in political life, limited participation in political life and generally accepted participation in political life with open elections.

Sources:

  • CIRI (Cingranelli-Richards)

    The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights dataset documents how states deal with human rights, how they adhere to and disregard 15 different human rights worldwide for 1981 to 2011. The Electoral Self-Determination dataset in an annual index that describes the opportunities for co-determination of the population in political life and in elections. The Index differentiates between three classes of participation in the political process:

  • Not respected by the state; i.e. there are neither free nor fair elections; the right to self-determination is massively curtailed; governments regularly retaliate against citizens who claim or try to exercise that right.
  • Respected by the state to some degree, i.e. there are moderately free and fair elections; full execution of the statutory right of self-determination may be curtailed (example: intransparency of the election process).
  • Generally respected by the state, i.e. there are regular, free and fair elections; the citizens are legally entitled to the right of self-determination and can be fully exercised.

Links:

Political participation of ethnic groups

This map layer shows the political participation of relevant ethnic groups of a country in 2010, classified in five categories.

The “Ethnic Power relations” dataset comprises all politically relevant ethnic main groups, differentiated between common linguistic, somatic and religious aspects, for 155 sovereign states from 1946 to 2010. Politically relevant means either that at least one actor active in political life (political organisation) claims to represent the political interests of an ethnic group or that members of single ethnic groups are systematically and purposefully discriminated against. The participation of ethnic groups are divided into those that participate in the political arena (monopoly, dominant, senior partner, junior partner) and those who do not (regional autonomy, powerless, discriminated).

Sources: ETH 2012

Infotext

This map layer shows the political participation of relevant ethnic groups of a country in 2010, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

China has 49 relevant ethnic groups of which only one participates in political decision-making; this corresponds to 2.0 per cent.

Sources:

  • ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)

    The ETH has taken up the further development of the “Ethnic Power relations” dataset. It comprises all politically relevant ethnic main groups, differentiated between common linguistic, somatic and religious aspects, for 155 sovereign states from 1946 to 2010. Politically relevant means either that at least one actor active in political life (political organisation) claims to represent the political interests of an ethnic group or that members of single ethnic groups are systematically and purposefully discriminated against. The participation of ethnic groups are divided into those that participate in the political arena (monopoly, dominant, senior partner, junior partner) and those who do not (regional autonomy, powerless, discriminated).

Links:

Contested territories

This map layer shows contested territories and all countries affected by territorial disputes in 2014.

The data presented have been taken from the Natural Earth Dataset and from the GAUL Dataset (Global Administrative Unit Layers) of the FAO. BICC has checked both datasets for completeness, revised and adapted them. Territories marked are the often very small contested territories and countries affected by territorial disputes. As there are differences between these two datasets, the source is shown when clicking on the territories.

Sources: Natural Earth and GAUL 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows contested territories and all countries affected by territorial disputes in 2014.

Example of how to read the map:

Abyei is a region that in 2014 was part of Sudan and South Sudan and therefore is classified as a contested territory.

Sources:

  • Natural Earth and GAUL (Global Administrative Unit Layers)

The data presented have been taken from the Natural Earth Dataset and from the GAUL Dataset (Global Administrative Unit Layers) of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). BICC has checked both datasets for completeness, revised and adapted them. Territories marked are the often very small contested territories and countries affected by territorial disputes. As there are differences between these two datasets, the source is shown when clicking on the territories.

Links:

Layers Root

Military resources

Nearly all states have their own military establishment or armed forces which they provide with different resources. On the one hand, there are professional soldiers, i.e. a certain amount of trained and uniformed men and women. Read more On the other hand, there are various technologies that the soldiers use in exercising their mandate. These resources range from small, portable weapons such as assault rifles, machine guns or bazookas to large, complex weapons systems and/or means of transport, such as tanks, ships and aircraft.

Both soldiers and weapons systems cost money. The money that is invested by states in their armed forces - to pay their soldiers, to recruit new ones, to purchase weapons systems or to maintain them - is generally found in their military expenditures or their ‘defense budgets’. While these expenditures had decreased in the late 1980s after the end of the Cold War, they increased sharply following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and the following wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, military expenditure of all countries worldwide amounted to US $1,500 billion in absolute terms - this is more than had ever been invested in armed forces to date.

It is important to note that not all countries spend the same amount of money on their armed forces. Correspondingly, they vary in size and capacities. Poor states, in particular, often cannot afford to maintain a large military establishment with many soldiers and the latest weapons technologies. Military staff of such countries are often underpaid and badly equipped. Wealthy states, on the contrary, often invest a lot more money in their military. The defense budget of the United States, for instance, in 2009 amounted to US $684 billion and accounted for approx. half of all global military expenditures.

Even though the wealthiest states - in absolute terms - invest the most in military resources, it is the so-called threshold countries, such as China and India, but also Russia, with a rapid growth of their national economies that have increased their military spending the most.

The smallest increase in military spending has been observed in the poorest countries. In relation to their own economic performance or their population, the armed forces of such states often are very weak - especially when compared to other states that have more resources at their disposal. These countries, that are also called ‘fragile states’ find it difficult to enforce a monopoly of violence in their own territory: non-state armed groups take advantage of the weakness of the state and use violence to enforce political and/or economic interests.

Still, the ratio between military expenditures and other public spending, such as education or health, differs from country to country. Opinions differ as to whether money should be spent on the military or rather in other areas. Does the state invest too little in health and too much in the armed forces? How do current threats influence the size of the respective military budget? What are, indeed, those threats that need to be addressed by military might?

As a matter of fact, military budgets can trigger threat perceptions. For example: If a country suddenly increases its expenses for the armed forces, its neighbors might feel threatened and in turn increase their military budgets. This causes a so-called arms race, similar to what can be observed between India and Pakistan or what occurred during the Cold War between the United States and the then Soviet Union.

Overly high military expenses can have a negative impact on ‘human security’ of the population; especially in poor countries. The money that is spent on the armed forces might possibly lack for guaranteeing their population basic medical care. Yet, even wealthier states with comparatively good basic social security benefits should ask themselves whether it would not be sensible to spend resources on other sectors rather than on the military. The 30 wealthiest states of the world on average spend ten times as much on their military as the do for development cooperation.

Non-state military resources

The graphs presented in the information portal exclusively refer to state expenditures for armed forces. However, it should be noted that increasingly, non-state actors invest money in military capacities. Such actors are, for instance, so-called private military companies, that is companies that offer services that are explicitly of a military character (i.e. armed protection in areas of conflict, military advice and training of soldiers, or various logistical or maintenance works). The annual turnover of such companies is estimated at US $200 billion at least. The US company Blackwater earned a bad reputation by also taking action against civilians in Iraq.

Other non-state military actors are armed rebels and opposition groups that often can be found in civil wars. They play an ever more important role in current violent conflicts. One example is the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a paramilitary group that fights against the Museveni regime in Uganda with the aim to establish a theocratic state but, at the same time, attacks villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). In more than 90 percent of all wars in the past years, at least one non-state armed group has participated in the fighting.

Finally, one has to note that more and more criminal organisations, such as transnational drug cartels, furnish themselves with military weapons and material. In Mexico, the situation has worsened such that the military and the police wage a war against professionally armed and organised militias of the drug mafia.

Besides state military expenditures, there are thus a variety of non-state military resources. There are indications that non-state military expenditures have increased over the past years. However, reliable data are missing so that these expenditures cannot be taken into account in our statistics.

Sources and further information:

What are global military expenditures?

A country’s defence budget can be generally divided into two categories: ‘recurring expenditures’, such as the payment of salaries to soldiers or funds needed for the maintenance and repair of military equipment; and so-called ‘investment expenditures’, which are funds that are invested in the expansion of military capacities (for instance development), the research in and testing of new military technologies, or the purchase of new vehicles, equipment and weapons.

It is important to note that actual military expenditures can be higher than reported in the military budget. Sometimes, expenses on the military are subsumed in the budget lines of other ministries. In the United States, for instance, the Department of Energy is responsible for maintaining the nuclear weapons arsenal. At times, the military receives extra-budgetary contributions or generates additional funds by founding its own companies. The expenditures shown here are based on annual data provided by the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI, which tries to take this into account.

Military expenditures

This map layer shows military expenditures for 2013 of all available countries in billion US dollars, classified in five categories.

The defence budget of a country is generally made up of two main categories: recurrent expenditures, such as salaries for soldiers or money needed for the maintenance of military material, and so-called investment expenditures, which are moneys invested in the expansion of military capacities (e.g. development), research and testing of new military technologies or in the purchase of new vehicles, equipment and weapons.

Sources: SIPRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the military expenditures in 2013 for all available countries in billion US dollars, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the United States have spent US $618,68 billion on arms. The graphic shows the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest military expenditures for 2013 in billions of US dollars.

Sources:

  • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

    In its annual yearbook, SIPRI publishes current global military expenditures. The data of the 2014 yearbook are calculated with the base year of 2013 and shown in US dollars. SIPRI collects the data from primary sources, such as data from national governments or the United Nations, evaluations of these sources as well as further secondary sources, such as journals and newspapers. This method has its limits as regards completeness as national military expenditures can also be hidden in extraordinary budgets and cannot easily be recorded.

Links:

Military expenditures compared to the GDP

This map layer presents the military expenditures for the year 2013, classified in five categories, of all available countries in billion US dollars and compares them to their respective gross domestic product (GDP).

The defence budget of a country is generally made up of two main categories: recurrent expenditures, such as salaries for soldiers or money needed for the maintenance of military material, and so-called investment expenditures, which are moneys invested in the expansion of military capacities (e.g. development), research and testing of new military technologies or in the purchase of new vehicles, equipment and weapons.

The gross domestic product (GDP) is a parameter depicting the economic performance of a country and is made up of the market value of all products and services produced within a certain period of time in that country. When setting GDP and military expenditures in relation to each other, the percentage of the economic performance being spent on the military budget becomes clear, which makes a comparison between the countries possible.

Sources: SIPRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the current military expenditures for 2013 of all available countries and compares them to their respective gross domestic product (GDP) for 2013, classified in five categories

Example of how to read the map:

In Germany, the share of military expenditures compared to the gross domestic product was 1.4 per cent in 2013.

Sources:

  • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

    In its annual yearbook, SIPRI publishes current global military expenditures. The data of the 2014 yearbook are calculated with the base year of 2013 and shown in US dollars. SIPRI collects the data from primary sources, such as data from national governments or the United Nations, evaluations of these sources as well as further secondary sources, such as journals and newspapers. This method has its limits as regards completeness as national military expenditures can also be hidden in extraordinary budgets and cannot easily be recorded.

Links:

Military expenditures in comparison to expenditures on the social sector

This map layer presents the comparison of military expenditures for the year 2012 of all available countries with spending in the respective social sector (sum of expenditures on health and education for 2012, in some cases 2011), classified in five categories.

The defence budget of a country is generally made up of two main categories: recurrent expenditures, such as salaries for soldiers or money needed for the maintenance of military material, and so-called investment expenditures, which are moneys invested in the expansion of military capacities (e.g. development), research and testing of new military technologies or in the purchase of new vehicles, equipment and weapons.

Expenditures for the social sector are recorded here as the sum of expenditure on health and education. Expenditure on health includes for instance the salaries of medical staff and doctors while expenditure on education includes the salaries of teachers, teaching material, buildings, etc.

A large public budget for these sectors is an indication of a high political significance. This political significance can be compared by calculating the ratio of military expenditures and social expenditures.

Sources: SIPRI 2014, WHO 2014, World Bank 2014

Infotext

This map layer compares military expenditures for 2013 of all available countries to expenditures in the respective social sector (expenditure on health and education added up for 2012, in some cases 2011), classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

The ratio of military spending and social spending in Oman is 80 to 20.

Sources:

  • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

    In its annual yearbook, SIPRI publishes current global military expenditures. The data of the 2014 yearbook are calculated with the base year of 2013 and shown in US dollars. SIPRI collects the data from primary sources, such as data from national governments or the United Nations, evaluations of these sources as well as further secondary sources, such as journals and newspapers. This method has its limits as regards completeness as national military expenditures can also be hidden in extraordinary budgets and cannot easily be recorded.

  • WHO (World Health Organization)

    The World Health Organization is part of the United Nations. Its duties are technical and advisory support, the setting of normative standards and the assessment of trends in the health sector. It collects data on national governments based on their respective health reports, as well as further information published by governments or ministries. The WHO estimates missing data, when possible. Expenditures on health comprise, for instance, wages for medical staff and materials.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank, based in Washington, DC, supports developing countries through financial and technical means. Its focus is the sustainable fight against poverty through further education and advisory services. The World Bank has 188 members and is divided into five institutions. It obtains its data on the population from the United Nations. As not all governments provide data on a yearly basis, the United Nations refers to the last official population census as the basis for their estimates. It takes into account the factors of birth- and death rate as well as international migration.

Links:

What is military personnel?

Military personnel is defined as the total of all active and inactive members of the armed forces and paramilitary units of a state. The regular armed forces generally consist of three branches: the army, the air force and the navy. Paramilitary units are those that are not formally considered part of the armed forces, but whose equipment/weapons and /or tasks are of a military character (e.g. the Gendarmerie in France that is equipped with military weapons or the German Bundespolizei — Federal Police—that protects Germany’s borders). They often have their own goals and work relatively autonomously when implementing them. Here, only those paramilitary units are taken into account that are directly subordinate to the state or that belong to the state.

All military professionals or those that have volunteered for a minimum service, conscripts and reservists that have been drafted for a longer period of time serving in regular or paramilitary units are defined as active military personnel. On average, in 2008 the ratio between civilians and soldiers was 247 civilians to one ‘active’ soldier; this ratio may vary considerably from region to region.

Inactive military personnel are reservists who go about their civilian jobs, but who can be activated when needed and integrated in the armed forces or paramilitary units.

Military personnel

This map layer shows the military personnel of all available countries for the year 2013, classified in six categories.

Military personnel is made up of the total of all active members of the regular armed forces as well as paramilitaries of a state. The regular armed forces generally consist of the army, the navy and the air force. Paramilitary units are those that are not formally considered part of the armed forces, but whose equipment/weapons and /or tasks are of a military character.

Sources: IISS 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the number of military personnel consisting of soldiers and paramilitaries for 2013 of all available countries, classified in six categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the Ethiopian government employed 138,000 people as soldiers and paramilitaries.

The graphics show the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest amount of military personnel in 2013.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

Links:

Reservists

This map layer shows the number of reservists of all available countries for the year 2013, divided in five categories.

Reservists are inactive, former soldiers who can be activated for military and civilian deployments when needed. Their length of inactive service differs from country to country; in Germany, for instance, there is an age limit that depends on the former military career while in other countries, it is a lifelong obligation. In addition, there are country-specific on-call regulations that, depending on the emergency situation, determine who of the reservists will be called up for service. Therefore, a direct comparison of numbers of reservists can only be made under reservation.

Sources: IISS 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the number of reservists for 2013 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the Indian government employed 1,155,000 reservists.

The graphics show the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest amount of reservists in 2013.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes a global survey on military personnel data. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

Links:

Number of military personnel per 10,000 inhabitants

This map layer compares the five categories of military personnel with the respective population, per 10,000 inhabitants, for all available countries and the year 2013.

Military personnel is made up of the total of all active members of the regular armed forces as well as paramilitaries of a state. The regular armed forces generally consist of the army, the navy and the air force. Paramilitary units are those that are not formally considered part of the armed forces, but whose equipment/weapons and /or tasks are of a military character.

Sources: IISS 2014, World Bank 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the ratio of military personnel (2013) (e.g. soldiers and paramilitaries) to the population per 10,000 inhabitants (2013) for all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the Government of Finland employed 45.96 soldiers and paramilitaries per 10,000 inhabitants.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank, based in Washington, DC, supports developing countries through financial and technical means. Its focus is the sustainable fight against poverty through further education and advisory services. The World Bank has 188 members and is divided into five institutions. It obtains its data on the population from the United Nations. As not all governments provide data on a yearly basis, the United Nations refers to the last official population census as the basis for their estimates. It takes into account the factors of birth- and death rate as well as international migration.

Links:

Number of reservists per 10,000 inhabitants

This map layer compares the number of the five categories of reservists of all available countries to the population, per 10,000 inhabitants, for the year 2013.

Reservists are inactive, former soldiers who can be activated for military and civilian deployments when needed. Their length of inactive service differs from country to country; in Germany, for instance, there is an age limit that depends on the former military career while in other countries, it is a lifelong obligation. In addition, there are country-specific on-call regulations that, depending on the emergency situation, determine who of the reservists will be called up for service. Therefore, a direct comparison of numbers of reservists can only be made under reservation.

Sources: IISS 2014, World Bank 2014

Infotext

This map layer shows the ratio between reservists and the population per 10,000 inhabitants for 2013, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the Government of Italy employed 3.06 reservists per 10,000 inhabitants.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank, based in Washington, DC, supports developing countries through financial and technical means. Its focus is the sustainable fight against poverty through further education and advisory services. The World Bank has 188 members and is divided into five institutions. It obtains its data on the population from the United Nations. As not all governments provide data on a yearly basis, the United Nations refers to the last official population census as the basis for their estimates. It takes into account the factors of birth- and death rate as well as international migration.

Links:

Number of military personnel in total including reservists per doctor

This map layer compares the number of military personnel (soldiers, paramilitaries and reservists) to that of practicing medics for 2013 of a country. The number of military personnel per one doctor is shown (most current year), classified in five categories.

Military personnel is made up of the total of all active members of the regular armed forces as well as paramilitary units of a state. Reservists are inactive, former soldiers who can be activated for military and civilian deployments when needed. These numbers were summed up to represent the total number of possible military personnel. By calculating the ratio of military personnel per one doctor, it is possible to compare the use of resources by the social sector and the military sector.

Sources: IISS 2014, WHO 2014

Infotext

This map layer compares military personnel (soldiers, paramilitaries and reservists) to medical personnel in the health sector for 2013 of all available countries. The number of military personnel per one doctor is shown (most current year), classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, the Government of Israel employed 25.67 soldiers, paramilitaries and reservists per one doctor.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

  • WHO (World Health Organization)

    The World Health Organization is part of the United Nations. Its duties are technical and advisory support, the setting of normative standards and the assessment of trends in the health sector. It collects data on national governments based on their respective health reports, as well as further information published by governments or ministries. The WHO estimates missing data, when possible. Expenditures on health comprise, for instance, wages for medical staff and materials.

Links:

Number of military personnel incl. reservists per teacher

This map layer compares the number of military personnel for 2012 (soldiers, paramilitary and reservists) with the number of lower and upper level secondary school teachers for the same year, classified in five categories.

Military personnel is made up of the total of all active members of the regular armed forces as well as paramilitary units of a state. Reservists are inactive, former soldiers who can be activated for military and civilian deployments when needed. These numbers were summed up to represent the total number of possible military personnel. By calculating the ratio of military personnel per one teacher, it is possible to compare the use of resources by the social sector and the military sector.

Sources: IISS 2014, UNESCO UIS 2014

Infotext

This map layer compares the number of military personnel for 2012 (soldiers, paramilitary and reservists) with the number of lower and upper level secondary school teachers for 2012 (in some cases 2008) of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2012, the Government of Brazil employed 0.92 soldiers, paramilitaries and reservists per teacher.

Sources:

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

  • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

    UNESCO supports science, education, communication and culture. Global expenditures on education are published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in an annual study. The data are based on official documents of the national governments and ministries (mostly ministries of finance and education). The data set shows all teachers who teach full- or part-time in lower and upper level secondary school.

Links:

What are heavy weapons systems?

Examples of heavy weapons systems are tanks, helicopters, fighter planes, submarines and war ships. They are defined as larger machines that are used in immediate combat and that integrate different military requirements (movement, fire power, etc.) into one system.

Heavy weapons systems generally differ from small arms and light weapons (SALW), which can be carried by one or two persons (pistols, hand grenades, machine guns, anti-tank guided weapons systems, etc.). While non-conventional weapons systems, such as nuclear bombs or poisonous gas, do not belong to the category of SALW, their carrier systems, such as rockets, do.

The type of weapons systems used by armed forces generally depends on the territorial or geographical character of the respective country. A state without a connection to the sea will not need large war ships. Similarly, heavy land vehicles, such as battle tanks, are not of much use in a mountainous area.

Not all heavy weapons systems used by armies around the world necessarily correspond to the latest state of the art. In poorer countries in particular, many weapons still originate from the times of World War II or are even older.

Number of heavy weapons systems

This map layer presents the number of heavy weapons systems, classified in five categories, of all available countries for the year 2013.

Heavy weapons are for instance tanks, helicopters, fighter aircraft, submarines and battleships. They are defined as larger machinery that are used in immediate battle and that integrate different military requirements (movement, firepower, etc.) in one system.

Complete data table

Sources: BICC 2013, IISS 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents the number of heavy weapons systems for 2013 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2009, South Korea had more than 11,721 heavy weapons systems.

The graphic presented shows the 10 countries with the highest amount of heavy weapons systems in 2013.

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies.

    BICC calculates the number of heavy weapons systems on an annual basis. Its primary source for data on weapons holdings is the publication The Military Balance of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).When necessary, IISS data have been complemented by information on individual countries from various sources, such as Jane’s weapons handbooks and newspaper articles.

    The BICC database on weapons holdings contains data on ten types of weapons of the following four categories a) heavy weapons systems: armoured vehicles (armoured personnel carriers, light tanks, combat tanks), b) artillery of more than 100mm calibre (multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, field howitzers) c) combat aircraft (attack helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft), and d) combat vessels (submarines, surface vessels larger than corvettes). Smaller combat vessels as well as carrier vessels, tankers, etc. have not been taken into account.

    The definition of “weapons holdings” only includes holdings of government troops; holdings of armed opposition groups are not included, neither are stored weapons systems.

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

Links:

Number of heavy weapons systems per 10,000 inhabitants

This map layer shows the ratio of the number of heavy weapons systems to the population (2013), classified in five categories.

Heavy weapons are for instance tanks, helicopters, fighter aircraft, submarines and battleships. They are defined as larger machinery that are used in immediate battle and that integrate different military requirements (movement, firepower, etc.) in one system. The ratio of heavy weapons systems to the population permits a comparison of countries.

Sources: BICC 2013, IISS 2014, World Bank 2013

Infotext

This map layer shows the ratio of the number of heavy weapons systems in 2013 to the population of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, Myanmar had 0.22 heavy weapons systems per 10,000 inhabitants.

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies.

    BICC calculates the number of heavy weapons systems on an annual basis. Its primary source for data on weapons holdings is the publication The Military Balance of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).When necessary, IISS data have been complemented by information on individual countries from various sources, such as Jane’s weapons handbooks and newspaper articles.

    The BICC database on weapons holdings contains data on ten types of weapons of the following four categories a) heavy weapons systems: armoured vehicles (armoured personnel carriers, light tanks, combat tanks), b) artillery of more than 100mm calibre (multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, field howitzers) c) combat aircraft (attack helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft), and d) combat vessels (submarines, surface vessels larger than corvettes). Smaller combat vessels as well as carrier vessels, tankers, etc. have not been taken into account.

The definition of “weapons holdings” only includes holdings of government troops; holdings of armed opposition groups are not included, neither are stored weapons systems.

  • IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.

  • The World Bank

    The World Bank with its seat in Washington supports developing countries through financial and technical means. Its focus is the sustainable fight against poverty through training activities and advisory services. The World Bank has 188 members and is divided into five institutions. It obtains its data on the population from the United Nations. As not all governments provide data on a yearly basis, the United Nations refer their estimates to the last official population census. It takes into account the factors of birth- and death rate as well as international migration.

Links:

Militarisation

Militarisation is a difficult term with many interpretations and definitions. From a more qualitative perspective, militarisation means to gear a state or a society toward the needs of a military environment or to subject a community to military requirements. Read more In quantitative terms, militarisation means that a state or an area is furnished with military personnel or military equipment and the necessary funds for this.

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) defines militarisation in quantitative terms as those means and capacities provided to the state armed forces. In including further data sets, the Index depicts the relative weight and significance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to its society as a whole.

In total, six indicators are considered when calculating the GMI: * Military expenditures compared to a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), * Military expenditures compared to its health expenditures, * Contrast between the total number of (para)military personnel and the overall population, * Ratio of the number of reservist to the overall population, * Ratio of (para)military forces to the number of doctors, * Ratio of heavy weaponry to the overall population.

It is important to note that the GMI does not mirror a tendency of a state (or any other actors) to manage political and social conflicts by violent means. The militarisation of a country as represented in the GMI solely refers to the ‘naked figures’, namely the distribution of resources, and only indirectly to warmongering and the preparedness to resort to violence. In short, whoever pays for a large military apparatus does not necessarily have to want to pursue their interest by force, using their military apparatus against others.

The GMI also takes into account military resources that are made available to state entities. It does not record the degree of civil militarisation as is, for example, expressed by the wide distribution of small arms and light weapons in the population. It also does not record the share of non-state military groups, such as private military companies or rebel armies.

The GMI purposely focuses on state funds. It does so, because on the one hand a purely subjective attitude (willingness to use violence) is difficult to measure and to depict in an index. On the other, there are hardly any reliable data on non-state military capacities that would be suitable for any evaluation.

The advantage of such a narrow approach to militarisation shows itself when the GMI ranks are compared with other factors. A low degree of state militarisation, for instance, is often accompanied by a high degree of militarisation of the total population or internal power struggles. In 2010, Nigeria held a relatively low rank in the GMI (137 of 149) but in its country an armed conflict was raging between Christian and Muslim parts of the population that led to pogroms and fighting between organised militias and to regional and local political power struggles. This case shows that a low degree of militarisation does not necessarily mean that the situation for the population is peaceful and secure as an insufficiently furnished security apparatus finds it difficult to enforce its monopoly of violence.

Vice versa, a very high degree of militarisation does not necessarily mean more security and stability. Amongst the ten most militarised countries in the world, seven are from the Middle East—a region characterised by decades of numerous violent conflicts. The situation of the Korean peninsula is similar, where tensions between South and North Korea threaten to escalate at any moment. In 2009, South Korea was in sixth position of the GMI. There are no reliable data on the military sector for North Korea and this is why the country is not listed on the Index. Yet, when taking into account many factors, one can assume that it is possibly the most militarised country in the world.

There are highly problematic cases where poor states that are unable to feed their own population invest a disproportional amount of money in their military. An example of this is Eritrea, which spends 20 percent of its GDP on its armed forces and which was ranked first in the GMI in 2006 (the last year for which reliable data was available). In comparison to this, Eritrea merely spent 3.7 percent for its public health scheme. In view of the extreme poverty in the country, documented by its last place position on the UN Human Development Index, a reallocation of military funds to civilian purposes would be urgently required.

To put it differently: neither a low nor a high degree of militarisation is automatically ‘good’. In fact, one has to judge each case for its own whether the respective resources that are allocated to the state armed forces are adequate or not. The real question therefore is whether the position of a country in the GMI could possibly point to a problem. In some, well-founded cases it may be advisable to increase funding for the military. In most cases, however, the conversion of military capacities to civilian use is the way forward. The rule therefore applies: Extreme positions, be they at the top or the bottom of the GMI, are often signs of a disproportion of resource allocation within a state.

Finally, the question arises whether military solutions are really the adequate means to approach many current threat perceptions. There is some evidence that dangers such as climate change but also international terrorism cannot (or not only) be fought by investing more into the military. Here, too, the GMI offers new perspectives.

Sources and further information:

What is militarisation?

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) was developed by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) and defines militarisation in a quantitative sense as those means and capacities available to a state’s armed forces. By incorporating other data sets (such as “defense spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP)”, or “defense spending in proportion to health expenditures”), the index shows the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to society as a whole.

The GMI does not mirror the tendency of a state to fight political and social conflicts with violent means. The militarisation of a country, as shown in the GMI, solely refers to the naked facts, i.e. the distribution of resources, and thus only indirectly to the readiness of a country to warmonger or use violence. In short, the country that supports a large military apparatus does not necessarily have an intention to enforce its interests against others with that apparatus.

The GMI purposely looks only at state funds. For one, this is because a purely subjective attitude (“readiness to use violence”) is difficult to measure and to show in an index. Secondly, there are hardly any reliable data sets for non-state military capacities that would be fit for evaluation.

Level of militarisation 1990

This map layer represents the level of militarisation as an index (0-1,000) for 1990 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) defines militarisation in quantitative terms as those means and capacities provided to the state armed forces. When generating the Index, data sets, such as military expenditures as share of GDP or military expenditures compared to health expenditures have been used. It thus depicts the relative weight and significance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to its society as a whole.

Complete data table

Sources: BICC 2012

Infotext

This map layer represents the level of militarisation as an index (0-1,000) for 1990 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 1990, Thailand’s military index was 644 points.

The graphics presented show the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest level of militarisation in 1990.

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies. The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) is calculated by BICC. The GMI depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of a state compared to society as a whole. The following indicators are taken into account: Military expenditures as a share of GDP and in relation to the health sector, military personnel and reservists in relation to the population and to doctors, and finally the ratio of heavy weapons systems to the population.

Links:

Level of militarisation 2013

This map layer represents the level of militarisation as an index (0-1,000) for 1990 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) defines militarisation in quantitative terms as those means and capacities provided to the state armed forces. When generating the Index, data sets, such as military expenditures as share of GDP or military expenditures compared to health expenditures have been used. It thus depicts the relative weight and significance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to its society as a whole.

Complete data table

Sources: BICC 2014

Infotext

This map layer represents the level of militarisation as an index (0-1,000) for 2013 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, Bolivia’s military index was 571 points.

The graphics presented show the five countries with the highest and the five countries with the lowest level of militarisation in 2013.

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies. The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) is calculated by BICC. The GMI depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of a state compared to society as a whole. The following indicators are taken into account: Military expenditures as a share of GDP and in relation to the health sector, military personnel and reservists in relation to the population and to doctors, and finally the ratio of heavy weapons systems to the population.

Links:

Tendencies in militarisation 1990 to 2013

This map layer present the tendencies in militarisation, i.e. the increase and decrease of the level of militarisation (index from 0–1000) of all available countries from 1990 to 2013, classified in four categories.

This layer cannot show data for many countries that were either partitioned or newly formed during between 1990 and 2013.

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) defines militarisation in quantitative terms as those means and capacities provided to the state armed forces. When generating the Index, data sets, such as military expenditures as share of GDP or military expenditures compared to health expenditures have been used. It thus depicts the relative weight and significance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to its society as a whole.

Complete data table

Sources: BICC 2014

Infotext

This map layer present the tendencies in militarisation, i.e. the increase and decrease of the level of militarisation (index from 0–1000) from 1990 to 2013 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

The presented graphics show the five countries with the highest decrease and the five countries with the highest increase in militarisation between 1990 and 2013.

This layer only shows data for those countries that already exist since 1990. Countries that were either partitioned or newly formed after 1990 are excluded.

Example of how to read the map:

In the years 1990-2013 the Global Militarization Index for Nicaragua decreased strongly from 796 to 536 points (-260 points).

Sources:

  • BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion)

    BICC is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies. The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) is calculated by BICC. The GMI depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of a state compared to society as a whole. The following indicators are taken into account: Military expenditures as a share of GDP and in relation to the health sector, military personnel and reservists in relation to the population and to doctors, and finally the ratio of heavy weapons systems to the population.

Links:

Effects of war

There are no real victors in wars as all parties involved have to suffer the consequences with often high numbers of casualties on both sides. Rather than dealing with the consequences resulting from a war and its end, this text will look into its direct effects on people, politics, the economy and the environment. Read more

Victims of war

World War I (1914–1918) resulted in 17 to 20 million deaths. The number of victims of World War II (1939–1945) is estimated at between 50 and 56 million (some sources even mention 80 million). Even if the end of World War II marks an end to the killing of such a scale, and no other war since then has led to so much destruction, around 800,000 people have still died in violent conflicts between 1989 and 2010 since the end of the Cold War (UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset v.5-2010).

The real number of victims of a war can only be estimated. It depends, for instance, on whether ‘victims’ are only defined as those who died as a direct result of armed violence. This would mean disregarding those who, during a war, died from exposure, epidemics or as a result of (sexual) violence and hunger. It also disregards those who have died years later from wounds or illnesses sustained in the war—such as the radiation victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

One look at the consequences of the US intervention in Vietnam and Cambodia (1965–1975) provides a clearer picture of this problem. The number of deaths in the Vietnam War is estimated at three million. Since its end, the Vietnamese government claims that more than 42,000 people have died from deadly accidents caused by old ammunition. In the war against the North Vietnamese troops, US armed forces used 15 million tons of bombs and explosives of which 800,000 tons still pollute 20 per cent of the country. A similar scenario exists in Cambodia. According to UNICEF, between four and six million landmines still lurk near paths, on fields and near schools or wells in the villages. It is mostly the civilian population that suffers—every third landmine victim is a child. According to the Landmine Monitor 2009, at least 19,505 people were killed and 44,024 wounded between 1979 and the end of 2009.

“The war will never be over, never, as long as somewhere a wound it had inflicted is still bleeding,” Heinrich Böll, German Nobel Prize winner for literature, characterised the long-term effects of wars. War-wounded—be they soldiers or civilians—often suffer from the physical injuries for decades. Often, they have to learn to live with mutilations, having been blinded or deafened.

The psychological effects, too, have an impact on the everyday lives of the survivors. Fear and insecurity resulting from daily experiences of war—whether as perpetrators or victims—leave traces. Late symptoms can be post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. These consequences affect civilians and soldiers alike.

Another consequence of war is the transformation of national citizens into refugees. According to the United Nations, at the time of writing there are 15 million refugees worldwide who have had to leave their home due to conflicts or persecution. Three-quarters live in developing countries. The war has taken away their home and their livelihoods, often long-term. Hunger, malnutrition, illnesses and diseases directly threaten the refugees and their children. The situation of refugees becomes all the more difficult when international attention and support dwindles while there is still no end to their legal, economic and social state of limbo and no durable solution in sight. Notably, when refugees have to live in larger “camps”, various different security risks arise both for the refugees and their environment that can lead to new violent conflicts.

Politics and the economy

The most far-reaching political effect of a war is the fact that it can annihilate state and community. During a war, citizens’ freedoms are curtailed. Under a state of emergency or martial law, freedom of speech and freedom of choice as well as activities by political and other societal groups are often considerably restricted. Both internally and externally, images of the enemy are created. Distrust grows between citizens with different opinions , while relations with opposing or ‘enemy’ states are destroyed and poisoned for years.

“This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children,” lamented Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II. According to the internationally renowned NGOs Oxfam International, Saferworld, and International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), the following are also amongst the costs of war:

  • Increased military expenditures that other sectors of the economy are lacking;
  • Destruction of livelihoods and infrastructure (e.g. water supply and transportation system);
  • Limitations regarding economic activities through insecurities, limited mobility and the allocation of civil labour to the military as well as flight of capital.
  • Macroeconomic effects such as inflation, limitations regarding savings, investments and exports as well as increased debt.
  • Loss of development aid;
  • Transfer of assets to the illegal economy.

The conquest of foreign territories and the forced re-distribution of land, means of production and labour that go along with it also have economic consequences.

Environment

In 2001 the United Nations declared 6 November of each year as the “International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflicts.” Then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wanted to raise awareness of the devastating ecological and long-term environmental side effects of wars that is just as damaging to humankind as direct violence. Damage caused by oil, chemicals, landmines or unexploded ordnance often takes a long time before it is repaired; the pollution of water, air and soil threatens the livelihoods of many people and causes entire populations to flee.

New technologies, too, such as depleted uranium munitions, threaten the environment. The smallest amounts of radioactive uranium can cause cancer or damage kidneys and other organs. This brings us to a second aspect of the effects of war on the environment. Besides “immediate” side effects, natural resources are sometimes destroyed for tactical reasons. Known examples are the bombardment of oil production facilities in the Gulf wars to damage the economy, the deliberate mining of pastures to rob the enemy of its basic food supply or the use of chemical warfare agents such as Agent Orange that was used by the United States in the Vietnam War as a defoliant and to destroy crop plants. “At times, natural resources are deliberately destroyed as a tactic. But more often than not, the environment is simply another innocent victim caught in the crossfire. The poor, as usual, suffer disproportionately, as they rely most heavily on the environment not only for food but also for medicine, livelihoods, and materials for shelters and homes“, warned Kofi Annan of the environmental effects of war.

Sources and further information:

What is weapons trade?

According to an appraisal by the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI, the volume of global weapons trade in 2009 amounted to a total of approx. US $51.1 trillion. After a brief decrease in international weapons trade after the end of the Cold war—with its low in the mid-1990s—a rapid increase can be observed, particularly in the past few years. Driven by globally increasing military expenditures, the arms trade now finds itself on a similarly high level as during the East‑West antagonism.

The United States and Russia were the main exporters worldwide at more than 50 per cent between 2005 and 2009. The most important recipient countries in the past few years were the so-called threshold countries, headed by China and India.

There are efforts to curb the potentially destabilising effects of international weapons trade. In the recent past, the UN Security Council imposed weapon embargoes (trade embargoes) against numerous countries, amongst them Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan.

The European Union’s Common Position on Arms Exports that was agreed upon in 2008 contains eight criteria that Member States ought to observe when granting arms export licenses to other countries. One criterion is the human rights situation and the domestic situation of the recipient country (cf. www.ruestungsexport.info).

The latest initiative on an improved control of the cross-border trade in military equipment goes back to a decision of the UN General Assembly of 2006 to establish an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). After long discussions in the international community on the exact and final terms of this treaty, it was finally adopted on 2 April 2013. Since then, 130 states have signed the treaty and 69 states have ratified it (state June 2015), and the Treaty entered into force on 24 December 2014. The Treaty will apply to battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopter, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons (SALW).

Recipient countries of German arms and related material

This map layer represents the scope of granted export licenses in euro for recipient countries of German arms exports for 2013 (in some cases 2012), classified in five categories.

Complete data table

Sources: Rüstungsexportbericht Bundesregierung 2014

Infotext

This map layer represents the scope of granted export licenses in euro for recipient countries of German arms exports for 2013 (in some cases 2012), classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, South Korea received German arms exports licenses worth € 481,757,422.

Sources:

  • BMWI (German Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology)

    Each year, the German government publishes its arms exports report on its exports policy regarding conventional arms and related materials. It lists the total value of individual export licences in the context of an export list. The export of all arms and related materiel must be licensed. This list is based on the EU Common List of Military Goods and of the Wassenaar Agreement. All arms export applications are decided individually and under careful consideration of the foreign, security, and human rights policy arguments of the German government. Germany bases these decisions on the common rules for the control of the export of military technology and military goods laid down in the Common Position of the European Union.

Links:

Global arms exports

This map layer presents global arms exports for 2013 based on the trend indicator value (TIV) developed by SIPRI, measured in US dollars and classified in five categories.

Even though it is measured in US dollars, the indicator does not show the financial volume of arms transfers but gives an indication of the scope of traded weapons in comparison to other countries.

Sources: SIPRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents global arms exports for 2013 based on the trend indicator value (TIV) developed by SIPRI, measured in US dollars and classified in five categories. Even though it is measured in US dollars, the indicator does not show the financial volume of arms transfers but gives an indication of the scope of traded weapons in comparison to other countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, Canada exported weapons and related materiel worth US $199 as trend indicator value (TIV).

Sources:

  • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

    In its annual yearbook, SIPRI publishes current global imports and exports of arms and related materiel of countries. For this, it uses a system that it created which is based on indicators of different values. Each weapons system is allocated a value, a so-called TIV (trend indicator value). With the help of the TIV, SIPRI calculates all weapons transfers to, from and between countries and non-state actors and obtains an indicator for the scope of the transfers. SIPRI collects the data from primary sources, such as data from national governments or the United Nations, evaluations of these sources as well as further secondary sources, such as journals and newspapers.

Links:

Global arms imports

This map layer presents global arms imports for 2013 based on the trend indicator value (TIV) developed by SIPRI, measured in US dollars and classified in five categories.

Even though it is measured in US dollars, the indicator does not show the financial volume of arms transfers but gives an indication of the scope of traded weapons in comparison to other countries.

Sources: SIPRI 2014

Infotext

This map layer presents global arms imports for 2013 based on the trend indicator value (TIV) developed by SIPRI, measured in US dollars and classified in five categories. Even though it is measured in US dollars, the indicator does not show the financial volume of arms transfers but gives an indication of the scope of traded weapons in comparison to other countries.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2013, Belgium imported arms and related materials worth US $32 as trend indicator value (TIV).

Sources:

  • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

    In its annual yearbook, SIPRI publishes current global imports and exports of arms and related materiel of countries. For this, it uses a system that it created which is based on indicators of different values. Each weapons system is allocated a value, a so-called TIV (trend indicator value). With the help of the TIV, SIPRI calculates all weapons transfers to, from and between countries and non-state actors and obtains an indicator for the scope of the transfers. SIPRI collects the data from primary sources, such as data from national governments or the United Nations, evaluations of these sources as well as further secondary sources, such as journals and newspapers.

Links:


Data tables

Data tables

For some select map layers, the information portal ‘War and Peace’ provides the user with all used data sets as tables.

Country reports

Country reports

In the country reports, data and information are collected by country and put into tables that are used in the modules as a basis for maps and illustrations.

Navigation and operation

Navigation and operation

The information and data of each module are primarily made available as selectable map layers and are complemented by texts and graphs. The map layers can be found on the right hand side and are listed according to themes and sub-themes.