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.

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Data tables

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

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Country portraits

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.

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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.

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