Deu no Estadão:

Brasil é 90º em ‘índice de paz global’

País fica atrás de vizinhos, mas à frente dos EUA; Iraque é a nação ‘menos pacífica’.

Segundo o relatório Global Peace Index (Índice de Paz Global), compilado pelo Institute for Economics and Peace e a consultoria britânica Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), o Brasil caiu sete posições em relação ao ranking do ano passado, o que em parte pode ser explicado pela inclusão de 19 nações no estudo.Na América do Sul, o Chile foi considerado o país mais pacífico, seguido do Uruguai, Argentina, Paraguai e Bolívia. No geral, o Chile também conseguiu uma boa colocação, ficando em 19º.O Brasil ficou com a 7ª posição na região. Venezuela e Colômbia foram considerados os menos pacíficos da América do Sul.Categorias

No ranking geral, o Brasil ficou melhor classificado que os Estados Unidos (97º) e logo acima do México (91º).

O Brasil também ficou à frente da Índia (107º) e da Rússia (131º), porém atrás da China (67º), considerado o mais pacífico entre os países do Bric (Brasil, Rússia, Índia e China).

Pelo segundo ano consecutivo, o Iraque foi considerado o país menos pacífico do mundo, atrás da Somália, Sudão, Afeganistão e Israel.

O ranking avaliou os 140 países em 24 categorias, entre elas as que avaliam relações com países vizinhos, violência, potencial para ataques terroristas, número da população carcerária, direitos humanos, estabilidade política, entre outras.

A Islândia, que não participou do ranking no ano passado, foi considerada o país mais pacífico do mundo, seguida pela Dinamarca e a Noruega.

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Não totalmente relacionado mas quase, a Islândia também apareceu como o país com o maior índice de felicidade do mundo, segundo a pesquisa World Values Survey. Matéria do Guardian dá uma dica dos motivos para isso:

Highest birth rate in Europe + highest divorce rate + highest percentage of women working outside the home = the best country in the world in which to live. There has to be something wrong with this equation. Put those three factors together – loads of children, broken homes, absent mothers – and what you have, surely, is a recipe for misery and social chaos. But no. Iceland, the block of sub-Arctic lava to which these statistics apply, tops the latest table of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index rankings, meaning that as a society and as an economy – in terms of wealth, health and education – they are champions of the world. To which one might respond: Yes, but – what with the dark winters and the far from tropical summers – are Icelanders happy? Actually, in so far as one can reliably measure such things, they are. According to a seemingly serious academic study reported in the Guardian in 2006, Icelanders are the happiest people on earth. (The study was lent some credibility by the finding that the Russians were the most unhappy.)

Oddny Sturludottir, a 31-year-old mother of two, told me she had a good friend who was 25 and had three children by a man who had just left her. ‘But she has no sense of crisis at all,’ Oddny said. ‘She’s preparing to get on with her life and her career in a perfectly optimistic frame of mind.’ The answer to why the friend perceives no crisis in what any woman in a similar predicament anywhere else in the western world might consider a full-blown catastrophe goes a long way towards explaining why Iceland’s 313,000 inhabitants are such a sane, cheerful, successful lot.

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Pois é, é difícil definir felicidade, muito mais comparar a nossa com a dos outros. Continuo achando complicado eleger a “felicidade” como objetivo de política pública. Aliás, achei um artigo sobre a questão da “felicidade subjetiva” que arrola algumas dificuldades com a medida, e que me pareceram convincentes:

Lack of a common unit of measure

Unlike the unit of currency which is the common thread of economic indicators, we do not have an equivalent measure for happiness: the ‘happiness utile’ does not exist, at least not yet. So there are problems with addition and subtraction, counting things twice or not at all and with preference mapping.

Lost in translation

The interpretation of happiness does not universally translate from other languages to English (Duncan 2005). Happiness is a latter-day derivative of the old English word to ‘hap’ or ‘to happen’ — that is to occur by chance, and thus the word is associated with good fortune, luck and success. An alternative interpretation of happiness is ‘good feelings’. But feeling good could imply being care-free; that is, being irresponsible (for example avoiding taxes) or engaging harmful pleasures. Thus happiness status may be affected by language and how societies interpret the language. Some of the interpretations of the meaning of happiness (for example luck) are not tractable for policy development.

Differences in underlying concepts

Studies of subjective wellbeing rarely take a comprehensive set of measures and often use generic terms such as ‘all things considered, how happy are you’ rather than constructing indicators that target positive and negative emotions (Diener and Seligman 2004).

Transient influences

Subjective happiness appears to vary according to the time of day and seasons (Layard 2005), phases of an economic cycle, population age-profile and differences between expectations and outcomes. Thus the timing of information gathering on happiness status and its interpretation (permanent or transient effects) is an important complicating factor in happiness measurement.

Social and cultural influences

Value systems and the willingness to express values are diverse across countries. This poses considerable difficulty in identifying a particular bundle of social goods that maximises happiness. For example, the Maori people of New Zealand place a spiritual value on fish caught that is not taken into account in standard economic wellbeing (Duncan 2004).

Direction of causation

Some studies suggest that causation appears to run both ways. That is, higher incomes are associated with higher happiness, particularly if the higher income is unexpected or lifts the recipient above subsistence level. Running the other way, happier people are likely to earn higher incomes because they are better able to reach social networks important for income earning (Diener and Seligman 2004).

Self-responsibility

There is a question over the dividing line between self-responsibility and government. As Layard (2005) states, ‘happiness depends on your inner life as much as on your outer circumstances’. An implication is that relevant improvements in public policy will not necessarily result in higher ratings in happiness surveys.

Adaptability and rivalry

Finally, and importantly, there is the question of where do the human characteristics of adaptation and rivalry take subjective happiness literature for policy purposes (Henry 2004). As mentioned in the previous section, the cited explanation for why there is only a weak tendency for richer OECD countries to report higher levels of life satisfaction is that individuals adapt to higher incomes and are driven by the rivalry of social comparisons with other individuals. Suppose that, in respect of subjective happiness, adaptation and rivalry are powerful drivers. Thus, we tend to ‘get over’ anything that happens to us — good or bad, endowed or acquired through the passage of life. On this basis, there is no apparent reason for policy intervention because such intervention would not lift happiness. Layard (2005) has a different view: he mounts the case for growth-suppressing policy intervention. But it seems that Layard unintentionally (obviously) provides an equally strong case for no policy at all.

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