Chrystia Freeland

The uprising index, explained

February 25, 2011

The Uprising Index Chrystia refers to in this week’s column ranks 80 countries on the likelihood of a domestic uprising based on the average of four equally-weighted factors: corruption; vulnerability to rising food prices; political freedom; and internet penetration.  Our thesis is that an uprising is more likely in a country if corruption is high, if rising food prices have a big effect on a country’s economy, if political freedom is low, and if internet penetration is high.  After crunching the data, here are the 25 countries that scored highest by our measure (out of a maximum score of 1):

Predicting the next uprising

February 24, 2011

One casualty of the uprisings in the Middle East has been the professionals who didn’t see them coming. The International Monetary Fund has taken a hit for its April 2010 report on Egypt, which praised the country’s ‘‘sustained and wide-ranging reforms since 2004,’’ noting they had made the economy more durable and less vulnerable to external shocks. Ditto the C.I.A., whose director, Leon Panetta, endured the very personal ignominy of seeing his public predictions to Congress proven wrong within hours of making them.