Verisk Maplecroft, a major risk consultancy has compiled a list of where in the world the risk of civil unrest is highest, and how that potential for disobedience poses risks to the business climate in these countries.
As Verisk Maplecroft notes in its report: “Severe incidents of civil unrest may impact business operations in the following ways: disrupt logistics by obstructing major thoroughfares and access to airports and ports; pose security threats to employees; destruction of property either due to looting or as consequence of violence between parties.”
“As we’ seen in South Africa and Nigeria, poor economic performance is also a critical bellwether for the likelihood of civil unrest,” Principal Political Risk Analyst Charlotte Ingham said in the report. “In addition, widespread political and ethnic discrimination or corruption can inflame popular discontent and trigger significant events.”
To compile its ranking, Verisk Maplecroft put together a host of indicators, including inflation levels in every country, whether or not certain social groups are marginalised, and how often there is political unrest, before putting the countries into a ranking.
Unsurprisingly, the nations where civil unrest poses the biggest business risks are largely in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, where economies are broadly less developed, and political systems are more volatile than in developed nations in Europe and North America.
Take a look at the countries most likely to experience civil unrest below.
16. France — French workers are notorious for going on strike more often than workers in pretty much any other nation in the West. That helps make France the developed nation at the highest risk of major civil unrest, according to Verisk Maplecroft.
15. Argentina — One of many Latin American nations to feature near the top of the Civil Unrest Index, Argentina saw a major incident of civil disobedience in the city of Cordoba in 2013 when looters ransacked the city following a police strike over low pay.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
14. Iraq — That Iraq features high on Verisk Maplecroft’s list is unsurprising given the numerous conflicts that have ravaged the country in recent years. First the US-led war in Iraq, and more recently the rise of ISIS, have caused havoc in the middle eastern nation.
13. South Africa — South Africa is among the most developed nations in Africa, but that does not mean it is exempt to the threat of civil unrest. It scores highly in the index among strong developing nations.
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
11. Venezuela — Venezuela’s troubles are well documented. Rampant inflation means that goods and services are incredibly expensive, meaning that much of the country’s population is suffering from hunger and a lack of basic essentials, like toilet paper.
REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
10. Nigeria — Nigeria is suffering through a period of very high inflation — around 16.5% — and serious strife, thanks to a rebel group known as the Niger Delta Avengers who are wreaking havoc in the country’s oil-producing region.
9. Palestine — The ongoing conflict with Israel, along with high levels of poverty, helps put Palestine near the top of Verisk Maplecroft’s ranking.
8. Myanmar — Myanmar has one of the biggest income gaps in the world, with a Wealth X report in 2014 showing that the country’s poor are one of the most marginalised groups on earth.
Photo Courtesy of Walter Chang
7. Mexico — Mexico has seen several incidents of major civil unrest in recent years, with drug cartel violence one of the most prevalent issues. In a recent incident, six people died during clashes between police and protesting teachers.
6. Bangladesh — Poverty is deep and widespread in Bangladesh, thanks in large part to the country being one of the world’s most densely populated countries, pushing Bangladesh to a high position on this list.
5. Burundi — Burundi is one of the poorest countries on earth, has suffered through two major civil wars in the last few decades, and in 2015 saw a failed coup attempt after President Pierre Nkurunziza stood for a third term in office.
4. India — India may be rapidly developing and be home to more than 1 billion people, but the country is at a high risk of civil unrest, according to Verisk Maplecroft.
Philip Brown / Reuters
3. Libya — Since the state’s dictatorial ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011, Libya has failed to stabilise politically, and like several nations on this list, has become a hotbed of activity for ISIS.
2. Yemen — Another nation of Verisk Maplecroft’s list wracked by civil war, the Yemeni outlook is dominated by the conflict between the country’s exiled government and Houthi rebels who now control much of the nation.
1. Syria — Just five or six years ago, Syria was a prosperous, reasonably stable nation, often cited as a jewel in the conflict-riddled Middle East, but years of civil war and the rise of ISIS mean that Syria now tops the Civil Unrest Index.