Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bad Rankings and a disagreement

More serious rankings are probably important for political scientists, but anthropologists and sociologists might appreciate these more than political scientists.

But if people lose confidence in the country, isn't that part of the political culture? What are the Belgians to think?

Nigeria Ranked 20th Saddest Nation
Nigerian people are known for many things; but calling them sad has not gone down well with most citizens.

Despite the widely spread belief that Nigerians are one of the happiest in the world based on their resilience and ability to smile even in the face of hardship, Forbes has ranked Nigeria as the 20th saddest country…

Taking the first position on the list is the Central African Republic followed closely by the Republic of Congo and Afghanistan.

Sudan takes the 18th position, Mozambique the 19th and Nigeria the 20th.

Among the world's happiest countries, Norway ranked first, Denmark ranked second and Sweden ranked third.

Canada took the sixth position, United States of America the 12th and United Kingdom the 13th among the world's happiest countries…

Nigeria: No Way!
ACCORDING to a report that was recently published in the Washington Post newspaper, Nigeria is the worst country in the entire world to be born in.

The report, based on a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), examined 80 countries and used a scoring system comprising 11 variables to determine "which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead."…

I used to be a Copy Editor at the EIU's London office when I was younger and I developed a deep affection for the organisation - which was widely respected - then. But everyone makes mistakes from time to time and the authors of this study have definitely gotten it wrong on the Nigerian front.

OK so Nigeria is nowhere near Paradise, thanks to the Boko Haram menace and many other dysfunctions, including the fact that it is riddled with various forms of oppression. Furthermore, nothing works well enough in Nigeria. Then there's the constant, never-punished sexual harassment of women by men who have the power to make or break them; and the paralysing cronyism, rigged elections, chronic corruption, awful schools, deadly hospitals; and so on.

But - trust me! - Nigeria is like heaven on earth compared to some of the alternative locations I have found myself in over the years. Nigeria is, for example, considerably less grim than Poland, considerably less frustrating than The Gambia and considerably less boring than Belgium!…

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