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Configuring the World: A Critical 
Political Economy Approach 
Peer Assignment – Project 2 
Fábio Castro – October 3rd, 2014
Choice of Region: Eastern Africa 
Reason: Place where I worked for one year 
Country Region 
Population 2012 
(in thousands) 
Burundi Eastern Africa 10.163 
Comoros Eastern Africa 735 
Djibouti Eastern Africa 873 
Eritrea Eastern Africa 6.333 
Ethiopia Eastern Africa 94.101 
Kenya Eastern Africa 44.354 
Madagascar Eastern Africa 22.925 
Malawi Eastern Africa 16.363 
Mauritius Eastern Africa 1.244 
Mayotte Eastern Africa n/a 
Mozambique Eastern Africa 25.834 
Reunion Eastern Africa n/a 
Rwanda Eastern Africa 11.777 
Seychelles Eastern Africa 93 
Somalia Eastern Africa 10.496 
South Sudan Eastern Africa 11.296 
Tanzania (United Republic)Eastern Africa 49.253 
Uganda Eastern Africa 37.579 
Zambia Eastern Africa 14.539 
Zimbabwe Eastern Africa 14.150 
Comparison country: Brazil (South America) 
Reason: Where I live 
Country Region 
Population 2012 
(in thousands) 
Brazil South America 200.362
Dimension: Trust 
• Country populations (log), ordered per population ranking
Dimension: Trust 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
These countries are in the lower end of the spectrum, except for Madagascar, Ethiopia 
and Mozambique. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil is among the very lowest-trust countries. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Brazil has a level of trust similar to the countries in Eastern Africa 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
The data is collected through personal surveys, as part of collection of several opinion 
data. There is no clear trend on the differences observed among the countries, which 
varies in a scale of 2-3x between Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi in the lower spectrum, 
and Mozambique, Ethiopia and Madagascar in the higher spectrum. It can be a matter 
of survey interpretation or sentiment towards the government, instead of trust among 
the population.
Dimension: Ethnicity Fractionalization 
• “Ethnicity Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Ethnicity Fractionalization 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of ethnicity 
fractionalization, except for Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is very close to world’s average and median. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Most of the Eastern African countries’ fractionalization is higher than Brazil’s. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
This data shows how different ethnicities live in the same country. The levels are very 
high for most of the Eastern African countries, except for the very small ones. The 
explanation is probably the colonization history, which divided the countries with no 
respect for the local ethnical groups. 
Regarding Brazil, the reason are the mixtures between the local Indians, colonizers 
(Portuguese), Africans (brought as slaves) and later immigrations (Lebanese, Italians, 
Germans, Japanese)
Dimension: Language Fractionalization 
• “Language Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Language Fractionalization 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of language 
fractionalization, except for Rwanda and Burundi. Notice these are also the counties 
with the lowest ethnicity fractionalization. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is among the lowest in the world. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Most of the Eastern African countries’ fractionalization is higher than Brazil’s. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
This data considers the languages from the Ethnologue and it shows how different 
language groups are spoken in the same country. The levels are high for most of the 
Eastern African countries, because in most countries the local (non-colonizer) 
languages are spoken outside of the large cities. Exceptions are the very small countries 
(Rwanda and Burundi), as with the ethnicity fractionalization. 
Regarding Brazil, the reason is that almost all population have Portuguese as mother 
language.
Dimension: Religion Fractionalization 
• “Religion Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Religion Fractionalization 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of religion 
fractionalization, except for South Sudan. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is slightly higher than average. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Brazil’s fractionalization is similar to most Eastern African countries . 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
This data shows how different religions are followed in the same country. The levels are 
high for most of the Eastern African countries, probably for the same reason as the 
ethnic fractionalization. Exception is South Sudan, however this may be due to poor 
data. 
Regarding Brazil, though most of the population is roman catholic, there are many 
other Christian denominations present, as well as syncretism between African and 
Christian religion.
Dimension: Religiosity 
• Religiosity level (% of personnel practicing a religion), ordered by ranking
Dimension: Religiosity 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
All of the countries are in the very high spectrum of religiosity. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil also has a very high religiosity level. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Brazil’s religiosity level is slightly lower than the levels of the eastern African countries. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
There is a strong correlation between religiosity and development levels. Thus it is not 
a surprise that the countries in Eastern Africa present very high religiosity levels. 
However, it is disputed if low religiosity favors economic development or the opposite.
Dimension: Income and Inequality 
• GINI index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Income and Inequality 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
Most of the Eastern Africa countries present high income inequalities. Zambia, for 
example, is the world’s second highest. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil also has a very high level of income inequality. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Brazil’s income inequality is slightly higher than the Eastern African average. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
This data indicates how much the income distribution deviates from a “perfect 
equality” (all people earning the same amount). Brazil’s level is very high, though have 
been decreasing in these previous years. 
Ethiopia’s level is relatively low, which is not necessarily good, as it indicates not a just 
society, but a society where all are equally poor.
Dimension: Democracy 
• Democracy Index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Democracy 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
Eastern African countries have, mostly, a lower-than-average democracy index than the 
rest of the world, except for Mauritius, that has a high index. Also the levels of Zambia, 
Malawi and Tanzania are slightly higher than average. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil has a higher-than-average democracy index than the rest of the world. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
Eastern African countries’ indexes are generally lower than Brazil’s except for Mauritius. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
The Democracy Index used was from The Economist Intelligence Unit. Most of the 
countries in Eastern Africa are presidential democracies, but the political freedom and 
institution’s impartiality is questionable.
Dimension: Rule of Law 
• “Rule of Law” index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Rule of Law 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
The indexes for these countries are much lower than average (Somalia, for example, 
holds the worst position), except for Reunion and Mauritius, which present very high 
levels. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil is slightly lower than average. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
In general, Eastern African levels are lower than Brazil’s. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
The data used are from the world Bank. This index intends to demonstrate how much 
business rules are followed, indicating the perception of institutional business risks. 
Somalia, as a failed state, has the worst index level in the world.
Dimension: Control of Corruption 
• “Control of Corruption” index, ordered per index ranking
Dimension: Control of Corruption 
• Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: 
The indexes for these countries are much lower than average, except for Reunion , 
Mauritius, Seychelles and Rwanda, which present higher-than-average levels. 
• Brazil placement in comparison with other states: 
Brazil is slightly lower than average. 
• Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: 
In general, Eastern African levels are lower than Brazil’s. 
• Nature of data and possible explanations: 
This is an index assembled by the Word Bank, which intends to demonstrate the 
perception of corruption control. Notice that some local countries, such as Somalia, 
Zimbabwe, Burundi and South Sudan, are perceived as among the most corrupt in the 
world. As with many other Governance Indexes, it indicates that the institutions in 
these countries are very week.

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Configuring the world peer assignment - project 2

  • 1. Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach Peer Assignment – Project 2 Fábio Castro – October 3rd, 2014
  • 2. Choice of Region: Eastern Africa Reason: Place where I worked for one year Country Region Population 2012 (in thousands) Burundi Eastern Africa 10.163 Comoros Eastern Africa 735 Djibouti Eastern Africa 873 Eritrea Eastern Africa 6.333 Ethiopia Eastern Africa 94.101 Kenya Eastern Africa 44.354 Madagascar Eastern Africa 22.925 Malawi Eastern Africa 16.363 Mauritius Eastern Africa 1.244 Mayotte Eastern Africa n/a Mozambique Eastern Africa 25.834 Reunion Eastern Africa n/a Rwanda Eastern Africa 11.777 Seychelles Eastern Africa 93 Somalia Eastern Africa 10.496 South Sudan Eastern Africa 11.296 Tanzania (United Republic)Eastern Africa 49.253 Uganda Eastern Africa 37.579 Zambia Eastern Africa 14.539 Zimbabwe Eastern Africa 14.150 Comparison country: Brazil (South America) Reason: Where I live Country Region Population 2012 (in thousands) Brazil South America 200.362
  • 3. Dimension: Trust • Country populations (log), ordered per population ranking
  • 4. Dimension: Trust • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: These countries are in the lower end of the spectrum, except for Madagascar, Ethiopia and Mozambique. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil is among the very lowest-trust countries. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Brazil has a level of trust similar to the countries in Eastern Africa • Nature of data and possible explanations: The data is collected through personal surveys, as part of collection of several opinion data. There is no clear trend on the differences observed among the countries, which varies in a scale of 2-3x between Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi in the lower spectrum, and Mozambique, Ethiopia and Madagascar in the higher spectrum. It can be a matter of survey interpretation or sentiment towards the government, instead of trust among the population.
  • 5. Dimension: Ethnicity Fractionalization • “Ethnicity Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
  • 6. Dimension: Ethnicity Fractionalization • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of ethnicity fractionalization, except for Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is very close to world’s average and median. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Most of the Eastern African countries’ fractionalization is higher than Brazil’s. • Nature of data and possible explanations: This data shows how different ethnicities live in the same country. The levels are very high for most of the Eastern African countries, except for the very small ones. The explanation is probably the colonization history, which divided the countries with no respect for the local ethnical groups. Regarding Brazil, the reason are the mixtures between the local Indians, colonizers (Portuguese), Africans (brought as slaves) and later immigrations (Lebanese, Italians, Germans, Japanese)
  • 7. Dimension: Language Fractionalization • “Language Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
  • 8. Dimension: Language Fractionalization • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of language fractionalization, except for Rwanda and Burundi. Notice these are also the counties with the lowest ethnicity fractionalization. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is among the lowest in the world. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Most of the Eastern African countries’ fractionalization is higher than Brazil’s. • Nature of data and possible explanations: This data considers the languages from the Ethnologue and it shows how different language groups are spoken in the same country. The levels are high for most of the Eastern African countries, because in most countries the local (non-colonizer) languages are spoken outside of the large cities. Exceptions are the very small countries (Rwanda and Burundi), as with the ethnicity fractionalization. Regarding Brazil, the reason is that almost all population have Portuguese as mother language.
  • 9. Dimension: Religion Fractionalization • “Religion Fractionalization” index, ordered per index ranking
  • 10. Dimension: Religion Fractionalization • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: Most of the Eastern African countries have a higher-than-average level of religion fractionalization, except for South Sudan. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil’s ethnicity fractionalization is slightly higher than average. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Brazil’s fractionalization is similar to most Eastern African countries . • Nature of data and possible explanations: This data shows how different religions are followed in the same country. The levels are high for most of the Eastern African countries, probably for the same reason as the ethnic fractionalization. Exception is South Sudan, however this may be due to poor data. Regarding Brazil, though most of the population is roman catholic, there are many other Christian denominations present, as well as syncretism between African and Christian religion.
  • 11. Dimension: Religiosity • Religiosity level (% of personnel practicing a religion), ordered by ranking
  • 12. Dimension: Religiosity • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: All of the countries are in the very high spectrum of religiosity. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil also has a very high religiosity level. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Brazil’s religiosity level is slightly lower than the levels of the eastern African countries. • Nature of data and possible explanations: There is a strong correlation between religiosity and development levels. Thus it is not a surprise that the countries in Eastern Africa present very high religiosity levels. However, it is disputed if low religiosity favors economic development or the opposite.
  • 13. Dimension: Income and Inequality • GINI index, ordered per index ranking
  • 14. Dimension: Income and Inequality • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: Most of the Eastern Africa countries present high income inequalities. Zambia, for example, is the world’s second highest. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil also has a very high level of income inequality. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Brazil’s income inequality is slightly higher than the Eastern African average. • Nature of data and possible explanations: This data indicates how much the income distribution deviates from a “perfect equality” (all people earning the same amount). Brazil’s level is very high, though have been decreasing in these previous years. Ethiopia’s level is relatively low, which is not necessarily good, as it indicates not a just society, but a society where all are equally poor.
  • 15. Dimension: Democracy • Democracy Index, ordered per index ranking
  • 16. Dimension: Democracy • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: Eastern African countries have, mostly, a lower-than-average democracy index than the rest of the world, except for Mauritius, that has a high index. Also the levels of Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania are slightly higher than average. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil has a higher-than-average democracy index than the rest of the world. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: Eastern African countries’ indexes are generally lower than Brazil’s except for Mauritius. • Nature of data and possible explanations: The Democracy Index used was from The Economist Intelligence Unit. Most of the countries in Eastern Africa are presidential democracies, but the political freedom and institution’s impartiality is questionable.
  • 17. Dimension: Rule of Law • “Rule of Law” index, ordered per index ranking
  • 18. Dimension: Rule of Law • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: The indexes for these countries are much lower than average (Somalia, for example, holds the worst position), except for Reunion and Mauritius, which present very high levels. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil is slightly lower than average. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: In general, Eastern African levels are lower than Brazil’s. • Nature of data and possible explanations: The data used are from the world Bank. This index intends to demonstrate how much business rules are followed, indicating the perception of institutional business risks. Somalia, as a failed state, has the worst index level in the world.
  • 19. Dimension: Control of Corruption • “Control of Corruption” index, ordered per index ranking
  • 20. Dimension: Control of Corruption • Eastern Africa placement in comparison with other states: The indexes for these countries are much lower than average, except for Reunion , Mauritius, Seychelles and Rwanda, which present higher-than-average levels. • Brazil placement in comparison with other states: Brazil is slightly lower than average. • Comparison among countries in the region and reference states: In general, Eastern African levels are lower than Brazil’s. • Nature of data and possible explanations: This is an index assembled by the Word Bank, which intends to demonstrate the perception of corruption control. Notice that some local countries, such as Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burundi and South Sudan, are perceived as among the most corrupt in the world. As with many other Governance Indexes, it indicates that the institutions in these countries are very week.