What is militarisation?
The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) was developed by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) and defines militarisation in a quantitative sense as those means and capacities available to a state’s armed forces. By incorporating other data sets (such as “defense spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP)”, or “defense spending in proportion to health expenditures”), the index shows the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of a state in relation to society as a whole.
The GMI does not mirror the tendency of a state to fight political and social conflicts with violent means. The militarisation of a country, as shown in the GMI, solely refers to the naked facts, i.e. the distribution of resources, and thus only indirectly to the readiness of a country to warmonger or use violence. In short, the country that supports a large military apparatus does not necessarily have an intention to enforce its interests against others with that apparatus.
The GMI purposely looks only at state funds. For one, this is because a purely subjective attitude (“readiness to use violence”) is difficult to measure and to show in an index. Secondly, there are hardly any reliable data sets for non-state military capacities that would be fit for evaluation.