The 2019 Berggruen Governance Index

The 2019 Berggruen Governance Index evaluates countries on the basis of their quality of political governance. To do this, the Index disaggregates governance into three key components: Quality of Democracy (Inputs), Quality of Government (Throughputs) and Quality of Life (Outputs). By disaggregating the capacities of governance, the Index attempts to deepen understanding of the relationship between the democratic feedback, government competence and the provision of public goods.

The Index evaluates 38 countries using the three indices composed of 27 sub-indices measured across a 14-year time span between 2004 and 2018. The 38 countries selected represent about 2/3 of global GDP and 3/4 of the global population.

The top performers are the usual suspects. Western and Northern Europe, Canada and the US, Australia – all fare quite well. But the interesting insights do not arise from looking at the overall rankings but at evaluating the relative position of any given country across the three indices. For example, some countries rank higher on Quality of Life than they do on Quality of Democracy. The explanation for why a country is able to produce better than expected outputs (Q of L), despite meagre inputs (Q of D) , most likely lies in a strong competence among the sub-indices the make up the Quality of Governance. For countries, the index offers a flexible tool to identify real or potential strengths and weaknesses, and serves as a point of departure for either building on what works or diagnosing and adjusting what does not.

There is a tacit assumption in the democratic world, that high levels of democracy will produce the best Quality of Life, but the Index exposes deeper insights into the actual relationship between them and the importance of government competence and capacity. In so doing, the Index seeks to catalyze a shift in perspective when it comes to how we think about and measure “good” governance.

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    COVID-19 Response - Case Studies of Four Countries

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a rare crisis that all states are facing simultaneously. Although imperfect—as a result of variations in population, geography and even the evolving epidemiology—this test measures not only pandemic preparedness and response but more importantly state capacity and social resilience. The following report contains four case studies of different countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each report first looks at the pre-pandemic preparedness of the country in question, then presents the strategy that was implemented—including a detailed timeline of action—and an assessment of its performance. Read More ≫

Supplemental Country Case Studies 2019

As supplements to the 2019 Berggruen Governance Index, five profiles on specific countries were created including the United States, China, Italy, South Africa, and Brazil. These countries were selected because they performed better (overachiever) or worse (underachiever) than expected on the Quality of Life given their scores on one of the other indices (Quality of Democracy or Quality of Government). These profiles are not intended as stand-alone documents and are best understood after reviewing the full Index report. They provide interesting examples of the kinds of insights the Index contains and they draw on new data sourced from outside the Governance Index to further explain the results and implications of its findings.

BrazilView Report | Download Report | Download Data

ChinaView Report | Download Report | Download Data

ItalyView Report | Download Report | Download Data

South AfricaView Report | Download Report | Download Data

United StatesView Report | Download Report | Download Data


When using the Berggruen Governance Index data, please make sure to include a proper citation or reference to this database:
“Anheier, Helmut K. 2019. The 2019 Berggruen Governance Index Data. Berlin and Los Angeles: Hertie School and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.”

The data used to calculate the Index is available by clicking here to contact Helmut K Anheier.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.