The Resurrection of the "Science" of Race and Social Darwinism through the Use of Indexes: A Critical Perspective
This paper provides a critique of the way in which indexes (such as the Governance Index, Development Index, Fragile State Index, Corruption Index, etc.) categorize and stratify societies using variables which tend to favour "western" societies and cast the "rest" as belonging to the lower strata of humanity. Under the guise of being "scientific" through the use of quantitative methods, the indexes have been used widely by international agencies, donor governments, academics and civil society organizations as guide for aid, military and political intervention and development policies for the global South. The paper argues that there are deeper ideological, political and ethno-cultural assumptions embedded in the indexes which reinforce age-old cultural stereotypes, institutionalize racialization of the global order and legitimize big power intervention and hegemonic control.