International Security Index iSi




“As a journalist I know well how much more open and straight forward officials are when in an off the record modus. The upcoming discussions within the Trialogue Club International format in 2020 will give us all – so I hope – the possibility to better and deeper understand Russia’s foreign and security policy, to ask frank questions and get sincere answers”, - Dr. Elena V. Chernenko, Co-Chair, Trialogue Club International, PIR Center Executive Board member, Deputy Foreign Editor, Kommersant Daily.




“The program is tailored to people with a very specific interest in nuclear issues. Getting to work with people who had been very active in the field of nonproliferation, both on the Russian and American side, is an opportunity few students get”, Dual Degree Master`s Program student Collin MacDowell.


"Strategic stability in its classical sense – understood as a state of US- Russian relations under which neither side has incentives to launch a first nuclear strike – was developed during the Cold War", - a consultant at PIR Center Andrey Baklitskiy

This paper has been produced for the joint PIR Center – CSIS project “Reducing nuclear risks during Great Powers Competition”. We thank our partners in CSIS for their cooperation and support for this publication

iSi Methodology

iSi is determined in accordance with an original method developed by the PIR Center. It indicates the general level of the state of international security in the military, political, economic, and environmental spheres. It also takes into account the impact of nongovernmental actors (in particular, terrorist activity).

The most important characteristics of iSi are its comprehensiveness, robustness, and clarity. A great number of the factors that directly effect international security are reflected in iSi in a concentrated form. They include: the threat of global nuclear war, the number and intensity of local conflicts, the type of political relations between various countries and international organizations, the intensity and scale of terrorist activity, the stability of the global economy, and the threat posed by man-made catastrophes and epidemics.

The structure of iSi consists of two main parts. The first is the basic Index value. It is calculated on the basis of expert analyses of the probability of the occurrence of one or another global or regional event that would have a direct impact on international security. Each such event is given a certain score on the scale we have developed.


In our calculations, total points increase as the probability of various events that might disrupt international security decreases, and, correspondingly, they decrease with an increase in the probability of such events. The total of the points for each factor is the iSi base value, a quantity calculated once per year. Each type of factor (military, political, economic, man-made catastrophe, and terrorist) has is “weighted” according to a scale of priorities and given an appropriate coefficient.  

The second part of iSi is calculated by evaluating actual events that have an influence on international security during a particular month. Each such event is assessed both according to its positive or negative influence on international security and according to its degree of influence (weak, moderate, or strong) according to the point scale we have developed. The degree of influence of each such factor is corrected depending on the country or region in which the event took place. In order to do this, we have developed a coefficient for the significance of particular regions (from 1 to 9). The number of positive points for each individual factor indicates the event's contribution to international security; negative marks indicate the negative influence of a particular factor.

The iSi Index, therefore, is calculated according to the following formula:






= coefficient “weight” of global factors;




= coefficient “weight” of regional factors;



 = coefficient “weight” of local factors;




 = coefficient indicating the importance of an individual region.


We have been calculating iSi on a monthly basis since July 2006. The increase or decrease in its absolute value indicates the trends in international security during the period in question, including both their direction and strength. The sum of all points provides the basic value of iSi, which shows how distant the global situation is at that moment from the “ideal”—when there are no threats at all.

Pir Center