Previous Story: Global Peace Index & Positive Peace Index Released (2013)

U.S Ranks 99th in the GPI; Iceland Ranks #1

Recently, the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) released the 2013 edition of its annual Global Peace Index (GPI), and its second annual report on the Positive Peace Index (PPI), which attempts to monitor positive measures of what makes a society peaceful.

The GPI measures the “absence of violence and absence of the fear of violence” using socio-economic and statistical indicators of interior and exterior conflict as well as the degree of social security and militarization. The PPI compliments it by attempting to broaden our understanding of international peace by monitoring “formal and informal institutions that move a society away from violence and towards peace,” such as the quality of  business environment, the corruption level of the government, the availability of education, and the flow of information and resources.

Together, these reports provide us with a comprehensive picture of global peace.

Key Findings of the Global Peace Index:                                 

The United States ranked 99th in the GPI, largely due to our high level of internment and the availability of guns.

Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand claimed the top three spots, while Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan, 160-162 respectively, ranked last.

Overall, the world grew somewhat more violent, driven by a rises in homicides, many attributable to drug conflicts in Central America and violent crime and political turmoil in Sub-Saharan Africa, and an increase internal political conflicts globally. 48 countries became more peaceful and 110 less peaceful, and regionally, only North America, which stayed static, did not see a drop in its level of peacefulness. The Middle East and North Africa have seen the largest drop in peacefulness since 2008, though South Asia still ranks as the least peaceful region.

With the recent Civil War, Syria demonstrated the largest drop in the history of the GPI, with its score increasing (meaning a decrease in peacefulness) by 70% since 2008, and 18% since last year. The largest improvement from last year came in Libya, as it recovers from the revolution that overthrew Muammer Qadafi in late 2011. It is followed by Sudan, where there was a de-escalation from high levels of internal conflict, and Chad, recovering from a civil war of its own.

Key Findings of the Positive Peace Index:

The Positive Peace Index ranks countries based on the strength of the structures and social institutions that contribute to a peaceful society. The PPI is measured by 8 categories: a well-functioning government, a sound business environment, an equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others, good relations with neighbors, the free flow of information, high levels of human capital, and low levels of corruption.

Using this metric, Denmark ranks first, followed by Norway and Finland. The United States performed much better on the PPI than on the GPI, ranking 19th. Data is available for fewer countries in the PPI, but of the countries ranked, the Democratic Republic of the Congo ranked last, followed by Chad and Yemen.  Over a selection of 121 countries where data could be obtained, positive peace increased slightly by 1.7% in the period between 2005 and 2010.

The PPI data shows that change in these positive institutions of peace is slow, and that institution building is a long term process, while measures of negative peace, such as those used in the GPI, are much more volatile. This also suggests that the PPI indicators are much more durable, and that work to build capacity in those areas will create lasting results.

Courtesy of The Peace Alliance Via:  http://www.visionofhumanity.org

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