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Measuring peace in a complex world

97 pages, pdf
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Measuring peace in a complex world


Publisher: Institute for Economics & Peace

Volume: 97 pages, pdf


Global peacefulness has deteriorated by a very small margin over the past year. This is the fourth time in the last five years that the world has recorded a fall in peacefulness. However, the change this year was the smallest change in index score since 2011. More countries recorded an improvement in peacefulness than a deterioration, with 87 countries recording an improvement, while 73 recorded a deterioration.

The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures more than just the presence or absence of war. It captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarisation. Both the Militarisation and Safety and Security domains recorded deteriorations, with only the Ongoing Conflict domain recording an improvement. Of the 23 GPI indicators, 11 recorded an improvement, ten deteriorated, and two recorded no change over the past year.

The deterioration in Militarisation and improvement in Ongoing Conflict were both influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a major negative impact on economic activity, human movement, and international relations in 2020. The pandemic had a noticeable impact on the violent demonstrations and political instability indicators, with 25 and 46 countries respectively recording deteriorations on these indicators.