Empirical Trends in Peace
Good Governance, Political Conflict

The Century of Peace? Empirical Trends in Peace and Conflict

Author(s): One Earth Future
Date: November 2, 2015
Publication Type: Conference Report
Research Topics: Good Governance, Political Conflict

Overview:

Is a world without war possible in the 21st century?Trends in armed conflict and a developing body of social scientific research suggest that this idea is plausible.Based on a discussion of high-level experts held in 2014, this report reviews the existing research on peace and conflict to argue that peace is an achievable goal for the globe.Current systems for human security have largely succeeded in reducing the risk of war, and if these systems are extended and sustained then it is possible that the world will reach a stable system without war.This report lays out three initial starting points for how these systems can be extended.First, the current systems for economic and human development and human security, including international peacekeeping, should be extended.Secondly, efforts should be made to continue the integration of women into equal participation in economic and political life internationally.Finally, norms and beliefs that legitimize the use of violence as a tool of state or non-state groups should be undermined.

Key Findings:

  • Humanity as a whole is enjoying one of the most peaceful times in all of human history. Organized armed conflict has been on the decline throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, and while these trends are in danger of reversing, in general the movement towards peace is still strong when compared to history. If these trends continue, a peaceful world is possible.
  • The world must continue the gains in human security. The decline in conflict is in large part because the world has made great strides in reducing poverty and supporting human development, with a resulting decline in war and violence. These trends must be reinforced and continued by extending the current structures in place for development and security.
  • The world must increase women’s engagement in economic and political life internationally. Research and the lived experience of women internationally show that as women become more visible in public life, peace is more likely.
  • Achieving peace will require the world to confront beliefs that legitimize violence as a tool of conflict resolution, an area that has been largely underdeveloped to date.

Related Publications

Global Society

Democratising Transitional Justice: Transitional Trade-offs and Constituting the Demos

Written by Eamon Aloyo on October 2, 2013

Aloyo argues that transitional justice should be democratized so that victims and potential victims constitute the transitional justice demos. To realize this goal he proposes a method by which people can be enfranchised to make such choices.

Read more
Non State actors and Governance

The Rise of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Opportunities and Limitations

Written by Kelsey Coolidge, Conor Seyle, Thomas G. Weiss on August 17, 2013

The success of non-state actors does not mean that intergovernmental organizations have no role — quite the contrary.

Read more
The Cost Of Maritime Piracy

The Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012

Written by Conor Seyle, Kaija Hurlburt on June 1, 2013

Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a project of the One Earth Future Foundation; the International Maritime Bureau (IMB); and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) are pleased to present the Human Cost of Maritime Piracy, 2012.

Read more
Burden Sharing Governance

Burden Sharing Multi-level Governance: A Study of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia

Written by Conor Seyle, Danielle A. Zach, Jens Vestergaard Madsen on May 26, 2013

The world confronts many threats with transnational dimensions that transcend the the capacity of states to address.

Read more
Business Participation in the Responsibility to Protect

Business Participation in the Responsibility to Protect

Written by Conor Seyle on April 26, 2013

Past research on business engagement with human rights, peace, and security has identified specific reasons why national and transnational companies may be interested in participating, as well as how they have contributed to protecting human rights

Read more

Governance, Democracy and Peace: How State Capacity and Regime Type Influence the Prospects for War and Peace

Written by Conor Seyle, David Cortright, Kristen Wall on April 26, 2013

This white paper offers a synthetic review of empirical evidence on the elements of state governance that affect interstate and intrastate armed conflict. In the first part of the paper we examine state capacity and institutional quality.

Read more
Criminal Court and Torture

Does the International Criminal Court Deter Torture?

Written by Eamon Aloyo, Yvonne M. Dutton, Lindsay Heger on March 8, 2013

Despite widespread commitment to the international human rights regime, human rights abuses persist and go unpunished.

Read more
Terrorism and Political Violence

Organizing for Resistance: How Group Structure Impacts the Character of Violence

Written by Danielle Jung, Wendy H. Wong, Lindsay Heger on November 15, 2012

How does the way in which a group organizes change the lethality of the group's attacks? In this article, we argue that groups organized vertically as hierarchies are likely to conduct more lethal attacks.

Read more

Pages