Threat of World War
Political Conflict


Author(s): Aaron Clauset
Date: September 20, 2017
Publication Type: Discussion Paper


Since 1945, there have been relatively few large interstate wars, especially compared to the preceding 30 years. The implications of this pattern, sometimes called “the Long Peace,” remain highly controversial. Is this an enduring trend toward peace? Or is it temporary, representing a fluctuation within an otherwise stable system of conflict? Answering this question has remained difficult because of substantial evidence supporting both perspectives and the enormously variable nature of war. Here, advanced statistical methods are employed to examine the hypothesis of there being a trend toward peace. 

Key Findings:

These analyses suggest that the decline in war is consistent with a stable conflict generation process.

Related Publications

Coups d'Etat and Civil War

When and Why Coups Occur During Civil War

Written by Curtis Bell on January 15, 2016

Coups d’état are frequently both causes and consequences of larger-scale civil wars and rebellions.

Read more
Empirical Trends in Peace

The Century of Peace? Empirical Trends in Peace and Conflict

Written by One Earth Future on November 2, 2015

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

Read more
Causes and Outcomes of Coup during Civil War

The Causes and Outcomes of Coup during Civil War

Written by Curtis Bell, Jun Koga Sudduth on October 1, 2015

Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes.

Read more
Rebels and Service Provision

Negotiating With Rebels: The Effect of Rebel Service Provision on Conflict Negotiations

Written by Lindsay Heger, Danielle F. Jung on September 29, 2015

When rebels provide social services, do they have more leverage negotiating the terms of a peace deal? The literature suggests service-providing groups may, on average, have a wider base of support and a more centralized organizational structure.

Read more
Strengthening Maritime Security

Non-State Actors in Maritime Security

Written by Conor Seyle, Jens Vestergaard Madsen on July 20, 2015

Non-state actors have a strong counter-piracy role for the maritime sector, potentially greater than the role they play in land-based problems.

Read more
Prosecuting pirates

The Issue of Juvenile Piracy

Written by Jon Belish on June 15, 2015

This chapter was published as part of the book Prosecuting Maritime Piracy, editors Michael P. Scharf, Michael Newton, and Milena

Read more
Maritime Piracy 2014

The State of Maritime Piracy 2014

Written by Conor Seyle, Matthew R. Walje, Kellie Brandt, Peter Kerins, Megan Matthews, Tyler Maybee on June 10, 2015

This report is the fifth in a series by Oceans Beyond Piracy with support from OEF Research.These reports annually seek to assess the cost of maritime piracy - both economic and human - to the international community.

Read more
Social evolution

Social evolution in the shadow of asymmetrical relatedness

Written by Daniel Brian Krupp, Peter D. Taylor on April 29, 2015

The persistence of altruism and spite remains an enduring problem of social evolution.

Read more