Just Sociology

Global Peace Index: Assessing Peace Levels Worldwide and its Usefulness in Development

In today’s world, peace is considered the cornerstone of human well-being and socio-economic progress. Globalization, increasing economic and social interdependency, and rising conflicts have made it critical to assess peace at a global level.

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an innovative tool that helps us to understand if the world is becoming peaceful or not. The GPI is a data-driven index that measures peace in countries and regions around the world.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization, produces the GPI annually. This article discusses the GPI’s thematic domains, key findings from the 2020 report, and the IEP’s aim.

The Global Peace Index

The GPI is based on 23 indicators, which are weighted differently, depending on their importance to peace. The GPI focuses on three thematic domains, namely societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and militarisation.

Societal safety and security looks at the level of crime, violence, and insecurity in a country. Ongoing domestic and international conflict measures the intensity, duration, and number of conflicts in a country.

Militarisation examines the level of military expenditure, arms imports, and the number of military personnel in a country.

Thematic domains

Societal safety and security is the most significant thematic domain of the GPI, accounting for 40% of the total score. The indicators used to measure societal safety and security include the number of homicides, the level of violent crime, the perception of safety and security, and the police presence.

Ongoing domestic and international conflict accounts for 30% of the GPI score. Indicators used in this domain measure the number of conflicts, their duration, intensity, and fatalities.

Militarisation accounts for 30% of the GPI score, with indicators measuring the level of military expenditure, weapon imports, and military personnel.

Key findings from 2020 report

The 2020 GPI shows that the world is moving towards becoming less peaceful, with the average global peacefulness deteriorating by 0.34% since 2008. The report highlights trends such as polarisation and instability that threaten peace.

Polarisation is the increasing division between communities based on race, religion, and politics. The report reveals that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the lowest GPI score of any world region, with ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq contributing heavily to the low score.

The report also shows how Europe has had an increase in peace since the 2000s, with improvements in political stability, safety, and security. Institute for Economics and Peace’s aim

The IEP’s mission is to create a paradigm shift in the way we approach peace by conducting data-driven research that helps us understand the impact of peace on human well-being and development.

The GPI is a crucial element of the IEP’s aim to foster a more peaceful global society. The GPI’s findings help policymakers and the public understand the drivers of peace and conflict, and they allow for informed decisions on how to allocate resources towards building and sustaining peace.

Selected Key Findings of the 2017 Global Peace Index

Trends in peacefulness in 2020

The 2017 GPI showed that while the world is becoming less peaceful, there was a divergence in peacefulness between the most and least peaceful countries. Syrian, Afghanistan, and Iraq have the lowest GPI scores, with significant ongoing conflicts.

The countries with the highest GPI scores were Iceland, New Zealand, and Portugal, with low levels of militarisation, societal safety and security, and ongoing domestic and international conflict. The report also highlights how refugees represent one of the most significant challenges for global peace.

Economic costs of violence

The report highlights the high economic costs of violence, which were estimated to be 14 trillion USD in 2017, equivalent to 12.6% of global gross world product (GWP) or 1,953 USD per person. The costs of violence include direct, indirect, and opportunity costs.

Direct costs comprise of the costs of the military, police, and judicial systems. Indirect costs involve lower productivity due to stress and anxiety, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancies.

Opportunity costs were calculated as the lost opportunities for investment and growth, as resources get diverted towards dealing with the aftermath of violence.

Conclusion

The GPI remains a vital tool for understanding global trends in peace and conflict, and the IEP continues to produce the GPI annually. The GPI’s thematic domains, key findings from 2020, and the economic costs of violence highlight the importance of peace in promoting economic and social progress.

As the world faces complex socio-economic and political challenges, ensuring peace requires the collective effort of governments, civil society, and individuals. Non-profit organizations, such as the IEP, will continue to provide invaluable contributions to building and sustaining peace by conducting innovative research and driving a new global paradigm towards peacebuilding.

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is a data-driven index that has gained significant popularity in recent years as one of the most influential tools for measuring peace levels around the world. Its methodology comprises 23 indicators that focus on the three thematic domains of societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and militarisation.

The GPI is produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization. This article expands on the GPI’s usefulness regarding development by discussing its strengths and limitations in providing an accurate assessment of peace levels worldwide.

Usefulness of Global Peace Index regarding development

Strengths

One of the GPI’s primary strengths is its non-partisan approach, which enables it to provide unbiased peace assessments. Furthermore, the GPI’s methodology allows for correlation analyses between peace and other factors related to economic, social, and political development.

For example, several studies have found a positive correlation between peace levels and economic growth, innovation, and human development. Similarly, the GPI has shown a negative correlation between military expenditure and peacefulness levels, suggesting that countries investing in military are less likely to achieve peaceful outcomes.

Furthermore, the GPI has led to the development of the concept of “positive peace,” which refers to the attitudes, structures, and institutions that support sustainable peace. Positive peace is a long-term approach that focuses on building peaceful societies rather than simply resolving conflicts.

Limitations

Despite its strengths, the GPI has several limitations that can affect the accuracy of its results. One limitation is the validity of the data used.

The GPI depends on a vast number of data sources that have different methodologies and accuracy levels, which can lead to inaccuracies and uncertainties. Another limitation is the range of indicators used in the GPI.

While the GPI covers a broad range of indicators, it may not capture all aspects of peace, particularly those related to struggles experienced by specific communities, such as violence against women or minority groups. Additionally, the weighting of the data used can be a limitation.

The GPI’s 23 indicators are weighted differently in the three thematic domains, and the specific weighting may not be accurate and can affect the overall GPI score. Violence against women is a significant limitation that needs further attention.

The GPI currently does not include indicators that explicitly measure gender-based violence. However, several studies have found a significant correlation between peace levels and the prevalence of gender-based violence, indicating the need for more comprehensive indicators to assess this type of violence.

Violence against women is a critical concern globally, and addressing its causes and reducing its prevalence should be a priority for the GPI.

Conclusion

The Global Peace Index remains one of the most influential tools to assess peace levels around the world. While the GPI has several strengths related to non-partisanship, correlation analyses, and the development of positive peace, it also has limitations.

These limitations include the validity of data sources and range of indicators used, the accuracy of the weighting of the data, and the lack of explicit indicators to assess gender-based violence. Despite this, the GPI provides a valuable framework for measuring peace and can help promote peaceful development globally.

Policymakers and development actors can use GPI findings to make informed decisions about the allocation of resources towards peacebuilding initiatives. Moving forward, it is crucial for the GPI to address its limitations and continue to provide a more comprehensive approach to assess peace.

Conclusion:

In summary, the Global Peace Index provides a valuable tool for measuring peace levels worldwide and identifying trends in peace and conflict. The GPI has several strengths related to non-partisanship, correlation analyses, and the development of positive peace, but also carries limitations related to validity of data, range of indicators, weighting of data, and violence against women.

Despite its limitations, the GPI plays a crucial role in promoting peaceful development, providing an effective framework for policymakers and development actors to make informed decisions about allocating resources towards peacebuilding initiatives. FAQs:

Q: What is the Global Peace Index (GPI)?

A: The GPI is a data-driven index that measures peace in countries and regions around the world. Q: Who produces the GPI?

A: The GPI is produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization. Q: What are the three thematic domains of the GPI?

A: Societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and militarisation. Q: What are the strengths of the GPI?

A: Non-partisanship, correlation analyses, and the development of positive peace. Q: What are the limitations of the GPI?

A: Validity of data, range of indicators, weighting of data, and violence against women. Q: How can the GPI be useful?

A: The GPI provides a valuable framework for measuring peace and can help promote peaceful development globally. Q: What is the importance of positive peace?

A: Positive peace is a long-term approach that focuses on building peaceful societies rather than simply resolving conflicts, which is crucial for sustainable peace. Q: What is the significance of gender-based violence in relation to the GPI?

A: Gender-based violence is a significant limitation of the GPI, and there is a need for more comprehensive indicators to assess this type of violence.

Popular Posts