In early 2024, a group of students from the Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative (HUFPI) undertook an analysis of Russo-Ukrainian relations in collaboration with IEP. HUFPI is a student organisation at Harvard University that connects undergraduates interested in international relations and foreign policy with global organisations. Through this learning experience, five undergraduate students – Etsub Kassie, Kareem Fahs, Lucas Moreno, Edona Cosovic, and Emily Moore-Shrieves – produced the following paper entitled “An Analysis of Contemporary Russo-Ukraine Relations Through Positive Peace and Halo”.

In analysing the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, the paper drew on concepts from Halo, IEP’s systems thinking framework, as well as Positive Peace. These two complementary frameworks are discussed in IEP’s Halo, Positive Peace and Systems Thinking report.

From the Positive Peace perspective, the HUFPI paper focuses on the Positive Peace Pillars of Well-Functioning Government, Low Levels of Corruption, Free Flow of Information, and Good Relations with Neighbours. After identifying the status of the Pillars in Russia and Ukraine in both the pre-war and during-war periods, this paper includes predictions and suggestions relevant to each Pillar in the post-war period, with the aim of producing lasting peace.

From a systems thinking perspective, the Halo framework includes a wide range of concepts for the analysis of societal systems, but the HUFPI paper gives special focus to “path dependency”, which is a concept that denotes how decisions taken at critical junctures can steer a society into a certain development trajectory. This concept proved especially explanatory in tracking the processes that gave rise to Russia’s growing aggression and eventual invasion of Ukraine.

— The paper can be accessed here.



Vision of Humanity

Editorial Staff

Vision of Humanity

Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.