Future levels of peace in any country depend on the levels of Positive Peace today.
When countries rank higher on the Global Peace Index (GPI) than in the Positive Peace Index (PPI) they have what is called a Positive Peace deficit. This indicates that the country’s peacefulness is higher than its underlying social structures would indicate it should be. It also means that they are comparatively more vulnerable to internal or external shocks and run a higher risk of increased levels of violence.
Conversely, when a country ranks higher in the PPI than in the GPI it is said to have a Positive Peace surplus. This indicates a high level of institutional capacity to support lower levels of violence than the country currently experiences.
This chart shows that most countries with large deteriorations in the GPI from 2009 to 2018 had Positive Peace deficits.
Research from the Institute for Economics and Peace indicates that future levels of peace in any country depend on the levels of Positive Peace today. However, certain combinations of Positive Peace and negative peace appear to be more stable than others, while some specific configurations have historically been unstable. Countries that rank near the boundaries between stability and instability are susceptible to tipping points where small disturbances can lead to radically different peace trajectories.