What is peace? If you can’t measure it, how can you truly understand it? How do you know whether your actions are helping or hindering in achieving your goals?

What is Peace and How Can We Accurately Measure It?

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, established the Global Peace Index after a 2005 expedition to North East Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In his debut book, ‘Peace in the Age of Chaos’, Steve writes, “What were the causes of such a violent social context? There was no lack of emotional strength among the people. Indeed, they showed extraordinary levels of resilience at times. So why was there such an absence of peace?”

Driven by these burning questions, Steve began to investigate whether studies existed that ranked the countries of the world according to levels of peacefulness. To his astonishment, he could find nothing.

This discovery led Steve to a disturbing conclusion. If a simple businessman such as himself could not find an accurate and easy-to-understand measure of countries according to their peacefulness, then how well did the global community genuinely understand the concept?

After all, if you can’t measure something, then how can you truly understand it?

Of course, the answer to this question is simple. You can’t. Without an accurate and dependable measure, authentic understanding is impossible.

Similarly, without a reliable measurement — one that synthesizes quantitative and qualitative indicators to provide a holistic image of peace as a system — an understanding is unattainable, and efforts to create and sustain peacefulness are doomed to futility.

Thus, the development of the Global Peace Index (GPI) was born from the passion for peace to be measurable, communicable and most vitally, teachable.

What is the GPI?

The GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.

Furthermore, the GPI includes an annual report presenting the most comprehensive data driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

Learn more in our free short course.



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.