Simply addressing the factors that led to violence in the past will not be enough to sustain peace. Improvements in peace require broader and more systemic strategies.
High levels of Positive Peace create the conditions for economic prosperity, new research from the Institute for Economics and Peace shows.
Stronger domestic currencies, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, better credit ratings and stability in the face of economic shocks are all factors correlated with countries improving their levels of Positive Peace.
The findings featured in the latest Positive Peace Report 2018 explore links between the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP) empirically based Positive Peace framework, a social and sustainable development model, and macroeconomic data for 163 countries worldwide.
IEP data shows that improvements in Positive Peace contribute to the efficient functioning of the economy and that as Positive Peace improves, economic activity becomes easier to undertake.
Positive Peace includes eight Pillars, or socio-economic areas of progress, that IEP has identified as having a statistically significant association with negative peace, or the absence of violence or fear of violence.
The Pillars of Positive Peace describe the attitudes, institutions, and structure that underpin peaceful societies and include: Well-Functioning Government, Equitable Distribution of Resources, Free Flow of Information, Good Relations with Neighbours, High Levels of Human Capital, Acceptance of the Rights of Others, Low Levels of Corruption, and Sound Business Environment.
IEP’s new economic analysis has been released alongside the annual global Positive Peace Index, a ranking of 163 states and territories according to the framework. This year, many of the top performing countries on the Positive Peace scale are in Europe, and countries ranked at the bottom of the index are largely in the Middle East and North Africa.
Nordic countries dominate the leading positions with Sweden in first place, Finland in second, Norway in third. Switzerland ranks fourth, and the Netherlands is in fifth place.
Somalia has come last at 163 on the ranking, preceded by Central African Republic, Yemen, Eritrea, and South Sudan.
On a global scale, the Positive Peace Index shows an overall improvement of 2.4 per cent since 2005, and seven out of nine world regions improved in Positive Peace from 2005 to 2017.
The Russia and Eurasia region showed the largest gains overall, with improvements in all eight Pillars, while North America’s overall Positive Peace score has deteriorated by 4.5 per cent since 2005.
Belarus is among the top five countries showing improvements in Positive Peace, with a 12.4 per cent rise from 2005 to 2017.
The eastern European state has seen progress in seven out of eight Pillars, marked by better foreign relations, increasing mobile phone and internet access, and decreases in economic inequality and poverty.
Peacebuilders and international development practitioners will benefit from the Theory of Change framework, also included in the new report. The framework demonstrates how increasing levels of Positive Peace creates thriving communities and leads to societies free from violence.