Syria has recorded the largest deterioration in Positive Peace of any country in the index – 0.583 index points, the equivalent to a 15.7% change.

All Domains and Pillars deteriorated since 2009, as did 17 out of the 24 indicators of Positive Peace. The country has dropped 41 places in the PPI ranking and is now the seventh lowest Positive Peace nation in the world.

The Syrian civil war, which started in 2011 and continues to this day, devastated the physical and economic infrastructure of the country. Social resilience has been depleted, with 6.8 million Syrians leaving the country and another 6.7 million having been displaced within Syria.

The country’s Good Relations with Neighbours Pillar has deteriorated the most sharply of any Pillar of Peace – a change of 25.9% in the decade.

The external intervention indicator deteriorated by 1.76 points or 54.2 per cent, largely reflecting the involvement of neighbours in Syria’s civil war. Thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to Syria to take up arms against the Assad regime. In 2013, the number of foreign fighters in Syria exceeded that of any previous conflict in the modern history of the Muslim world.

Syria did improve on some indicators. At least two thirds of the population had mobile internet access as early as 2017.

According to UNHCR, refugees say mobile phones and internet access are as important to their security as food, shelter and water. Mobile internet access among Syrian refugees also helps them connect with aid organisations. Press freedoms have also improved, albeit off a rather low base.


The Positive Peace Index 2022 report can be downloaded here.



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.