Positive Peace can be described as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.
The Positive Peace Index (PPI) measures the level of societal resilience of 163 countries, covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population. In order to construct the PPI, IEP analysed over 24,700 different data series indices and attitudinal survey variables in conjunction with current thinking about the drivers of violent conflict, resilience and peacefulness. The result is an eight-part taxonomy of the factors associated with peaceful societies.
These eight areas, known as the Pillars of Positive Peace, were derived from the datasets that had the strongest correlation with internal peacefulness, as measured by the Global Peace Index, an index that defines peace as “absence of violence or the fear of violence”. The PPI measures the eight Pillars using three indicators for each. The indicators represent the best available globally-comparable data with the strongest statistically significant relationship to levels of peace.
The eight key factors, or Pillars, that comprise Positive Peace are:
A well-functioning government delivers high-quality public and civil services, engenders trust and participation, demonstrates political stability and upholds the rule of law.
Sound Business Environment
The strength of economic conditions as well as the formal institutions that support the operation of the private sector. Business competitiveness and economic productivity are both associated with the most peaceful countries and are key to a robust business environment.
Equitable Distribution of Resources
Peaceful countries tend to ensure equity in access to resources such as education, health and, to a lesser extent, equity in income distribution.
Acceptance of the Rights of Others
Peaceful nations enforce formal laws that guarantee basic human rights and freedoms and the informal social and cultural norms that relate to behaviours of citizens.
Good Relations with Neighbours
Harmonious relations with other countries or between ethnic, religious and cultural groups within a country are vital for peace. Countries with positive internal and external relations are more peaceful and tend to be more politically stable, have better functioning governments, are regionally integrated and have lower levels of organised internal conflict.
Free Flow of Information
Free and independent media disseminates information in a way that leads to greater knowledge and helps individuals, business and civil society make better decisions. This leads to better outcomes and more rational responses in times of crisis.
High Levels of Human Capital
A skilled human capital base reflects the extent to which societies educate citizens and promote the development of knowledge, thereby improving economic productivity, care for the young, political participation and social capital.
Low Levels of Corruption
In societies with high levels of corruption, resources are inefficiently allocated, often leading to a lack of funding for essential services, which in turn can lead to dissatisfaction and civil unrest. Low corruption can enhance confidence and trust in institutions as well as improve the efficiency of business and the competitiveness of the country.
IEP does not specifically set out what interventions should be done for each of the Pillars, as these will very much be dependent on cultural norms and development path of a specific country. What is appropriate in one country may not be appropriate in another. What sets Positive Peace apart from other studies of peace is that its framework is empirically derived. The indicators chosen to measure each Pillar are based on the factors that have the strongest statistically significant with peacefulness and as such form both a holistic and empirical framework.
The PPI is the most comprehensive global, quantitative approach to defining and measuring the positive qualities of peace. This body of work provides an actionable platform for development and improvements in peace. It can also help improve social factors, including governance and economic development as well as peace. It stands as one of the few holistic and empirical studies to identify the positive factors that create and sustain peaceful societies.
Download the Positive Peace Report 2022 here.