Global peace vs global conflict

Jiban Sarker
Jagannath University, Bangladesh.
Global peace is such a concept that has turned into the most alluring term for the peace loving people all over the world in this 21st centuries. Basically global peace indicates the universal alliance, calmness and agreement. On the contrary, Global conflict implies global dispute, detest, percussion and fight. Now a common question, ‘if about all people around the world carve for peace in life as different treaties have been accomplished for peace, why so much conflict around the world? who are responsible behind it?’ arises in almost all minds.

In search of the answer of these questions, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it has been known the 10 most peaceful and the 10 lowest peaceful countries and Global Peace Index which is an indicator to gauge peacefulness. Through the following table these are shown:

Country 2016 rank 2016 Score 2015 rank 2015 Score 2014 rank 2014 Score
 Iceland 1 1.192 1 1.148 1 1.189
 Denmark 2 1.246 2 1.150 2 1.193
 Austria 3 1.278 3 1.198 3 1.200
 New Zealand 4 1.287 4 1.221 4 1.236
 Portugal 5 1.356 11 1.344 18 1.425
 Czech Republic 6 1.360 10 1.341 11 1.381
  Switzerland 7 1.370 5 1.275 5 1.258
 Canada 8 1.388 7 1.287 7 1.306
 Japan 9 1.395 8 1.323 8 1.316
 Slovenia 10 1.408 15 1.378 14 1.398
 Libya 154 3.200 149 2.819 133 2.453
 Sudan 155 3.269 156 3.295 157 3.362
 Ukraine 156 3.287 150 2.845 141 2.546
 Central African Republic 157 3.354 158 3.332 156 3.331
 Yemen 158 3.399 147 2.751 147 2.629
 Somalia 159 3.414 157 3.307 158 3.368
 Afghanistan 160 3.538 160 3.427 161 3.416
 Iraq 161 3.570 161 3.444 159 3.377
 South Sudan 162 3.593 159 3.383 160 3.397
 Syria 163 3.806 162 3.645 162 3.650


# Indicator Source Year(s) Coding
1 Number of external and internal conflicts fought UCDP and EIU 2004 to 2009 Total number[6]
2 Number of deaths from organized conflict (external) UCDP 2010 Total number[6]
3 Number of deaths from organized conflict (internal) IISS 2010 Total number[6]
4 Level of organized conflict (internal) EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
5 Relations with neighboring countries EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
6 Level of perceived criminality in society EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
7 Number of refugees and displaced persons as percentage of population UNHCR and IDMC 2009 to 2010 Refugee population by country or territory of origin, plus the number of a country’s internally displaced people (IDP’s) as a percentage of the country’s total population
8 Political instability EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
9 Terrorist activity Global Terrorism Index and IEP 2009 Quantitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
10 Political terror scale Amnesty International and US State Department 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
11 Number of homicides per 100,000 people UNCTS and EIU 2005 to 2009 Intentional homicides, including infanticide and excluding minor road traffic and other petty offences
12 Level of violent crime EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
13 Likelihood of violent demonstrations EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5
14 Number of jailed persons per 100,000 people ICPS 2010 Rate of incarcerated persons as compared to the total population of the country
15 Number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people UNCTS and EIU 2008 to 2010 Civil police force distinct from national guards or local militia [7]
16 Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP The Military Balance and IISS 2009 to 2010 Cash outlays of central or federal government to meet costs of national armed forces, as a percentage of GDP[8]
17 Number of armed-services personnel The Military Balance and IISS 2010 All full-time active armed-services personnel
18 Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as recipient (imports) per 100,000 people SIPRI 2009 to 2010 Imports of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people[9]
19 Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as supplier (exports) per 100,000 people SIPRI 2009 to 2010 Exports of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people[9]
20 Financial contribution to UN peacekeeping missions United Nations Committee on Contributions and IEP 2007 to 2010 Total number
21 Nuclear and heavy weapons capability The Military Balance, IISS, SIPRI, and IEP 2009 The Military Balance, IISS; SIPRI; and IEP[10]
22 Ease of access to small arms and light weapons EIU 2010 to 2011 Qualitative scale, ranked 1 to 5


Indicators not already ranked on a 1 to 5 scale were converted by using the following formula: x=(x-Min(x))/(Max(x)-Min(x)) where Max(x) and Min(x) are the highest and lowest values for that indicator of the countries ranked in the index. The 0 to 1 scores that resulted were then converted to the 1 to 5 scale.


The main findings of the Global Peace Index are:

  • Peace is correlated to indicators such as income, schooling and the level of regional integration
  • Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of government and low corruption
  • Small, stable countries which are part of regional blocks are most likely to get a higher ranking.


Though through the Global Peace Indicator the reasons of peace in the most peaceful countries can be identified, the consequences, purposes and root causes of wars have been needed to mark specifically and proper steps should be found to tackle these to protect peace in nations. Though war always carries sorrows, distress and miseries, it conveys two sides. One is the side of exploiting people and another is the side of exploited people. Whatever its sides are, the consequences always carry heavy lose and cost in life and properties. So before finding its root causes, its purposes whether autocratic or democratic and malediction or benediction for the generals should be measured properly. The war which occurs by a handful people to impose their own ideology over the ordinary people for their interest and bring grief, depression, worries and deprivation from basic needs for almost all general people should be tackled red handed as early as possible. But the war which is for the deprived common people to equalize economy and social construction should be solved logically keeping the democracy ahead. It is also an effort to settle through violence, disputes over political power, ethnic and territorial issues and social stresses such as injustice and poverty which is dynamic to address the roots of conflict.


Hence, the root causes should essentially be detected. To search the root causes of wars what have found are: Political, economic and social inequalities; extreme poverty; economic stagnation; poor government services, high unemployment; environmental degradation; and individual (economic) inventiveness to fight as well as cultural dimensions related to ethnicity or religion as well by which the poorest countries become the worst sufferer from large scale violent conflict and it causes a heavy economic and social lose in developing countries.


However,though it is said ‘everything is fair in love and war’, its result always bringsheavy forfeiture in every sectors of life. That’s why it should be brought under control as soon as possible. That’s why the promotion of inclusive development from political, economic, and social perspectives, reduction of horizontal inequalities and group inequalities, removal of unemployment, illicit trade control reduction of private incentives to fight and so on should be implemented to bring peace in nation all over the world.


peace and conflict

Jiban Sarker
Department of Sociology
Jagannath University
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