It has, but only by some measures. To answer the question fully, we need to consider the way that conflict impacts political stability and civil society.
Evidence has emerged over the last few years to suggest that the world is more peaceful than ever. In several key respects, this is true. However, a few crucial elements of global data on violence and conflict temper such a straightforward conclusion. Looking at conflict alone cannot convey the bigger picture of societal unrest, political stability, impact on civilians and the level of resources needed to quell violence. To establish a balanced understanding of the world’s progress towards peace, it is important to examine other metrics and note how conflict has changed.
Over the last 100 years, there has been a shift away from large-scale violent deaths and heavy militarisation and a move towards democracy.
Supporting the idea that the world has become increasingly peaceful since World War I is the shift away from large-scale violent deaths and heavy militarisation, towards democracy. Battle deaths in the last 25 years make up only 3% of battle deaths in the last 100 years, or 7% excluding World War II deaths. The number of alliance agreements in place in 2012 was 77 times the amount of alliances in 1918. This suggests an increase in the use of diplomacy as a dispute resolution tool. Democracy has also been on the rise, with 1989 marking the transition to more democratic governments than autocratic; the world has been more democratic on average since 1993 than in any of the last 100 years. Though democracy itself isn’t a measure of peace, democratic governments tend to be more stable, with less internal unrest or conflict amongst each other. The three major military powers, the US, China and Russia, decreased their military personnel rates by an average 73% since the end of World War II.