With the crisis in Gaza, the rise of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria and the international stand-off ongoing in Ukraine, it can sometimes feel like the whole world is at war.But experts believe this is actually almost universally the case, according to a think-tank which produces one of the world’s leading measures of “global peacefulness” – and things are only going to get worse.
It may make for bleak reading, but of the 162 countries covered by the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, just 11 were not involved in conflict of one kind or another.
Worse still, the world as a whole has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007 – sharply bucking a trend that had seen a global move away from conflict since the end of the Second World War.
The UK, as an example, is relatively free from internal conflict, making it easy to fall to thinking it exists in a state of peace. But recent involvement in foreign fighting in the likes of Afghanistan, as well as a fairly high state of militarisation, means Britain actually scores quite poorly on the 2014 Global Peace Index, coming 47th overall.
Then there are countries which are involved in no actual foreign wars involving deaths whatsoever – like North Korea – but which are fraught by the most divisive and entrenched internal conflicts.
The IEP’s findings mean that choices are slim if you want to live in a completely peaceful country. The only ones to achieve the lowest score for all forms of conflict were Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Panama and Brazil…. MORE
Institute for Economics and Peace – June 2014
The 2014 GPI Report analyses the state of peace around the world and identifies countries most at risk of becoming less peaceful.