Printer Friendly

Quantify world peace.

The Human Security Report 2005, produced by the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia, offers some welcome news: Since the end of the Cold War, the frequency of wars, genocides, and other forms of mass slaughter has dropped steeply. So have the death rates in those conflicts that did occur.

One favorite explanation for the trend is the increase in the number of democracies. It was at the start of the 19905s, after all, that full democracies first began to outnumber autocracies, and the gap has grown steadily ever since. But this benefit has probably been offset by the increase in "anocracies"--regimes that aren't quite democracies or despotisms and are more unstable than either.

Development is a more plausible candidate. Other things being equal, a country with a per capita GDP of $250 has a 15 percent chance of civil war in the next five years. The probability in a country with a per capita GDP over $5,00 falls below 1 percent.

But the biggest reason conflicts have declined since the end of the Cold War is probably ...the end of the Cold War. That removed a major barrier to international efforts to prevent conflicts before they start and to broker treaties once they do.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Reason Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Human Security Report 2005
Author:Sanchez, Julian
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Previous Article:Better not shop around: online cigarette sales.
Next Article:DUI judgment: presumed sober.

Related Articles
Development and security (Project Ploughshares organizes discussions on demilitarization).
Iraq, sanctions and security: a critique.
Women's rights and the economics of war.
Instead of war: the urgency and promise of a global peace system.
A new security paradigm: it's easy to equate "national security" or "global security" with military defense against rogue states and terrorism, but a...
The UN at 60: on the 60th anniversary of its creation, Sir Richard Jolly reviews the chequered history of the world's foremost intergovernmental body.
E-resources on human security.
Win some, lose some: while many countries are moving toward more democratic systems, others cling to authoritarian rule.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |