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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.
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Title Annotation:Human Security Report 2005
Author:Sanchez, Julian
Publication:Reason
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:210
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