Structures of Peace: Identifying What Leads to Peaceful Societies

The Structures of Peace is a new conceptual framework for understanding and describing the factors that create a peaceful society. This conceptual framework has been derived from an empirical and statistical analysis of the Global Peace Index (GPI). Over 300 cross country datasets were used to define the key economic, political, and cultural determinants that foster the creation of a more peaceful society.

The Global Peace Index is comprised of 23 indicators that cover both the internal and external measures of peacefulness for 153 nations. The definition used for peace is “absence of violence” or “absence of the fear of violence”. This approach measures what can be termed “Negative Peace”.

While understanding the relative levels and types of violence that exist in and between nations is useful, this on its own does not identify the economic, political and cultural factors that shape a peaceful society. In contrast to negative peace, “Positive Peace” is about the appropriate attitudes, institutions, and structures which when strengthened, lead to a more peaceful society.

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