Usually, a study of peace is really a focus on conflict. Since 2007, however, a Global Peace Index ranks 153 countries measuring 23 indicators including income, social sustainability, spending, warring, climate change, amount spent on weapons, safety, respect for human rights, education and distribution of resources. The top-rated countries in this index provide an opportunity to study the structure of peaceful nations, and the tools we need to determine the peacefulness and economic environment we can create for our own future.
A nation’s inequalities define its functionality and have a direct impact on its economy. As the Institute for Economics and Peace claims, violence—both internal and external—creates costs for business and government and reduces productivity. This seems obvious, but it translates into billions of dollars. Had the U.S., which ranked 82nd on the GPI, similar levels of peacefulness to Canada, ranking 8th, the U.S. economy would have benefitted by $361 billion per year, and would have stimulated about 2.7 million additional jobs, reducing our unemployment rate by about 20%. In turn, arts and business would also flourish.
The strength of a society’s peace factor determines the likelihood that the society can withstand serious crises. Social sustainability structures are outlined in this short video:
Interestingly, the two social sustainability structures that carry the most weight are acceptance of the rights of others, and good relations with neighbors. The U.S. could begin it’s climb up the index ladder by focusing on these two notions.
For the first time, the United States was ranked according to state and based upon the absence of violence.
Image by ChartsBin.com
We, each of us, can shape our own future both individually and collectively. Ignoring the data for structure of peace would be irresponsible and detrimental to our economic future. We are now at the precipice. How unwise it would be to let another year pass in the same direction we’ve been heading. Our federal government is losing stability and has become an unreliable factor. We, as people and institutions, must start going about the business of peace and hope the government will join us, as it is a necessary indicator on the index. We must rely on ourselves to accomplish peace. Don’t think as an individual you can make much of a difference? Let this woman be your inspiration .