.
The year 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of a revolutionary idea. Studies of the dramatic effects of conflict prevention and management are nothing new. They’re never out of vogue and never without new idiosyncrasies. Diplomacy is after all rich, interdisciplinary, and full of complexities. Then again, so is peace. Steve Killelea’s Institute for Economics and Peace decided to try something new. They dared to find a way to measure the benefits of peace. Studying peace was something different; a chance to see not what has gone wrong and how to fix it but what has gone right in pursuit of a perpetuation of the good. Put another way, how can peace be understood as something just as thrilling, as daring, as engaging, as the struggle to deny our darkest paths? That is the future of peace. It is peace as more than a goal. It is peace taking its turn in the circle of hard marketing sells. Killela initiated the first Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2006 in part to display the better business of peace critical to the 21st century. Killelea seized on two entrepreneurial opportunities in creating the GPI. The first and most obvious one was to get peace taken more seriously as a topic by applying a business and metrics mindset to the study of peace. The other, slightly less obvious, was an emphasis on marketing and outreach of peace. Killelea, speaking with The Diplomatic Courier, reflected on the birth of the GPI in the context of years spent in conflict regions as part of a family foundation. “About eleven years ago…I was in the Congo, North East Kavu to be precise, which is one of the more dangerous places in the world and I started to think: what is the opposite of all these stressed out countries I’m spending time in?” He searched for an answer to the question and found no one asking the right question. “I did some searching on the internet and couldn’t find a thing,” he recalled. Even in studies that purported to examine peace, Killelea found the opposite. “I realized that most of what we study isn’t actually peace. What we’re actually studying is conflict. And the study of peace and the study of conflict are very different things.” He draws an analogy to health. “That which keeps us healthy is very different from what we need to stop pathology when we get sick.” Recognizing the difference, the challenge was to find a new approach. “If you can’t measure something, you can’t truly understand it. If you can’t measure something, how do you know whether your actions (are) achieving your values? That was the basis of how the Global Peace Index came to be.” Killelea sought a positive solution. Specifically he developed the concept of positive peace. “Positive peace is those attitudes, institutions, and structures which create and sustain peace for societies.” “The framework which creates peace creates a whole lot of other things which we think are really important.” Expanding on the concept, he offered, “They’re things like a strong business environment, better performance in ecological measures, better measures of inclusiveness including gender equality.” Think about what a loss of peace costs us: damaged infrastructure, disrupted education systems, eroded public trust, fractured business environments, and innumerable human prices paid. It is an arrow at the heart of positive growth and social progress that can set back developing and developed nation alike centuries. The GPI has quantified those costs. “I think one of the things which really surprised me,” says Killelea “came to the forefront in the last index we did, was the number of countries in the world now which are probably at highly historical levels of peace. We look at their homicide rates; they’re lower than they’ve ever been according to measurement. Percentage of GDP spent on the military is 30-40 percent of what it was in the 50s. So these countries are really at truly historic levels of peace. No one ever talks about that. We go to the bottom of the index and take the bottom 20 countries there and in the time we’ve been measuring this they’ve become far less peaceful. So there’s this growing inequality in peace.” “I think the second point is just how much money the cost of violence has on the global economy, and our figures are very conservative. Within 2014, that was about 14 trillion dollars, the equivalent to 13% of the global GDP.” Those figures are estimated through three factors. “One is direct costs. Another is indirect costs (like) the loss of lifetime earnings of a homicide victim. And the third one is the economic flow on effect, if that money had been there. Homicide victims are a good example. If they’d been there, and earned their lifetime income, they would spend that. That money would then have a flow, an effect through the economy.” But peace is not easy. It takes time, patience; it’s bigger than conflict. As social media and interconnectedness shorten the human attention span, bigger is sometimes not better. Things that require more of our energies and focus can get lost in a sea of new clicks diverting our eyes and hearts. “There’s a need to be able to get a concept out in such a way that it resonates.” Efforts to do so have been aggressive. “We put a lot of energy into publicizing our major indices. In 2015, for our two major projects, the Global Peace Index and the Global Terrorism Index, we had 3.3 billion media impressions.” Additionally, this marketing of peace has been accomplished through “hundreds of speaking engagements each year. We do a lot and it’s all around the world…engaging with the major multilateral organizations such as the UN, World Bank, OECD, and Commonwealth Secretariat, to further explain to organizations most interested in the global issues these relationships between thriving societies, resilience, and peace. Because we’re back to positive peace, because we’ve got societies which are high in positive peace that creates resilience. And that resilience is what protects them when they get hit with shocks and fall again into cataclysmic conflict.” It’s a concept of particular interest at The Diplomatic Courier as this publication also celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Diplomatic Courier started primarily as a conflict resolution and diplomacy journal. It has grown beyond that and the concept of positive peace is one that demands deep exploration. If peace is something that can be measured, and the GPI has shown us it can, then it is something that can be duplicated. In 1969, John Lennon sold millions of copies of a classic song asking us all to ‘give peace a chance.’ It’s a song that uplifts the listener for four minutes or so. Peace deserves more than that. Looking ahead to the GPI’s next ten years, Killelea is looking to continue to evolve his concept. “One of the things we’ll be doing over the next few years is we’ll be putting a lot more energy into the economic models which we’ve got around peacefulness, looking at the effects on industries such as tourism. Tourism, sustainable tourism, and positive peace at home are highly correlated. So we’ll be looking at how we can make these figures more relevant to various industries as well as understanding how we can look at various interventions through peace-building.” Peace might be a hard sell but it shouldn’t be. For ten years already, and hopefully many more decade anniversaries to come, the GPI can be there to make the sale that much easier. About the author: Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier, the Global Affairs Media Network established in 2006. Editor's Note: The article is the Cover Story in Diplomatic Courier's 10 Year Anniversary Print Edition (June 2016).  

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

a global affairs media network

www.diplomaticourier.com

The Future of Peace: How the Business of Peace is changing the Culture of Conflict

Civilians flee south from renewed fighting in Abyei.|The searing heat creates a huge dust devil that whips up the dry land causing misery as it cuts a swathe thru a small village.|Portrait of a young woman in a maternity ward.|Born into drought.|Women walk for miles in search of water.|Elderly woman displaced by drought.|Young girl with her mother visits a UNICEF 'walk in ' clinic.|Girl in Somalia.|Malnourished child being fed with a syringe.|Elderly man with one of his many dead goats (lack of water).|Family pass one of their dead goats as they look for water.|Two young men returning to their village after a round trip of forty kilometers to find and collect water.|A young woman and her new born displaced by the severe drought.
June 13, 2016

The year 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of a revolutionary idea. Studies of the dramatic effects of conflict prevention and management are nothing new. They’re never out of vogue and never without new idiosyncrasies. Diplomacy is after all rich, interdisciplinary, and full of complexities. Then again, so is peace. Steve Killelea’s Institute for Economics and Peace decided to try something new. They dared to find a way to measure the benefits of peace. Studying peace was something different; a chance to see not what has gone wrong and how to fix it but what has gone right in pursuit of a perpetuation of the good. Put another way, how can peace be understood as something just as thrilling, as daring, as engaging, as the struggle to deny our darkest paths? That is the future of peace. It is peace as more than a goal. It is peace taking its turn in the circle of hard marketing sells. Killela initiated the first Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2006 in part to display the better business of peace critical to the 21st century. Killelea seized on two entrepreneurial opportunities in creating the GPI. The first and most obvious one was to get peace taken more seriously as a topic by applying a business and metrics mindset to the study of peace. The other, slightly less obvious, was an emphasis on marketing and outreach of peace. Killelea, speaking with The Diplomatic Courier, reflected on the birth of the GPI in the context of years spent in conflict regions as part of a family foundation. “About eleven years ago…I was in the Congo, North East Kavu to be precise, which is one of the more dangerous places in the world and I started to think: what is the opposite of all these stressed out countries I’m spending time in?” He searched for an answer to the question and found no one asking the right question. “I did some searching on the internet and couldn’t find a thing,” he recalled. Even in studies that purported to examine peace, Killelea found the opposite. “I realized that most of what we study isn’t actually peace. What we’re actually studying is conflict. And the study of peace and the study of conflict are very different things.” He draws an analogy to health. “That which keeps us healthy is very different from what we need to stop pathology when we get sick.” Recognizing the difference, the challenge was to find a new approach. “If you can’t measure something, you can’t truly understand it. If you can’t measure something, how do you know whether your actions (are) achieving your values? That was the basis of how the Global Peace Index came to be.” Killelea sought a positive solution. Specifically he developed the concept of positive peace. “Positive peace is those attitudes, institutions, and structures which create and sustain peace for societies.” “The framework which creates peace creates a whole lot of other things which we think are really important.” Expanding on the concept, he offered, “They’re things like a strong business environment, better performance in ecological measures, better measures of inclusiveness including gender equality.” Think about what a loss of peace costs us: damaged infrastructure, disrupted education systems, eroded public trust, fractured business environments, and innumerable human prices paid. It is an arrow at the heart of positive growth and social progress that can set back developing and developed nation alike centuries. The GPI has quantified those costs. “I think one of the things which really surprised me,” says Killelea “came to the forefront in the last index we did, was the number of countries in the world now which are probably at highly historical levels of peace. We look at their homicide rates; they’re lower than they’ve ever been according to measurement. Percentage of GDP spent on the military is 30-40 percent of what it was in the 50s. So these countries are really at truly historic levels of peace. No one ever talks about that. We go to the bottom of the index and take the bottom 20 countries there and in the time we’ve been measuring this they’ve become far less peaceful. So there’s this growing inequality in peace.” “I think the second point is just how much money the cost of violence has on the global economy, and our figures are very conservative. Within 2014, that was about 14 trillion dollars, the equivalent to 13% of the global GDP.” Those figures are estimated through three factors. “One is direct costs. Another is indirect costs (like) the loss of lifetime earnings of a homicide victim. And the third one is the economic flow on effect, if that money had been there. Homicide victims are a good example. If they’d been there, and earned their lifetime income, they would spend that. That money would then have a flow, an effect through the economy.” But peace is not easy. It takes time, patience; it’s bigger than conflict. As social media and interconnectedness shorten the human attention span, bigger is sometimes not better. Things that require more of our energies and focus can get lost in a sea of new clicks diverting our eyes and hearts. “There’s a need to be able to get a concept out in such a way that it resonates.” Efforts to do so have been aggressive. “We put a lot of energy into publicizing our major indices. In 2015, for our two major projects, the Global Peace Index and the Global Terrorism Index, we had 3.3 billion media impressions.” Additionally, this marketing of peace has been accomplished through “hundreds of speaking engagements each year. We do a lot and it’s all around the world…engaging with the major multilateral organizations such as the UN, World Bank, OECD, and Commonwealth Secretariat, to further explain to organizations most interested in the global issues these relationships between thriving societies, resilience, and peace. Because we’re back to positive peace, because we’ve got societies which are high in positive peace that creates resilience. And that resilience is what protects them when they get hit with shocks and fall again into cataclysmic conflict.” It’s a concept of particular interest at The Diplomatic Courier as this publication also celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Diplomatic Courier started primarily as a conflict resolution and diplomacy journal. It has grown beyond that and the concept of positive peace is one that demands deep exploration. If peace is something that can be measured, and the GPI has shown us it can, then it is something that can be duplicated. In 1969, John Lennon sold millions of copies of a classic song asking us all to ‘give peace a chance.’ It’s a song that uplifts the listener for four minutes or so. Peace deserves more than that. Looking ahead to the GPI’s next ten years, Killelea is looking to continue to evolve his concept. “One of the things we’ll be doing over the next few years is we’ll be putting a lot more energy into the economic models which we’ve got around peacefulness, looking at the effects on industries such as tourism. Tourism, sustainable tourism, and positive peace at home are highly correlated. So we’ll be looking at how we can make these figures more relevant to various industries as well as understanding how we can look at various interventions through peace-building.” Peace might be a hard sell but it shouldn’t be. For ten years already, and hopefully many more decade anniversaries to come, the GPI can be there to make the sale that much easier. About the author: Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier, the Global Affairs Media Network established in 2006. Editor's Note: The article is the Cover Story in Diplomatic Courier's 10 Year Anniversary Print Edition (June 2016).  

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.