Category: Conflict Patterns

Education Creates Peace

On 10 December Nobel’s Peace Prize 2014 is awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. Critical voices have claimed that their work is more about rights activism than promoting peace and that there is no obvious association between education and peace. Research into the causes of war suggests, however, that the Nobel Committee was right… Read more »

Development Consequences of Internal Armed Conflict

The development consequences of armed conflict are profound and far-reaching. While the direct victims of war understandably receive most attention, the effects of conflict extend far beyond battlefield casualties and refugee camps. Research has shown that conflict affects all aspects of development covered by the Millennium Development Goals, and that conflict has been an important… Read more »

War Breeds War

As a result of civil wars, some of the world’s least developed nations are now further away from achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals than they were when the goals were first adopted.  The UN General Assembly adopted the Millennium Development Goals in September 2000. Following lengthy debate, the assembly agreed on eight goals that… Read more »

Is it Acceptable to Lie for a Good Cause?

Humanitarian organizations may easily succumb to the temptation to misuse numbers and statistics in order to promote their own causes. Does the end justify the means? Disasters are most dangerous for moms reported Save the Children’s Carolyn S Miles in Huffington Post when presenting the organization’s State of the World’s Mothers report for 2014. The… Read more »

The Paradox of 2014

In recent weeks, a number of people have asked me whether I think we’re headed for World War III. Maybe it’s the intense media coverage of the centennial of WWI. Maybe it’s all the violence heating up in Israel & Gaza, Iraq, and Ukraine, and wars raging in Syria, Nigeria, and DRC. Maybe it’s the… Read more »

Peace on Earth? The Future of Internal Armed Conflict

The last 20 years have seen a gradual decline in the number and severity of internal armed conflicts worldwide. This trend is partly due to widespread improvements in factors such as education levels, economic diversification, and demographic characteristics. These factors are projected to continue to improve for the remainder of this century. As a consequence,… Read more »

Climate Change and War

The day after the publication of the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the effects of climate change, Norwegian daily newspaper Dagsavisen was able to report that Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment now envisaged a future world with more conflicts. This is in line with claims made earlier… Read more »

Why does Democratization Occur in Waves?

The ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrated that political transitions tend to occur together in space and time. Samuel Huntington coined the term ‘Waves of democratization’ in his book The Third Wave. The figure above shows that changes to the proportion of the world’s countries that are democracies occurs in spurts. Confirming Huntington’s three waves of democratization, spurts occurred from the … Read more »