Peace Think Tank Finds Risk of War is Greater than Expected

Large Wars Still Possible


SEPTEMBER 21, 2017—BROOMFIELD, Colo.—As the world observes 2017’s International Day of Peace, new evidence suggests the likelihood of a major war in this century may be greater than research had previously predicted, according to a new report commissioned by OEF Research, a program of One Earth Future.

The 20th century showed a marked trend toward a decline in war over time. For years, OEF Research and many highly regarded peace scholars and advocates have published research arguing this is the result of trends in development and security making the world a safer place.

OEF Research attempted to bolster this argument when it commissioned University of Colorado professor, Aaron Clauset, an internationally recognized expert on the statistics of complex systems, to review data on the trends in war and produce a report of his findings. Contrary to expectations, Clauset found it is entirely possible the decline in global battle deaths and conflicts may be an accident of history, rather than the result of lasting changes in development and political systems.

“This report shows that the documented downward shift in wars sizes, post- compared to pre-World War II, could be just a lucky interlude amidst an unchanging war-generation machine that stretches back two centuries,” said Clauset. “This is a new and important insight although it stops short of demonstrating that the post-1945 world really is as warlike as the pre-1945 one. This paper moves the needle in the decline-of-war discussion; however the preponderance of evidence still suggests the world has become more peaceful over the last seven decades.”

According Dr. Conor Seyle, director of OEF Research, “this suggests the work being done to prevent small outbreaks of violence turning into larger conflicts may be a more necessary and important part of the prevention of war than previously thought.”

For more information please contact Debra Havins of One Earth Future at 303-533-1712 or dhavins@oneearthfuture.org.

About One Earth Future:

OEF is a self-funded, private operating foundation seeking to create a more peaceful world through collaborative, data-driven initiatives. Through its various programs, OEF focuses on enhancing maritime cooperation, creating sustainable jobs in fragile economies and research that actively contributes to thought leadership on global issues.

OEF Research is One Earth Future’s think tank program focused on global peace and security.

The program conducts empirical research on the predictors of peace and on the role of good governance in building and sustaining peace. OEF Research shares its findings with scholars, policy makers and all interested in a more peaceful world through published reports, discussion papers and educational forums.

 

###