(30 June 2021) While it’s true that major powers aren’t engaging in the kind of devastating large-scale wars that rocked the first half of the 20th century,  data from the Institute for Economics and Peace shows that the state of global peace is deteriorating. 

  • According to the Institute's 2021 Global Peace Index report, between 2012 and 2021 the peace index score deteriorated in 87 countries (out of 158 for which 2012-2021 data is available), including the three major military powers: the US, Russia, and China. 
  • Ongoing militarization is the main factor in the major military powers' worsening scores.
  • Over the past seven years, the United States has become one of the fastest militarizing countries, registering the third-largest change in militarization score from 2014 to 2021 after the UAE and Eritrea. China and Russia are 70th and 81st, respectively, in change in militarization over the same time period.
  • Although the overall change in the global peace index from 2020 is relatively small, only .07%, the report notes that 2021 is the ninth out of the past thirteen years to register a net decline in global peacefulness.

The Global Peace Index Report measures global peacefulness based on 23 indicators grouped into three domains: Societal Safety and Security, Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and Militarization. A lower score indicates a greater degree of peacefulness, while a higher score indicates less peaceful conditions.

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