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Is The World Becoming More Peaceful Or More Violent?

The formation of the League of Nations after the end of the First World War was aimed at ensuring that the world does not witness another major war. This however was in vain as after a few years later the Second World War commenced a war that was touted to be the worst in terms of casualties and financial costs. The 20th century has been noted as the most bloodies in the history of the mankind, it has been characterized by violent confrontations between states, genocides and civil wars.

However the recent past has witnessed a major shift from as wars are on the wane. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan notwithstanding, bloody conflicts between states are on the decrease and the world is becoming a relatively peaceful place. A research conducted in the above topic to support this thesis would require a clear analysis of recent books and peer reviewed journals. In tackling this topic a number of resources will be utilized both from the library and electronic ones. The States of War and Peace Atlas authored by Dan Smith (1997), is one such resource.

It is a book that analyses the bloody events of the last century and the deplorable conditions of the conditions that most states found themselves in. The book though ends on with a glimmer of hope inspired by the last years of the century that witnessed increased international diplomacy and peace keeping missions. According to Dan smith, these have played a great role in resolving and arresting global conflicts. A report by the human security organization is also another important resource.

The human security report titled War and Peace in the 21st Century was published on October 2005. it argues that contrary to a popular belief, The world has become a safer place to be in. the number of cases of human rights violations have subsided considerably by over 40 percent. Genocides and wars are also on the decline. This has largely been as a result of intense campaigns by the United Nations and other international bodies. This report was a product of the human security project (HRSP) and was co-sponsored by countries such as Canada and Britain amongst others.

The statistics of deadly quarrels authored by Lewis F. Richardson is an important book shedding more light on this chosen topic. Richard was a physicist cum historian. He took an interest of tabulating all the major wars that took place between 1820 and 1949. He noted the causes of these wars, the protagonists and the peacekeepers as well as the number of casualties and deaths. This book reveals an interest trend that points to the decline in the ‘deadly quarrels’ as the century progressed.

Much of the conflicts were as a result of the Cold War and decolonization. These three resources alongside others will provide useful materials in support of the view that the world is becoming relatively more peaceful.


Dan Smith, 1997. The state of war and peace atlas. Penguin Books. Human security centre, 2005. The Human Security Report 2005: War and Peace in the 21st Century. Lewis F. Richardson, Quincy Wright and C. C. Lienau, 1960. Statistics of Deadly Quarrels. Boxwood Pr.

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