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October 31, 2017


this is a featured organizational post on PCDN

What Creates Peace?

The tools for prevention exist, but we too rarely use them. Positive Peace can help change the conversation.

The 2017 Positive Peace Conference will bring together leading experts in positive peace: the attitudes, institutions and structures that prevent violence. Practitioners, policymakers, members of the media, corporate leaders, and representatives of fields like atrocity and conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, will come together to discuss new opportunities and challenges for strengthening positive peace.

Participants will explore Positive Peace through the lenses of research, policy, and practice to explore the peace systems that operate in our communities and countries.

The Time is Now

The number of people impacted by armed conflict is higher now than at any time since World War II. Violence and conflict continue to thwart basic humanitarian goals and prevent progress on challenges from climate change to poverty reduction. In 2016, over 12% of the global economy was absorbed by the consequences of violence. Yet comparatively little is spent on proactive investments to eradicate the underlying conditions that lead to violence or conflict. Despite a rhetorical commitment to prevention, all too often the global policymaking community is focused on the crisis of the day, intervening too late to make any meaningful impact.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has sought to better understand the drivers of peaceful societies through the development of an empirical framework that identifies the optimum environment in which peace can flourish. This is termed Positive Peace. The main contribution has been the development of a framework of inter-related factors, identified by analyzing over 4,700 different indices, datasets and attitudinal surveys. The eight pillars of Positive Peace identified by IEP that are associated with peaceful environments are:

·      Well-functioning government

·      Sound business environment

·      Equitable distribution of resources

·      Acceptance of the rights of others

·      Good relations with neighbors

·      Free flow of information

·      High levels of human capital

·      Low levels of corruption

Positive Peace provides a new way of conceptualizing development by placing the emphasis on what creates a thriving society, reframing our focus towards what works. High levels of Positive Peace are a cross-cutting factor for progress, making it easier for businesses to sell, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate, individuals to produce, governments to effectively regulate, and citizens to peacefully resolve conflict.

High Positive Peace = Greater Resilience

Countries with higher levels of Positive Peace are less likely to slip into major conflicts, are more likely to experience less violence, and are better equipped to bounce back from internal or external shocks caused by economic conditions, societal disagreements and natural disasters. In fact, 84% of major political shocks and 91% of violent civil resistance campaigns occurred in countries with lower levels of Positive Peace.

Organized by the Institute for Economics & Peace, The Stanley Foundation, the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University, and co-sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center, the conference is the second in a series to explore the role positive peace can play in tackling some of the most difficult problems faced by the world today.


October 31, 2017
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Stanford University
Levinthal Hall
Palo Alto, CA United States


Institute for Economics and Peace
EU Horizontal Large Group