Types of Peaceful Nations
5 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2011 Last revised: 16 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 6, 2011
The many activities labeled “peacebuilding” usually lack a clear articulation of the larger picture toward which they work. What is the goal of peace toward which these efforts hope to accomplish? What are the characteristics of peaceful nations? While some have answered these questions in theory, this paper explores the questions by looking at today’s empirical realities. What types of peaceful nations exist in today’s world?
Examining the rankings in the Global Peace Index and identifying the most peaceful nations in each of nine regions of the world, this study classifies those most peaceful nations by their types of peace. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) reveals 3 distinct clusters of peaceful nations, and one unique country. The model also shows second-order clustering of the countries inside one of the primary clusters. Each primary cluster is named according to the characteristics that distinguish it from the other peaceful nations. These clusters are: the Established Democracies (South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, Singapore), the Emerging Nations (Chile, Uruguay, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Qatar), the Externally Peaceful countries (Malawi, Botswana, Costa Rica), and Oman. The second-order clustering occurs among the 9 countries of the established democracies cluster. There are 3 sub-clusters: the Western Democracies, the Regionally Distinct countries, and Singapore as a non-clustered country. Implications of these findings for the meaning of peace are discussed in the paper along with ideas for further research.
Keywords: Global Peace Index, multidimensional scaling, types of peaceful nations
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