July 8, 2020 by No Comments

Good news! A study done by mathematicians at the University of York suggests that the world has experienced a period of declining violence over the last 30 years. The team used a method called “change point” analysis to track the number of global deaths in battle since the early 1800s. The findings of the period from 1910-1950 were somewhat expected, almost unprecedented bloodshed, from global involvement in WWI and WWII. With 20 million deaths in WWI and another 75 million deaths attributed to WWII it is easy to see why this was a particularly violent period in world history. Continuing on with the same criteria, the study shows a shift in the early 1990s towards a more peaceful era, which is really happy news.
Why is this good news?
If the study is taken at face value, we can propose that we are experiencing a time period of relative global peace. No study is perfect, the researchers have even suggested such, but it is encouraging news that may come as a surprise to some. If the world is so peaceful, why does it seem like there is constant war? It may be that the world is more connected than ever – we have access to information about current events that we might not have in the past. It may be because our weapons have become more sophisticated thus decreasing civilian casualties or off-target hits. It may be recency bias for the macabre. Or it may simply be that the past was so violent that our current time period is just peaceful by comparison. The researchers of the study suggested the change may be due to peacekeeping efforts from organizations like the UN, and increased collaboration between nations. 
Whatever the case may be, we can all hope that the trend continues and our most peaceful period is in front of us.

Source:  University of York Full Story
 University of York. “Study settles the score on whether the modern world is less violent.” 16 June 2020