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Northeastern undergraduate student and Global Resilience Institute (GRI) almuna Elina Mariutsa presented at the GRI office on Monday, October 7. An Ambassador for the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Elina’s presentation focused on the IEP’s international research through the Global Peace Index, a ranking of 163 countries according to a set of peace indicators. 

The Global Resilience Institute hosts a lecture on the Global Peace Index
The Global Resilience Institute hosts a lecture on the Global Peace Index

Elina spoke about IEP’s evidence-based research approach to understanding peace, and how the Institute seeks to promote the idea that “peace is not only a moral value but a financial value as well.” A central part of the presentation delved into how the Global Peace Index was created and developed. Based on a methodology which includes a three-tiered structure of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, the IEP designed the Index to reflect both internal and external factors which reflect countries’ relative peace. Further, the indicators include 6 measures of ongoing conflict, 10 measures of societal safety, and 7 of militarization.

Elina Mariutsa presents on the Global Peace Index
Elina Mariutsa presents on the Global Peace Index

The IEP has estimated that the “global economic impact of violence” in 2018 has been $14.1 trillion, equivalent to 11.2% of the world’s total GDP.  According to IEP, countries associated with higher levels of relative peace tend to see higher GDP growth per annum, better environmental outcomes, and overall resilience. Additionally, Elina presented the concept that there can be “negative peace and positive peace.” Negative peace is “the absence of violence or fear of violence,” whereas positive peace “is the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.”

Following the presentation there was an opportunity for the audience, largely comprised of Northeastern students, faculty members, and GRI researchers, to ask Elina questions about the peace index. This included inquiries and discussions about why certain indicators are weighted more heavily than others, why the United States was ranked at #128 out of 163 countries (putting it in the “low state of peace” category) and if the IEP should consider introducing an indicator that specifically addresses the relationship between climate change and peace.

GRI is delighted to have hosted Elina Mariutsa to present on the Global Peace Index. For information on future GRI events, click here.

Sources and Further Reading

The Global Peace Index

The Institute for Economics and Peace