Examining Peace in Canada 2022

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How do we measure peace? The 2022 Global Peace Index (GPI) released in June 2022 and has the un-enviable task of determining the peacefulness in our globally diverse societies.

Compared to other countries, Canada’s has been dropping in the ranks. We were near the top in sixth position 2020 and 2019.

For smugness, yes, we rate far above our southern neighbour, who came in at 129 (out of 163 countries measured).

The ranking across countries takes into account governance types, claims that its indicators cover 99.7 per cent of the global population, and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators in three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

The GPI also seeks to identify trends in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, and examines the relationship between the actual peace of a country, as measured by the GPI, and Positive Peace, and how a deficit of Positive Peace can be a predictor of future increases in violent conflict.

The indicators are: External Conflicts Fought; Perceptions of Criminality; Internal Conflicts Fought; Incarceration Rate; Intensity of Internal Conflict; Violent Demonstrations; Terrorism Impact; Nuclear and Heavy Weapons; Deaths from External Conflict; Weapons Imports; Violent Crime; Political Instability; Neighbouring Countries Relations; Access to Small Arms; Police Rate; Armed Services Personnel Rate; Weapons Exports; Homicide Rate; Military Expenditure (% GDP); Refugees and IDPs; Political Terror Scale; Deaths from Internal Conflict; UN Peacekeeping Funding.

According to the 2022 GPI, “Canada recorded the largest deterioration in score in the North America region in 2022. Significant deterioration in the Safety and Security domain in 2022 led to Canada falling four places in the GPI 2022 to 12th place, a 4.8 per cent deterioration. Anti-government sentiment in response to measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 coincided with significant deteriorations in violent demonstrations, perceptions of criminality and political terror indicators. Despite this fall in peacefulness, Canada continues to be the most peaceful nation in the region with notable reductions in the terrorism impact and nuclear and heavy weapons indicators.”

There are subsections of the GPI which look at each of the above indicators in itself and regionally. Specific changes, either positive or negative for individual countries can be found. The report is important reading for everyone concerned with the building of more peaceful societies. That should be all of us….

Global Peace Index 2022, June 2022

Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP). IEP is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in New York, The Hague, Mexico City, Brussels and Harare.

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