Scientist makes bold prediction that war is on the wane
It may be difficult to believe, but according to research published next month a world without war may be getting nearer.
Futurologists from the University of Oslo in Norway and the Peace Research Institute Oslo have predicted that global conflict will halve in the next 40 years.
Their study claims the combination of higher education, lower infant mortality, smaller youth cohorts, and lower population growth are a few of the reasons why the world can expect a more peaceful future.
That will mean in the next five years the current conflicts in Libya, Tajikistan, Syria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Iraq will probably be over, the research suggests.
As the risk of war decreases worldwide, by 2017 it will be greatest in India, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Burma.
And by 2050, as the number of countries at war falls from one in six to one in 12, the risk of conflict will be greatest in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia and Tanzania
The conclusions were made by Håvard Hegre, a professor in the university's department of political science, who has devised a statistical model in collaboration with Oslo's Peace Research Institute.
The model, it is claimed, is capable of telling us what is likely to happen in the future.
'The number of conflicts is falling,' said Professor Hegre. 'We expect this fall to continue. We predict a steady fall in the number of conflicts in the next 40 years.
'Conflicts that involve a high degree of violence, such as Syria, are becoming increasingly rare.
'We put a lot of work into developing statistical methods that enable us, with a reasonable degree of certainty, to predict conflicts in the future.
'A conflict is defined as a conflict between governments and political organisations that use violence and in which at least 25 people die. This means that the model does not cover either tribal wars or solo terrorists like Anders Behring Breivik.
'In the 1700s it was normal to go to war to expand your country's territory. This strategy has passed its sell by date. But, demands for democracy may be suppressed with violence and result in more violence in the short term. As in Libya.'
His research has found there has been a decrease in armed conflicts and the number of people killed since World War II and this trend will continue.
'War has become less acceptable, just like duelling, torture and the death penalty.'
Infant mortality, calculated by the UN up to 2050, is one of the key factors in Professor Hegre's model.
'Countries with a high infant mortality rate have a high probability of conflict. Infant mortality is now decreasing everywhere.'
The UN has also estimated population structure up to 2050. The population is expected to grow, but at a slower pace than today, and the proportion of young people will decrease in most countries, with the exception of countries in Africa.
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna has extrapolated the level of education up to 2050.
The simulation model is also based on the last 40 years' history of conflicts, of all countries and their neighbours in the world, oil resources and ethnicity. The conflict data were collated by the Uppsala University
'Economic changes in society have resulted in both education and human capital becoming important. A complex economy makes political violence less attractive.
Posted by: Au Auric 2012-11-25