Solutions to Violent Conflict

Goal 16: A New Paradigm for Peace and Development

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

Melanie Greenberg is President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. In her work on international conflict resolution, she has helped design and facilitate public peace processes in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the Caucasus.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as “Agenda 2030.” These ambitious goals, which replace the Millennium Development Goals that expired in 2015, will govern international development assistance for the next fifteen years. A great victory for the peacebuilding field—and for citizens throughout the world living with violent conflict—is the emphasis on peace throughout Agenda 2030. Whereas the MDGs were silent on violence and conflict, peace runs as a central pillar throughout the SDGs. Peace is included as one of the five key concepts—along with people, planet, prosperity and partnership. The preamble declares that, “We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.”

Advancing Integral Human Development: An Imperative for Peacebuilders

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

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Scott Appleby is Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. As a professor of history at Notre Dame, he specializes in the study of global religion.

How might peace research, peacebuilding practices and peace policies be situated within a holistic vision of global challenges to human flourishing? One potentially compelling way of situating the struggle for peace within a more comprehensive narrative is to frame our common goal as advancing Integral Human Development. Imagine a society in which the irreducible dignity of the human person and the cultural and spiritual as well as economic and material requirements of human flourishing are central to political and social life and upheld by the rule of law. Such a society could be said to score high on the scale of Integral Human Development.

Linking Development and Peace: The Empirical Evidence

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

David Cortright is Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is coeditor of Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict (Chicago University Press, 2015) and author of Ending Obama’s War (Paradigm, 2011).

The connections between development and peace are firmly supported by social science research. All the standard indicators of economic development, including per capita income, economic growth rates, levels of trade and investment, and degree of market openness, are significantly correlated with peace. Virtually every study on the causes of war finds a strong connection between low income and the likelihood of armed conflict. Economist Edward Miguel describes this link as “one of the most robust empirical relationships in the economic literature.” Irrespective of all other variables and indicators, poverty as measured by low income bears a strong and statistically significant relationship to increased risk of civil conflict.

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