Sometimes we need reasons to hope

  • The number of international crises – defined as situations that leaders consider imminently threatening to their countries’ security – has declined by more than two-thirds since 1981, according to the Human Security Report.
  • Instances of genocide and mass killings of ideological foes are also down from 10 a year in the early 1990s to one in 2004, according to Barbara Harff, a conflict historian at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. That one is grave, however: It’s in Darfur, Sudan, where Arab militias have killed at least 70,000 black Africans.
  • In 1946, 20 nations in the world were democracies, according to the Maryland institute’s Peace and Conflict 2005 report. Today, 88 countries are. Many scholars contend that democracies go to war more slowly and rarely fight one another.
  • The number of United Nations peacekeeping operations more than doubled from 1988 to 2005, from seven to 17.


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