Global Conflict Trends and their Consequences

With Lars-Erik Cederman. Background Paper to the United Nations Sustainable Development Outlook 2019.

This report addresses the evolution of the main types of armed conflict around the world. The goal is not only to study trends, but also to pinpoint their drivers and rely on such information to generate scenarios about future developments. Such analysis is then used to study the likely consequences of conflict, especially with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind. Simply put, the report centers on how to improve the chances of peace (SDG 16). While previous research has highlighted the importance of development for peace, our main argument is that the path to peace goes through inequality, especially among ethnic groups (SDG 10), thus confirming the analysis of the recent report on Pathways for Peace (World Bank and United Nations 2018). In terms of consequences, our analysis centers on violence and various measures of development, as captured by SDGs 1-9. Throughout this report, we will focus especially on the period from 2015, which represents the end of the previous reporting period, but we will also go further back where appropriate to detect trends and patterns of conflict.

Publication (PDF)