Secure states do not automatically mean secure peoples. Indeed, during the past century, far more people have been killed by their own governments than by armies from abroad.
In a world afflicted by major wars, human rights abuse, and the threat of terrorist attacks, it is not surprising that most people believe organized violence is increasing. But, as the miniAtlas demonstrates, the conventional wisdom is wrong.
Part 1:When States Go to War
Since the end of the Cold War, armed conflicts around the world have declined substantially. Part one looks at conflicts between states and within states, and shows the amount of time a state has spent in conflict.
Part 2:Warlords and Killing Fields
Around 50 per cent of all armed conflicts do not involve government forces. Part two examines non-state conflicts, as well as genocides and other “one-sided” mass killings of civilians.
The decline in battle-deaths has been even more remarkable than the fall in the number of armed conflicts. Part three shows the death tolls that arise from state-based conflicts and political violence, and asks how far we can rely on reported death tolls.
Part 4:Measuring Human Rights Abuse
Some of the worst human rights violations take place in secret. Part four shows that while we have few reliable figures on torture, child soldiers, ethnic cleansing, and other gross human rights violations, some comparisons can be made between different states.
Part 5:Causes of War, Causes of Peace
Anocracies—regimes that are neither dictatorships nor full democracies—are the most prone to armed conflict. Part five shows the relationships between conflict and regime type, poverty, and peace operations.
and Notes on Terminology