Nobel Peace Prize and Physical Violence Index

Dec. 15, 2017 Weekly Graphs

Christmas is approaching fast, so let’s focus not only on peace underneath the Christmas tree, but also around the globe! Since 1901, each year the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to those who contributed to ‘fraternity between nations’. On December 10, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received this year’s award. As the Nobel Peace Prize has been around for 116 years now, how did the state of peace develop over the same time?

This week’s graph looks at the state of physical integrity in different parts of the world since 1901. We take this as a proxy for a minimum conception of domestic peace, meaning that people are at least not harmed by public authorities. V-Dem’s Physical Violence Index captures if citizens are safe from political killings and torture by the government or government agents. Ranging from zero to one, higher index values represent a higher level of physical integrity.

The graph shows that in all considered regions - Latin America, Southeast Asia, Balkans, and West Africa - the state of physical integrity has improved markedly compared to the situation in 1901. Although stagnating or slightly decreasing during the most recent years, the general trend is encouraging. Let’s hope that in near future even more people have a safe home for Christmas. 

If you really cannot switch off from work during the holiday season, use our online analysis tools at to learn more about regional differences in physical integrity. 

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