CHAPTER SEVENThe Peace Barometer

WE ARE A WORLD OBSESSED WITH MEASUREMENTS. ENTIRE industries are dedicated to tracking vast varieties of economic data, from the Nasdaq to unemployment, inflation to interest rates. Although quantifying economic growth and decline is valuable, such figures tell us little about the true state of society. To assess that, there are organizations that measure literacy or infant mortality rates—there’s even a push for indexing Gross National Happiness1—but when was the last time these figures were displayed prominently on the local news?

It is time to move social and psychological measurements to the forefront of our evaluations of the state of society, particularly when it comes to peace. When a society moves ...

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