Prof. Ed Lawrence during his session on the impact of conflict and violence on development asked us to look at where there is any relationship between Global Peace Index, Human Development Index, and Fragility Index. It was interesting to see that the countries that were at the bottom of the Global Peace Index also were at the bottom of the list when it comes to the Fragile State Index and Human Development Index (HDI). The most fragile states are generally less peaceful (global peace index) and have lower HDI rankings. It will be interesting to run statistical analysis and see if there is a correlation. The countries that have higher levels of inequality, underdevelopment are more likely to experience violence or be in conflict. The violence or the conflict takes away the majority of the development budget because conflicts and violence is expensive to sustain leaving less money for development work. The lesson that I learned out of this exercise is that underdevelopment, inequality, and injustice that become part of the system or structure undermine the human needs like safety, security (physical, emotional, economic, social). Another thing that became visible to me is that the countries that are very fragile do not have strong safety nets (social, economical) in their structure.  There is an issue of resource allocation as well. The structure does support social and economic mobility. When the structure fails people to imagine and push them into isolation, it increases the likelihood of violence.

We also talked about DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization & Integration) as a direction towards peace. The majority of the states and communities are successful at Disarmament and Demobilization, but Reintegration of the rebels or the criminals into the society has been a challenge. I keep thinking why and started going back to the idea of putting them in different contexts and environments. Is DDR a liberal or a critical peace building method?

Looking at the micro level, William R. Strokes helped me see how violence effects at the individual level.  His story also highlighted the need for safety and security nets. Creating an environment for individuals to imagine and dream is important that emphasizes on human development as well.