Measuring Peace: Comparability, commensurability and complementarity using bottom up indicators

Pamina Firchow, Roger Mac Ginty

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This article examines the possibilities of interaction and collaboration
between top-down and bottom-up indicators of peace. It is based on the
Everyday Peace Indicators project an experimental research project that
operated in local communities in four sub-Saharan countries. The article
begins by making the case for bottom-up approaches to the study of
peace, conflict and security. It goes on to scope out the opportunities
and obstacles for comparison between bottom-up and top-down indicator
systems and looks at three issues: comparability, commensurability
and complementarity. It draws on four well-know measurements of
peace, conflict and development: the Human Development Index
(HDI), the Global Peace Index, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s
Georeferenced Event Data (UCDP GED), and the Armed Conflict
Location and Event Data Program (ACLED). We argue for a plurality of
vantage points from which to measure peace and conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-27
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies Review
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017


  • peace, measurement, bottom-up indicators

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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