The New Rules: The Good News on the Global Financial Downturn

The New Rules: The Good News on the Global Financial Downturn

When the global financial contagion kicked in last fall, the blogosphere was quick to predict that a sharp uptick in global instability would soon follow. While we're not out of the woods yet, it's interesting to note just how little instability -- and not yet a single war -- has actually resulted from the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Run a Google search for "global instability" and you'll get 23 million hits. But when it comes to actual conflicts, the world is humming along at a level that reflects the steady decline in wars -- by 60 percent -- that we've seen since the Cold War's end. As George Mason University's Center for Systemic Peace (CSP) notes, that trend applies within the Muslim world, too, so even America's "war on terror" has not quite lived up to the pessimists' expectations.

Wikipedia's page for "ongoing conflicts" cites a whopping seven wars with annual death rates of 1,000-plus. And they're all familiar situations:

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