Peace and security are as essential to society as food and water are to living organisms: they are mandatory for maintained growth. Peace and security are sought by all individuals, organizations, and states whether it be personal security, financial security, or military security. We humans have progressed quite far from dwelling alone in caves to living together in vast metropolises like New York City, London, and Beijing. We create organizations to maintain peace and security like the United Nations and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, wrote that humankind dwelled in a state of nature before the dawn of the organized state (which subsequently would wield control over the “legitimate use of force” according to Max Weber). In the state of nature humans lived “solitary, cold, nasty, brutish, and short” lives where death haunted us. Anarchy reigned and trust was scarce.
We have entered into a social contract with an organized civil state where we surrender some of our rights for protection: peace and security.
Measuring progress in society through the development of law is an important indicator of how well that society has progressed and is still progressing. In the most paradoxical sense, one must ask if a person’s individual rights are protected by the state from the state. Do the rules of a society respect the basic rights of all peoples living within its jurisdiction? Do women have the right to vote? Are human rights protected under a state’s laws? Are there labor standards?
The Oxford Dictionary defines law as “the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”
Throughout time, civilizations grow and progress. Simultaneously, the limited amount of space on this earth renders conflict between societies inevitable. Such instances can result in great strife where languages, ideals, and religions clash. International law is the by-product of unsustainable international wars between nation-states, that serves to settle disputes, maintain security, advance commerce and in general, progress peace.
- The Global Peace Index
- Human Rights
- Civic Engagement
- Security and Crime
- International Criminal Law
- Access to Services
- Hobbes, Thomas, The Leviathin, 1651.