The presence of peace is more than the absence of conflict. Analyses and evaluations of the state of the international security environment often focus solely on the most concerning developments and tend to fall back on various conflict-centric metrics when providing assessments of a given security landscape. This chapter, entitled “The Other Side of the Security Coin” investigates a number of positive socioeconomic trends occurring on a global level and how they can contribute to sustainable peace in the future.
Improving citizens’ access to socioeconomic opportunities and livelihood-enhancing goods and services is a key factor in increasing the stake that citizens hold in the state of peace in their communities. Fitting within global trends such as the rise of the platform economy and social media, the role of technological and developmental processes improving individual empowerment will become more important for security and defense organizations in the near future. As to how we can leverage the dramatic changes ongoing throughout the world to better suit our security objectives remains yet to be seen. This study provides a brief overview of these trends and identifies the options for security and defense organizations to remain on top of them.