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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Conflict and Violence Viewpoint, Ransford

Viewpoint Paper

Ransford (Cure Violence) concurs with the authors that violence reduction is crucial to economic and social development and in particular that the magnitude and costs associated with interpersonal violence reduction mean that it should be a priority.  While this analysis is imperfect, this probable underestimate still shows that violence is a huge cost to society and warrants prioritization.  Unfortunately, rather few estimates of the cost of violence are available, many come from the United States, and they are quite conservative in omitting many of the wider consequences of violence. For example, the recent crisis of illegal immigration from various Latin American countries has its origins in the violence the children are fleeing. The various categories of violence are in fact interlinked and the whole phenomenon has the characteristics of an epidemic disease, and can be treated successfully with disease control methods. Focusing explicitly on interrupting violence before it happens is the one single thing that we can do with the greatest potential for fundamentally changing levels of violence in the world.