Lately, people have been understandably worried that we might be coming close to another world war. But although more than 95 wars have happened in the last 200 years, our bloodlust has actually slowed since World War II. Not counting wars fought through proxies (as in Korea and Vietnam), peace among major geopolitical superpowers has been unusually long-lasting.
But will the peace continue? That’s what University of Colorado researcher Aaron Clauset hoped he might find out—using math. Clauset put 200 years of data about war through a statistical analysis and came to the conclusion that a battle the size of World War II could happen again soon. His analysis was published in Science Advances on February 21. Clauset spoke to Newsweek about his findings.
This interview has been edited and condensed.