The violence paradox

Andrew Reiter, Mount Holyoke College politics and international relations professor, talks to NOVA about whether humanity is getting less violent.

By Christian Feuerstein

Despite the constant news of violence, from mass shootings to wars, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker believes we may be living in one of the most peaceful periods in human existence. The PBS show NOVA recently explored what triggers violence and how it may have decreased over time, and Andrew G. Reiter, Mount Holyoke College associate professor of politics and international relations, discussed key concepts attached to the hypothesis.

Reiter said in response to the idea that humanity, while far from perfect, is still less violent than in the past: “We’re in a unique moment today, in which we have a chance to lock in some of this progress that humanity has made.” 

Watch the program.