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Definitions of Peaceand their Implications

• Peace is the absence/reduction of violence of all kinds.

– Violence-oriented definition: toknow about peace we have toknow about violence. (Peaceeducation)

• Peace is nonviolent and creativeconflict transformation.

– Conflict-oriented: to know aboutpeace we have to know aboutconflict and how conflicts can betransformed, both non-violentlyand creatively. (Peace education)

• Peace work is workto reduce violenceby peaceful means.

• Peace studies isthe study of theconditions of peacework.

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Peace Studies as a SocialScience

• Both definitions focus on human beings in a social setting . This makes peace studies a social science, an applied socialscience, with an explicit value-orientation .

• Epistemologically, peace studies shares some assumptions

with all scientific endeavors, some with other socialsciences, and some with other applied sciences such asmedical (health) studies, architecture, engineering.

• Thus, peace studies follows such general rules for scientificresearch as intersubjective communicability and

acceptability . Premises (data, values, theories), conclusionsand links between them must be open to public scrutiny.

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3 Branches of Peace Studies

• Empirical peace studies , based on empiricism :the systematic comparison of theories withempirical reality (data), revising the theories if they do not agree with the data– data beingstronger than theory.

• Critical peace studies , based on criticism : thesystematic comparison of empirical reality (data)with values, trying, in words and/or in action, to

change reality if it does not agree with the values–values being stronger than data.

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The Data-Theories-Values Triangle

VALUES

DATA THEORIES

Criticism Constructivism

Empiricism

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Values in Peace Studies• Without values, peace studies becomes social

studies in general and world studies in particular.• The core value, peace, has to be well, but not too

well, defined.• Value-knowledge differs from value-holding.• A minimum of value-consensus is necessary; a

maximum of value-consensus is undesirable.

• Objectivity is inter-subjectivity ; the condition forinter-subjectivity is explicitness .

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BasicPerspectives/Frameworks

• Peace (politics/policiesand decisions)

• Conflict(military/actions)

• Development(economics/systemsand processes) and

• Civilization(culture/cosmology:collectively shared andsubconsciously heldassumptions)

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• The diagnosis-prognosis-therapy triangle:seeing Peace and Violence in their TOTALITY – Transdisciplinary (inquire into causes, conditions and

contexts in various spaces: Nature, Human, Social,World, Time, Culture) and not just from aninterdisciplinary approach (just borrowing theories frommainstream security studies/international relations,conflict studies, economics and culture theory)

– Therapy as both curative (negative peace) and preventive (positive peace)

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Sample Application:

Galtung’s Peace Policies for the21 st CenturyNegative Peace(CURATIVE)

Positive Peace(PREVENTIVE)

Political Democratize statesHuman rights all overbut de-WesternizationInitiative, referendum,direct democracyDecentralization

Democratize the UNOne country, one voteNo big-power veto2 nd UN AssemblyDirect elections (1seat/1 million)Confederations

Military Defensive defense

Delegitimize armsNon-military defense

Peace-keeping forces

Non-military skillsInternational peacebrigades

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4 Major TheoreticalApproaches to Peace

• Peace Theory : explores epistemologicalassumptions of peace studies, as well as thenature of violence and 3 particular approachesto peace– by changing gender relations,through democracy, through the betterorganization of the world system

• Conflict Theory : looks at the nonviolent and

creative handling of conflict in detail;emphasizes the importance of the culture of conflict and how it can be understood at adeeper level

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• Developmental Theory : explores structuralviolence, particularly in the economic field, andways of overcoming that violence

• Civilization Theory : explores cultural violence,focusing on the deeper aspects of cultures–cosmologies, codes and programmes– in thecollective subconscious and the impact of these onthe politics of peace and development

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