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- Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution: The Need for Transdisciplinarity
- Current Issue: Volume 27, Number 2 (2020) Power and Conflict
- Peace Studies: An Alternative Perspective on International Security
With the traditional approach to international security stemming from a Realist, state-centric focus, and being developed with the rise of Strategy Studies during the Cold War, it is clear that the emphasis on power politics and military security has dominated the field of Security Studies in the last century. With this in mind, it is important to assess the value of Peace Studies in the twenty-first century, and the relevance of its agenda as a response to the challenges to international security. As the nature and impact of conflict has evolved in recent decades, particularly in a globalised context, it becomes necessary to understand how an alternative perception of peace and war can provide balance to the debate surrounding stability and security. This essay, then, will begin with a brief background to Peace Studies, summarising its origins and evolution in becoming a recognised academic field. Providing a concise introduction to the reasons behind the increasing focus on peace in the modern era, Brunk asserts that, since the twentieth century has been described as the bloodiest in recorded human history, with not only two World Wars and the Cold War, but also ethnic, religious and revolutionary conflicts in addition to border wars between smaller states,.
Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution: The Need for Transdisciplinarity
Peace and conflict studies is a social science field that identifies and analyzes violent and nonviolent behaviours as well as the structural mechanisms attending conflicts including social conflicts , with a view towards understanding those processes which lead to a more desirable human condition. This social science is in contrast to military studies , which has as its aim on the efficient attainment of victory in conflicts, primarily by violent means to the satisfaction of one or more, but not all, parties involved.
Disciplines involved may include philosophy , political science , geography , economics , psychology , sociology , international relations , history , anthropology , religious studies , and gender studies , as well as a variety of others.
Relevant sub-disciplines of such fields, such as peace economics , may be regarded as belonging to peace and conflict studies also. Peace and conflict studies is both a pedagogical activity, in which teachers transmit knowledge to students; and a research activity, in which researchers create new knowledge about the sources of conflict. Peace and conflict studies entails understanding the concept of peace which is defined as political condition that ensures justice and social stability through formal and informal institutions, practices, and norms.
Academics and students in the world's oldest universities have long been motivated by an interest in peace. American student interest in what we today think of as peace studies first appeared in the form of campus clubs at United States colleges in the years immediately following the American Civil War.
Similar movements appeared in Sweden in the last years of the 19th century, as elsewhere soon after. These were student-originated discussion groups, not formal courses included in college curricula.
The First World War was a turning point in Western attitudes to war. These included breaking up European empires into nation states and the establishment of the League of Nations. These moves, intended to ensure a peaceful future, were the background to a number of developments in the emergence of Peace and Conflict Studies as an academic discipline but they also, as Keynes presciently pointed out, laid the seeds for future conflict.
After World War II , the founding of the UN system provided a further stimulus for more rigorous approaches to peace and conflict studies to emerge. Many university courses in schools of higher learning around the world began to develop which touched upon questions of peace, often in relation to war, during this period.
The first undergraduate academic program in peace studies in the United States was developed in by Gladdys Muir, at Manchester University a liberal arts college located in North Manchester, Indiana. Work by academics such as Johan Galtung and John Burton , and debates in fora such as the Journal of Peace Research in the s reflected the growing interest and academic stature of the field.
As the Cold War ended, peace and conflict studies courses shifted their focus from international conflict  and towards complex issues related to political violence, human security , democratisation , human rights , social justice , welfare , development , and producing sustainable forms of peace. Agendas relating to positive peace in European academic contexts were already widely debated in the s.
By , a review of course offerings in peace studies included topics such as: "north-south relations"; "development, debt, and global poverty"; "the environment, population growth, and resource scarcity"; and "feminist perspectives on peace, militarism, and political violence. There is now a general consensus on the importance of peace and conflict studies among scholars from a range of disciplines in and around the social sciences, as well as from many influential policymakers around the world.
Peace and conflict studies today is widely researched and taught in a large and growing number of institutions and locations. The number of universities offering peace and conflict studies courses is hard to estimate, mostly because courses may be taught out of different departments and have very different names. The International Peace Research Association website gives one of the most authoritative listings available.
The Rotary Foundation and the UN University supports several international academic teaching and research programs. Fifty-five percent of the church-related schools that have peace studies programs are Roman Catholic. Other denominations with more than one college or university with a peace studies program are the Quakers , Mennonites , Church of the Brethren , and United Church of Christ.
One hundred fifteen of these programs are at the undergraduate level and 21 at the graduate level. Fifteen of these colleges and universities had both undergraduate and graduate programs. Perhaps most importantly, such programs and research agendas have now become common in institutions located in conflict, post-conflict, and developing countries and regions such as e.
Although individual thinkers such as Immanuel Kant had long recognised the centrality of peace see Perpetual Peace , it was not until the s and s that peace studies began to emerge as an academic discipline with its own research tools, a specialized set of concepts, and forums for discussion such as journals and conferences.
The group of initial members included Kenneth Boulding and Anatol Rapoport. In , this group became the Peace Science Society. Peace science was viewed as an interdisciplinary and international effort to develop a special set of concepts, techniques and data to better understand and mitigate conflict. Among the original executive committee was Johan Galtung.
The IPRA holds a biennial conference. Research presented at its conferences and in its publications typically focuses on institutional and historical approaches, seldom employing quantitative techniques. The PJSA publishes a regular newsletter The Peace Chronicle , and holds annual conferences on themes related to the organization's mission "to create a just and peaceful world" through research, scholarship, pedagogy, and activism.
In , Strategic Foresight Group presented its report on an innovative mechanism to find sustainable solution to conflicts in the Middle East. It also developed a new Water Cooperation Quotient,  which is a measure of active cooperation by riparian countries in the management of water resources using 10 parameters including legal, political, technical, environmental, economic and institutional aspects.
There has been a long-standing and vibrant debate on disarmament issues, as well as attempts to investigate, catalogue, and analyse issues relating to arms production, trade, and their political impacts. Peace and conflict studies is now well established within the social sciences : it comprises many scholarly journals, college and university departments, peace research institutes, conferences, as well as outside recognition of the utility of peace and conflict studies as a method.
Peace Studies allows one to examine the causes and prevention of war, as well as the nature of violence, including social oppression, discrimination and marginalization.
Through peace studies one can also learn peace-making strategies to overcome persecution and transform society to attain a more just and equitable international community. Feminist scholars have developed a speciality within conflict studies, specifically examining the role of gender in armed conflicts. Examples of feminist scholarship include the work of Carol Cohn and Claire Duncanson.
The negative and positive peace framework is the most widely used today. Negative peace refers to the absence of direct violence.
Positive peace refers to the absence of indirect and structural violence , and is the concept that most peace and conflict researchers adopt. This is often credited to Galtung  but these terms were previously used by Martin Luther King in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail in , in which he wrote about "negative peace which is the absence of tension" and "positive peace which is the presence of justice.
Several conceptions, models, or modes of peace have been suggested in which peace research might prosper. There have been many offerings on these various forms of peace. These range from the well known works of Kant , Locke , Rousseau , Paine , on various liberal international and constitutional and plans for peace. Udayakumar , Tom Woodhouse , others mentioned above and many more. Democratic peace , liberal peace, sustainable peace, civil peace, hybrid peace, post-liberal peace, everyday peace , trans-rational peace s and other concepts are regularly used in such work.
Under the conceptions of peace, sustainable peace must be regarded as an important factor for the future of prosperity. Sustainable peace must be the priority of global society where state actors and non-state actors do not only seek for the profits in a near future that might violate the stable state of peace. For a sustainable peace, nurturing, empowerment, and communications are considered to be the crucial factors throughout the world.
Firstly, nurturing is necessary to encourage psychological stability and emotional maturity. The significance of social value in adequate nurturing is important for sustainable peace. Secondly, in order to achieve real security, inner security must be secured along with arranged social systems and protection based on firm foundation. Lastly, communications are necessary to overcome ignorance and establish a community based on reliable and useful information. It will prevents isolation to take place which is critical to bring sustainable peace.
Johan Galtung 's conflict triangle works on the assumption that the best way to define peace is to define violence, its opposite. It reflects the normative aim of preventing, managing, limiting and overcoming violence. Each corner of Galtung's triangle can relate to the other two.
Ethnic cleansing can be an example of all three. Cost of conflict is a tool which attempts to calculate the price of conflict to the human race. The idea is to examine this cost, not only in terms of the deaths and casualties and the economic costs borne by the people involved, but also the social, developmental, environmental and strategic costs of conflict. The approach considers direct costs of conflict, for instance human deaths, expenditure, destruction of land and physical infrastructure; as well as indirect costs that impact a society, for instance migration, humiliation, growth of extremism and lack of civil society.
Strategic Foresight Group , a think tank in India , has developed a Cost of Conflict Series for countries and regions involved in protracted conflicts.
This tool is aimed at assessing past, present and future costs looking at a wide range of parameters. The normative aims of peace studies are conflict transformation and conflict resolution through mechanisms such as peacekeeping , peacebuilding e. Peacekeeping falls under the aegis of negative peace, whereas efforts toward positive peace involve elements of peace building and peacemaking.
One of the interesting developments within peace and conflict studies is the number of military personnel undertaking such studies. This poses some challenges, as the military is an institution overtly committed to combat.
In the article "Teaching Peace to the Military", published in the journal Peace Review ,  James Page argues for five principles that ought to undergird this undertaking, namely, respect but do not privilege military experience, teach the just war theory, encourage students to be aware of the tradition and techniques of nonviolence, encourage students to deconstruct and demythologize, and recognize the importance of military virtue.
Scholars working in the areas of peace and conflict studies have made significant contributions to the policies used by non-governmental organisations, development agencies, international financial institutions, and the UN system, in the specific areas of conflict resolution and citizen diplomacy, development, political, social, and economic reform, peacekeeping, mediation, early warning, prevention, peacebuilding, and statebuilding. This research agenda is in the process of establishing a more nuanced agenda for peacebuilding which also connects with the original, qualitatively and normatively oriented work that emerged in the peace studies and conflict research schools of the s e.
Hence this school prefers the strictly relational and systemic method of elicitive conflict transformation Lederach  to the prescriptive approaches of modern conflict resolution. A serious number of well established criticisms have been aimed at peace and conflict studies, often but not necessarily from outside the realms of university system, including that peace studies:.
Barbara Kay , a columnist for the National Post , specifically criticized the views of Norwegian professor Johan Galtung , who is considered to be a leader in modern peace research. Kay wrote that Galtung has written on the "structural fascism" of "rich, Western, Christian" democracies, admires Fidel Castro , opposed resistance to the Soviet Invasion of Hungary in , and has described Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov as "persecuted elite personages.
Galtung has also stated that the United States is a "killer country" that is guilty of "neo-fascist state terrorism" and has reportedly stated that the destruction of Washington, D. More broadly, he argued that Peace Studies are dominated by the belief that "America Regarding his claim that Peace Studies supports violence in the pursuit of leftist ideology, Bawer cited a quote from Peace and Conflict Studies ,   a widely used textbook written by Charles P.
Webel and David P. David Horowitz has argued that Webel and Barash's book implicitly supports violence for socialist causes, noting that the book states "the case of Cuba indicates that violent revolutions can sometimes result in generally improved living conditions for many people.
Kennedy while praising Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev for "be[ing] willing to back down. Kay and Bawer also specifically criticized Professor Gordon Fellman , the Chairman of Brandeis University 's Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies Program, whom they claimed has justified Palestinian suicide-bombings against Israelis as "ways of inflicting revenge on an enemy that seems unable or unwilling to respond to rational pleas for discussion and justice.
Katherine Kersten , who is a senior fellow at the Minneapolis-based conservative think tank Center of the American Experiment , believes that Peace Studies programs are "dominated by people of a certain ideological bent, and [are] thus hard to take seriously. Thomas , criticized his university's Peace Studies Program in an interview with Minneapolis Star Tribune in , stating that the program employs several adjunct professors "whose academic qualifications are not as strong as we would ordinarily look for" and that "The combination of the ideological bite and the maybe less-than-full academic credentials of the faculty would probably raise some questions about how scholarly the program is.
Such views have been strongly opposed by scholars who claim that these criticisms underestimate the development of detailed interdisciplinary, theoretical, methodological, and empirical research into the causes of violence and dynamics of peace that has occurred via academic and policy networks around the world. Kay attempts to portray advocates for peace as naive and idealistic, but the data shows that the large majority of armed conflicts in recent decades have been ended through negotiations, not military solutions.
In the contemporary world, violence is less effective than diplomacy in ending armed conflict. Most academics in the area argue that the accusations that peace studies approaches are not objective, and derived from mainly leftist or inexpert sources, are not practical, support violence rather than reject it, or have not led to policy developments, are clearly incorrect. A range of key policy documents and responses have been developed by these governments in the last decade and more, and in UN or related documentation such as "Agenda for Peace", "Agenda for Development", "Agenda for Democratization", the Millennium Development Goals , Responsibility to Protect , and the "High Level Panel Report".
Major databases have been generated by the work of scholars in these areas. Finally, peace and conflict studies debates have generally confirmed, not undermined, a broad consensus western and beyond on the importance of human security , human rights, development, democracy, and a rule of law though there is a vibrant debate ongoing about the contextual variations and applications of these frameworks.
Current Issue: Volume 27, Number 2 (2020) Power and Conflict
PDF | This article explores some of the key sources of and reasons for the rapid growth of conflict-resolution programs in higher education in.
Peace Studies: An Alternative Perspective on International Security
Peace and Conflict Studies ISSN is committed to interdisciplinary explorations of conflict resolution, peace building, humanitarian assistance, and other mechanisms that seek to prevent and control violence. PCS is also interested in articles focusing on social change and nonviolence, including such areas as sustainable development, reflective practice, action research, human rights, peace education, and intercultural relations. Views expressed in articles and other contributions that appear in PCS do not necessarily reflect endorsement by the Editorial Board or Staff. PCS provides a forum for dialogue around various ideas, assessments, recommendations, and critiques.
The main areas and the sub-areas are careers focused on:. One of the most effective ways of landing a job is to have an internship first. At your internship, you gain critical experience, build important connections, and see if you are a good fit for the organization. Peace and Conflict Studies undergraduate and graduates have the option to do internships with organizations in the field.
Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest of group e. Cognitive resolution is the way disputants understand and view the conflict, with beliefs, perspectives, understandings and attitudes. Emotional resolution is in the way disputants feel about a conflict, the emotional energy.
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Peacebuilding is the development of constructive personal, group, and political relationships across ethnic, religious, class, national, and racial boundaries. It aims to resolve injustice in nonviolent ways and to transform the structural conditions that generate deadly conflict. Peacebuilding can include conflict prevention; conflict management; conflict resolution and transformation, and post-conflict reconciliation.
War, violence, poverty, oppression, and other sources of human suffering are common throughout history, manifesting themselves differently in different times and settings. It is often noted, for example, that the 20th century brought with it a uniquely global scale of tragedy, most clearly represented by the two World Wars, the proliferation of violence around the world following the fall of the Soviet Union, and most recently the increasing levels of inequality within and between nations. The beginning of 21st century on the other hand has displayed both continuity and change with the decades preceding it. Patterns of genocide and ethnicized violence, as transpired repeatedly in the 's, continue today in places like Darfur, while the newfound focus on terrorism has shifted attention away from many more traditional issues and perspectives in world politics. Mirroring this long record of human ills, attempts to critically analyze, understand, and respond to major sources of conflict and suffering also stretch far back in time.
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Peace Studies is a discipline that is derived from International Relations. With the development of International Relations, they are dealing with cases related to conflicts and wars between states, as well as states with non-states. For this reason, Peace Studies was born so that it can focus on discussing issues surrounding conflict, war, and resolution efforts.
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Peace studies seeks to understand the negation of violence through conflict transformation, cooperation and harmony by drawing from many disciplines, including psychology, sociology and anthropology, political science, economics, international relations, international law and history.
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