Johan Galtung, one of the founders of modern peace studies, provides a wide-ranging panorama of the ideas, theories and assumptions on which the study of peace is based. The book is organized in four parts, each examining the one of the four major theoretical approaches to peace. The first part covers peace theory, exploring the epistemological assumptions of peace. In Part Two conflict theory is examined with an exploration of nonviolent and creative handling of conflict. Developmental theory is discussed in Part Three, exploring structural violence, particularly in the economic field, together with a consideration of the ways of overcoming that violence. The fourth part is devoted to civilization theory.
Chapter 1: Peace Studies: An Epistemological Basis
Peace Studies: An Epistemological Basis
A Point of Departure: Peace by Peaceful Means
To start with, two compatible definitions of peace:
- Peace is the absence/reduction of violence of all kinds.
- Peace is nonviolent and creative conflict transformation.
For both definitions the following holds:
- Peace work is work to reduce violence by peaceful means.
- Peace studies is the study of the conditions of peace work.
The first definition is violence-oriented; peace being its negation. To know about peace we have to know about violence.
The second definition is conflict-oriented; peace is the context for conflicts to unfold nonviolently and creatively. To know about peace we have to know about conflict and how conflicts can be transformed, both nonviolently and creatively. Obviously this latter definition is more dynamic than the former.
Both definitions ...