Peace Studies: Ten Basic Points

By Johan Galtung

Foreign Policy Studies, University of Malmö, Sweden

Thanks for wanting a summary of key points in “Galtung Peace Studies”. I was just honored with a “Lifetime Award” by world sociology, 60+ years; in short, time for summary with an author’s caveat: no substitute for reading books.

[1] 1951: Peace studies=peace theory+peace practice; applied science, with an explicit value–peace–with practice-indicative theories and theory-testing practice; like health studies, unlike social sciences. Model: peace to violence as health to illness; Diagnosis-Prognosis-Therapy produced health by weakening pathogens-strengthening sanogens; try the same for peace by weakening bellogens-strengthening paxogens. Mantra: through interdisciplinary, international, interlevel research.

[2] Like in illness violence=suffering of body-mind-spirit, also of the bereaved; unlike in illness, an intended act of commission, a perpetrator-victim relation, a crime, epitomized by aggressive war. Body wounds may be healed but stigma, shame, humiliation, hopelessness, hatred, fear, revenge may settle in mind and spirit as trauma. To judicial approaches, sentence and punishment–against theft of cherished property, violence to the body and sexual violence – add victim – and context-oriented approaches like having less property, more company, no provocation and context-oriented approaches as for instance un-uniformed citizens as vigilantes in public space, etc.

But the antidote to violence is peace: a structure of positive interaction, a culture of nonviolence, focus on the positive in the yin/yang of others and on change from violent to peaceful relations, rather than on party attributes; relations carry more causal weight and are irreducible to attributes: see relation logic-buddhism-daoism.

[3] Peace was liberated from the state focus to cover five levels:Read More »