Peace and Conflict Studies Nature and Scope essay

The concepts of peace have been rich in content across various religious and helicopter traditions. From the early period of human thinking, there has been a clear understanding that war is neither a natural phenomenon nor the irreversible will of Gods. A peaceful world belongs to a society where people can work and live together in harmony and friendship and the domination of one group over another is a major obstacle to peace. In Eastern religions, there is a strong emphasis on links between a spiritual life and action for social justice.

The Buddhist traditions emphasis justice, equity, non-violence, concern for the well-being of others and compassion among living beings. They also reflect a weltered state of mind, inner peace and harmony within a culture. Tranquility in the inner state of mind and harmonious interpersonal relationship contribute to universal peace. The practice of non- exploitation of nature exists in Native American and African tribal cultures. Peace with the planet represents the need for humans to live in harmony with nature rather than conquer it.

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The earth constitutes a web in which humans are part, and by destroying living and non-living forms of existence on the planet humans threaten even their own survival. Many Western religious traditions have delivered the message of natural goodwill, unconditional love, wholeness and individual well-being as well as cessation Of hostilities. The passages Of the Old Testament Of the Bible State that swords shall be beaten into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. In early Christian social utopia, there was a strong emphasis on a community of love.

Greek philosophers conceptualized a peaceful world in terms of a lack of civil disturbances. These philosophical traditions are also linked to unity based on the moral substance of humanity in each person and he principle of world citizenship. The vision of a world without war was embraced as the core approach to peace in the Hellenic civilization. In the Roman and Medieval periods, peace implied stable relationship among units of society that lead to the control of organized violence. In Enlightenment thinking, violence and conflict, seen as the greatest evils in history, are ascribed to a disorderly world.

Political philosophers such as John Locke in the 171 h century and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in. The technetium viewed war as unnecessary and believed that social contracts could prevent lenience. Given their focus on individual autonomy and freedom, ideas in anarchist utopias oppose government and legal institutions that impose an artificial order. According to the 19″ century Russian thinker Tolstoy and other pacifist anarchists who considered peace as a cherished human value, the state power apparatus is responsible for the organization Of both oppression and violence.

War can be abolished with the elimination of a political structure attributed to social oppression and exploitation. With their goal to realist powerful changes in improving human conditions, socialist movements in the 1 thank early technetium stipulated that peace could be obtained in a classless society. The primary causes of human misery are economic inequality and a repressive political system associated with social injustice. Peace has a firm social dimension in which equity and consideration of others’ well-being are crucial for a harmonious community life.

People from different cultural and political traditions would be united by the achievement of an equal society. 1. 3 PEACE AND VIOLENCE Though the central core of peace studies includes the study of peace as the absence of violence, there has been disagreement as to what constitutes “peace” and “violence”. The major debate has been whether to define peace simply as the absence of war often called ‘negative peace’ or whether the concept encompasses both the absence of war and the presence of social and economic justice, often called positive peace.

Those who argue that peace should be defined narrowly, hold that broadening the concept reduces its clarity. Those- who favor the broader conception, argue that the violent, life-threatening characteristics of various forms of systematic repression and underdevelopment approach or exceed that of overt warfare. The two individual researchers most often associated with the poles of this debate are Johan Gallant of Norway who is credited with inventing the term ‘Positive Peace’ in the mid-ass’s and Kenneth Building of the United States of America whose “twelve friendly quern’s” with Gallant include this one.

In practice, however, there is more consensus than this conceptual schism would seem to suggest. Few scholars would contest the argument that there is a relationship between the absence of war and the presence of other social values such as justice and freedom. According to Karl Deutsche, a security community is one in which there are “dependable expectations of peaceful change” for the foreseeable future. 1. 4 FORMS OF VIOLENCE The, concept of peace is more clearly understood in comparison with the concept of violence.

An understanding of different forms of violence present in various social relations is, therefore, necessary to understand the concepts of peace.. 1. 4. 1 Direct and Structural Violence b Direct violence is the popularly understood meaning violence and is referred to in terms of physical injuries and infliction of pain such as killing, eating and verbal abuse whether they happen in war or in inter-personal situations.

Direct violence is personal, visible and manifest, whereas violence in inter-personal relations may be employed as an instrument for robbery, revenge or honor and states use organized violence for political purposes. The capacity for violence is institutionalized in prison systems, concentration camps, military fonts militia. Nazi Germany killed millions of European Jews and other ethnic minority groups. POI Pot decimated at least a million Cambodia in the late ass’s to consolidate his rule by imposing fear.

Genocide is a major form of tired violence that is inflicted on one group by the other with very little reciprocal violence by the weaker side. Structural violence consists Of negotiating and discriminatory practices causing human misery like poverty, hunger, repression, and social alienation. Structural violence is apparent social systems maintained by exploitative means. Discrimination results in denying people gross violation of human rights and dignity prevents the optimum development of each ‘unman being.

The ‘lack of an opportunity for self- fulfillment can be based on race, religion, gender, economic status or age. If a young female’s need for education is not provided adequately because of gender differences, it constitutes inequitable life conditions. In many societies, some people are dying from a lack of protein or health care while a few enjoy a luxurious way of life. -Givens indirect and insidious nature, structural violence most often works slowly in eroding human values and shortening life spans.

As war is only one kind of faceless condition, the opposite of peace is more than the existence of manifest violence. The absence of direct violence does not necessarily mean the satisfaction of conditions for maintaining cent human life. The concept of structural violence helps us understand deep causes of coffins ingrained in classical oppressor and economic despair. Given that gross social injustice can be AMA. Entailed personal Vincent, structural violence is more easily noticed in a society that is governed by fear and repression.

When coercive mechanisms are effective, structural violence is not challenged for a long time. However. Prolonging exploitative conditions eventually produces violent resistance like liberation movements during the Bacteriological domination in Africa and Asia. Certain cultural elements like religion, ideology and art that touch upon ‘the symbolic sphere of our existence’ can be possible sources of direct and structural violence through their value justification and legislation of their instruments. In religion, there is a sharp distinction between chosen people and outsiders beyond its accepted boundaries.

Nationalism justified through state ideology or efficiency has been an instrument for promoting . War. Some categories of structural violence Such as or discrimination based on gender and race are typically colonized by cultural norms. A solicitation process maintains distortion of knowledge and images about other people. As both manifest rand latent violence have a cultural layer, r:ultra practice is not strictly separated from the two main types of violence. Minimization of cultural violence goes along with reduction in structural and direct violence. . 4. 2 Negative and Positive Peace Negative peace is focused on the absence of manifest violence such as war, which could . Be realized through negotiation or mediation rather than resorting to physical force. It recommends the use of non-violent means, total sacrament and social and economic interdependence avoid the physical violence and discourage the use of force in conflict situations. In a negative peace approach, preventing war also requires a large m a y Of international agreements and institutions that can support stable relations among nations.

The idea of improving peace has also been reflected in many international agreements and in the mechanisms of collective security included in the League of Nations and the United Nations. Negative peace policies RNA focus on a present, short or near future time- scale. Due to the fact that stability and order can be maintain?body an oppressive system, negative peace is compatible with structural violence. In such a situation, absence of physical violence can derive from deterrence strategies to punish enemies.

Lasting conditions of peace are not synonymous with the preservation of intervals between outbreaks of warfare. ” War can not be eradicated as long as militarism remains a prevalent value. The concept of positive peace, based on a broad understanding of social conditions, means the removal of structural violence beyond merely the absence of direct violence. According to Johan Gallant, positive peace would not be obtained without the development of just and equitable conditions associated with the elimination of negotiating social structures.

Equality is an essential element of peace because its absence perpetuates tensions of all types. All groups of people ought to have equitable access to the uneconomic benefits of society as well as enjoying social, cultural and political development. For marginal’s groups of people, squatty means overcoming obstacles related to institutional, cultural, attitudinal and behavioral discrimination. According to Bouts Bonus-Shall, former Secretary General of the IAN. The elimination of repression and poverty is an essential element of peace.

Equal suppositories allow people to develop their talents and skills so that they can participate in turnout aspects of development. The comprehensive notion of piece touches upon many Issues :hat influence quality of life, hugging personal growth, freedom, social equality, economy equity, solidarity, autonomy and participation. According to the SIN Document No. 84 1 996, on The United Nations and the Advancement of women 1945-IQ, ace entails, beyond violence and hostilities at the national and international levels. “the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality and the entire range of human nights and fundamental freedoms within society”. Conditions for harmonious relations derive from randomization of all forms of exploitation. As the earth is recognized as the object of ex.! Notation, positive peace is also extended to embrace the notion of respect for nature. Negative peace thinkers argue that, in considering human nature and the power structure of the world, it is unrealistic and thus, meaningless to equate ace with social justice.

A narrow focus on the control of symptoms of violence has a more tangible effect than a broad-based struggle for improving the quality of living. During Cold War, peace researchers like Kenneth Building raised concerns that a broadened notion of peace would divert attention away from the problems of disarmament toward ‘a grand, vague study of world . -development’. Those who are mainly interested in the reduction and elimination of warfare consider justice a less essential requirement for peace. Topics in this research tradition have been control Of violent social behavior and the arms race.

Priority has been given to investigating various methods relevant to reduction of the risks of war, disarmament, prevention of accidental war, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and negotiated settlement of international conflicts. Scholars in the positive peace research tradition, most prominently Johan Gallant, assert that the structural roots of violent conflict have to be more seriously studied than particular cases of avoiding and limiting war or such narrow issues as reduction in particular weapons systems..

Knowledge for conditions to achieve peace has to explain strategies to overcome institutional form of violence. The study of positive peace identifies conditions threatening human survival which include environmental issues as well as poverty and economic disparity. Given that these problems are not likely to be solved in the world’s current economic and political structure, the analysis of shortcomings of the present system naturally leads to a search for policy and institutional changes that can serve human welfare.

In the areas of non- violence, some people are mainly concerned with logistics and tactical issues involved in unarmed struggle against enemies without much regard to hanger in t 15 structural conditions for oppression. Peace thinkers like Gene Sharp view non-violent action as merely an effective strategic instrument to achieve specific political objectives and score victories with non-lethal means. Other thinkers, such as Geoffrey Coastguard who follow the traditions of Mahatma Gandhi, emphasis non-violence as a principle capable of preventing the origin or existence of unjust social and economic system.

Non-violent social structure in turn can be acquired by establishing egalitarian social relations. Though the focus of anti-war movements during the Cold War period was to reverent the worst scenario of having a nuclear war, many peace groups working in the negative peace traditions, at the same time, shared the ideal of pacifist communities that a peaceful order requires social justice. If the study of peace is designed prolific changes and action, its ultimate goal is to create social conditions for the betterment of the life of all humanity.

Building positive peace should thus be complementary to practicing negative peace. Preventing the use of physical, manifest violence is more successful under certain social structural conditions. There is no need for the use of violence if here is justice in society. Institutions of war are based on domination, and they play an important role in maintaining the culture of violence. In that sense, peace is synonymous with the elimination of the institution Of war. 1. CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Conflict emerges from the pursuit of incompatible goals which can [email protected] struggle between opposing forces, especially in the absence of collaborative problem solving mechanisms. In conflict situations, resources are embossed to force the other party to change their behavior according to one’s own +sizes. Mismanaged conflict turns into violence causing mass destruction. Peace, as already mentioned, does not necessarily mean absence or suppression of conflict. Rather peace theorists accept conflict as a normal part of human life and international relations.

The goal of peace analysts is to determine how to manage and resolve conflict in ways that reduce the possibility or the level of violence without diminishing other values such as justice or freedom. Many lasting internal and international conflicts have their roots in structural injustice. Serious conflict is embedded in an inequitable social and economic yester, reflecting prolonged exploitation supported by coercion. The destruction of cultural identities, political autonomy and economic sustainability for the weak has been associated with the imposition of dominant power situations.

This was reflected in the rule of European empires in many colonies in Africa and Asia with their superior military power in the past centuries. Due to their differ-.NET power Status, parties have opposing interests in maintaining the system. Those in a disadvantaged position demand a new set of relationships when they begin to perceive the tuition as unjust and exploitative. However, until some form of serious challenges is made either violently or non-violently, chose benefiting from the status quo have little incentive for taking the issues raised by the underprivileged seriously.

While reform may be proposed to meet some of the concerns, conflict can also be suppressed by the use of physical violence, consequently reinforcing one party’s will over another. Maintenance of coercive instruments is legitimated by the state by citing or even manipulating public fear of disorder. Threats of punishment and adversarial institutions become ajar characteristics of an elite-controlled society,Suppressing the collective identities of marginal’s peoples who attempt to pursue self-esteem and autonomy.

Hegemony is maintained by unconstitutionality power relations and maintaining values which seer. ‘e the interests of elites. Restlessness in modem society arises out of various forms Of alienation derived from social control in everyday life. The absence of legitimated structures and policies, along with increasing inequalities of income and opportunity, serves as the primary source of conflict. Once basic assumptions bout the traditional concepts of law and order as the common good are questioned, the right of the government to rule and to expect obedience is itself at the root of the conflict. 5. 2 Traditional Management Strategies In the traditional management of conflict, a judicial system and the wider public administration system are mostly concerned with the preservation of the status-quo and the maintenance of existing institutions. Because those in power tend to interpret challenges to their authority in terms of enforcement of order, conflict management is largely seen in terms of social control signed to runniness the challenge to the core values of the system. Efforts are made to frame conflict behavior within the recognized sets of rules of social order.

The existence of underlying conflicts can even be effectively denied for legitimizing power inequality. Conflict management in a traditional setting helps reinforce coercive policy by conforming to dominant social norms. In politically oppressive societies, demands for autonomy are answered by coercive responses rather than negotiation Of new relationships. The legitimacy of the existing order is eventually challenged by the refusal to accommodate alienated communities here participation is denied because of social categories.

In the long run, deterrent strategies relying on threats and punishment have limited value in maintaining social control with resistance triggered by the repression of aspirations for cultural identity, security, and recognition: 1. 5. 3 Dispute Settlement and Conflict Resolution Dispute settlement approaches are based on legal mechanisms and conventional negotiation to settle disputes by finding compromise solutions. By sorting out difference within an existing system, dispute settlement contributes to the stability of society with the confirmation of legitimate roles f accepted norms, values, and institutions in everyday life.

Dispute settlement mechanisms could not be applied effectively to the resolution of value and identity conflict. It is entirely possible truelove an incompatibility without touching the actors and their relations. Compromise can be accomplished without regard to examining the conflict formation process itself. The actors continue to remain with their structure basically untouched. -,Eng suspicion and distrust between In contrast to dispute settlement that. Focuses on adversaries, conflict resolution goes through a far more complex process.