Origins of peace studies ps
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Origins of Peace Studies (PS). Peace Studies. PS = an inter-disciplinary field, primarily (but not exclusively) based in the social sciences that blends peace research + peace action + peace education. Peace Research: Big Focus on War and Internal Violence.

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Origins of Peace Studies (PS)

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Origins of peace studies ps

Origins of Peace Studies (PS)


Peace studies

Peace Studies

PS =

an inter-disciplinary field, primarily (but not exclusively) based in the social sciences that blends

peace research + peace action + peace education


Peace research big focus on war and internal violence

Peace Research: Big Focus on War and Internal Violence

  • It begins with the classics, the works of Thucydides, and epics like “The Peloponnesian Wars”, where in the story of the siege of Melos, he writes (Chapter XVII):“the strong take what they will, the weak yield what they must”which becomes the basis for realist thinking in the social sciences!


Key studies all before 1960 s

Key studies – all before 1960’s

  • E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis (1919-1939)

  • Quincy Wright, A Study of War

  • Lewis Frye Richardson, Statistics of Deadly Quarrels


By the 1960s

By the 1960s:

  • Rise in the US of the study of international relations – a bit of a rebellion against “pure” political science: focus on the globe, inter-disciplinary, builds off the “behavioral” revolution….peace research a BIG part of this…with the key guiding question –

  • What causes war?


Late 50 s onward

Late 50’s onward

The development in Europe of independent institutes, many of them with private and government funding (very much in reaction to the Cold War and the arms race)

  • Peace Research International, Oslo (PRIO)

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

  • Tampere Peace Research Institute, Finland (TAPRI)

  • Copenhagen Peace Center

  • Johan Galtung creates The Journal of Peace Research


In canada

In Canada:

  • Peace Research Institute (Dundas)

  • International Development Association (IDA)

  • Human Security Research Group (Vancouver, BC)

  • Canadian Universities

    • Conrad Grebel

    • University of Guelph

    • University of Toronto

    • University of British Columbia

    • University ofWaterloo

    • University of Calgary


In europe and latin america

In Europe and Latin America:

  • City University, London, UK

  • University of Bradford, UK

  • Free University, Berlin

  • Various Irish universities

  • Various Scandinavian: Uppsala, Aarhus, Copenhagen

  • Latin America: FLACSO and CLAIP


In australia

In Australia:

  • Australian National University

  • Canberra

  • Issue “commissions”


In japan

In Japan:

  • Asian-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA)

  • United Nations University (UNU)

  • Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorials

  • Philanthropic Foundations


Research in the u s

Research in the U.S.

  • In the United States, peace research is housed primarily at universities, rarely in institutes (what to do with RAND??).

    • mostly in the work of one or more people at university sites, and

    • then coming together in organizations

  • Elise and Ken Boulding create The Journal of Conflict Resolution as part of the University of Michigan Conflict and Peace program in 1956.


Peace research

Peace Research

Peace research has ranged from war prevention, arms reduction through how to prepare children for non-violence and how to create justice and rights in society


Peace action

Peace Action

  • Revolts by soldiers and the occupied in the B.C. era (Maccabees to Spartacus)

  • Early Christian debate about service to the state and use of violence

  • Humanistic thinkers: Thoreau, Tolstoy

  • Use of non-violent protest in the anti-slavery and women’s suffrage movements


Peace action cont

Peace Action (cont.)

  • More systematic anti-war movements and organizations (Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War Resisters League, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)

  • Organizations for peace diplomacy

  • Substantial focus on arms issues, especially nuclear: Women of Greenham Common

  • Gandhi & King

  • Eastern Europe in 1989


Peace education

Peace Education

  • Socialization by different religious groups (Anabaptists, Buddhists) and disciplined traditions (Tai Chi) for nonviolence

  • Cultural anthropology and cultural re-education

  • “Training” in non-violent direct action

  • Training in conflict resolution and peace-making – huge NGO boom after 1989

  • Now in the U.S., 75 colleges and universities with PS programs; 6-10 graduate ones for MA or PhD


Why are people still suspicious of ps

Why are people still suspicious of PS?

  • We believe the “true” history of humans to be about war and violence. To believe in peace as central – or to research or teach it – is inaccurate or fuzzy-headed.

  • Especially in the U.S., we don’t like the link between peace education and action – we believe in objectivism.

  • We have bad cultural experiences and stereotypes of “peaceniks” (long-haireds, veggie-types, “getting in touch with themselves”).


Why are people still suspicious of ps1

Why are people still suspicious of PS?

  • At the political and think tank level – as supported by the general culture – we see the primary need not as peace with justice but security…thus peace increasingly is seen as a luxury – or as an idealized end state to be achieved once war is over

  • At the university level we fear that what happens is professors say:

    “PEACE IS THE ANSWER…what are the questions?”


Most peace people

Most “peace people”…

believe in A.J. Muste’s claim:

“There is no way to peace,

peace is the way”


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