Peace in International Relations: A New Agenda (Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution)

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To highlight the establishment of this new approach of creating societies with a culture of peace, in which peace can be nurtured, we can observe the institutional bodies which make Peace Studies more than simply academic, but also active in promoting international peace and stability.

For example, although the initial cornerstone for Peace Studies was within universities and research departments, this was extended particularly in Europe through dedicated peace centres and institutes whose aim was to actively research peace, and influence government policy to encompass the wider agenda of human security. As is clear, the growth in size of Peace Studies as an accepted discipline and school of thought around conflict and security demonstrates the shift in thinking from certain perspectives on global issues. But it is now important to explore the characteristics which set Peace Studies apart from a traditional focus within International Relations.

To begin, the underlying principle of Peace Studies is its normative commitment to peace. They focus on balancing and restructuring of the world system. As demonstrated by the justification for the use of force in humanitarian emergencies being advocated by some pragmatic pacifists and peace activists, we can observe that the nature of peace is undergoing significant change in the twenty-first century. That is to say, we are sometimes willing to forego the immediate prevention of conflict to preserve a wider balance of human security and peace.

In terms of redefining violence, as well as its intrinsic relationship with peace, Galtung differentiates between actual and potential, negative and positive. With regards to actual and potential, Galtung refers to avoidable and unavoidable instances. To relate this to positive peace processes, Galtung establishes that a lack of structural violence is the presence of equality. Comparatively, we can note the difference in terms of negative peace, which takes a lack of structural violence to mean an absence of exploitation.

Similarly, concerning direct violence, taken to mean intended harm by an actor, negative peace denotes an absence of conflict in the form of a ceasefire, whereas positive peace is more operational in its pursuit of cooperation to actively prevent violence. By fostering a culture of peace and encouraging dialogue through building structures of reciprocity and equality, and human autonomy through education, literacy and the creation of a stimulus for new ideas, Peace Studies and, in turn, peace-building in post-conflict societies, represents the very core of humanitarian ideals and unity in the international system which constitute security issues in the twenty-first century.

By applying the concepts of positive and negative peace to all three, direct, structural and cultural violence, Galtung determines that:. The task known as ceasefire is only one-sixth of a complete peace process.

By broadening the definitions of peace and violence and, as a result, the scope of Peace Studies, Galtung has also enabled the school of thought to widen the agenda of Security Studies itself. Incorporating inequality and injustice at both a structural and societal or cultural level, Peace Studies is able to take into account both physical and psychological needs of the individual, asserting that people have the fundamental human right to mental freedom and freedom from institutionalised discrimination.

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It has maintained its moral and ethical focus and challenged the status quo through comparative study of peaceful and non-peaceful processes of political and social change. However, it is important to question the viability of Peace Studies to respond to the changing nature of conflict in the twenty-first century, and how its agenda can remain as a relevant alternative to the traditional focus on war.

Rogers has recognised that two broader issues are framing the global system and the conflicts within it, which will ultimately mean that Peace Studies becomes even more relevant as opposed to losing its scope. The increase in violent responses of the disempowered in the form of transnational movements and revolutionary retaliation to oppression, taking for example the Arab Spring, along with the growing pressure of globalisation, post-colonial fragmentation, sectarian and factional exploitation, and increased internal political tensions, hold widespread repercussions for the international community and International Relations as a discipline.

The sub-disciplines of Peace Studies and Security Studies are facing the challenge of responding to these situations to provide both short term and long term solutions for resolving conflict. In direct response to the shift in socio-economic divisions and environmental constraints, Peace Studies retains its relevance as it proposes co-operation on the matters of sustainable development, debt relief and development aid and trade reform.

With regards to issues that fit more closely with a traditional idea of security, such as conflict and revolution, coupled with the global fight against militant Islamic terrorism, Rogers highlights that many of the solutions considered by the international community draw directly from peace research terminology. By acknowledging a wider global security agenda, placing the security of the individual on a par with that of the state, it can be argued that Peace Studies is a highly valuable discipline in the twenty-first century. Encompassing more than just physical violence, but rather taking into account climate change, poverty, and financial inequality, to name but a few, Peace Studies, and therefore Security Studies itself, has evolved beyond the traditional International Relations theories of Liberalism and Realism, and their conception of what signifies a security issue.

Its multidisciplinary focus is, perhaps, what distinguishes it from traditional methods and arguably allows it to retain its relevance in addressing world issues which go beyond a single given issue area. The need for any academic discipline to evolve and adjust is pertinent to its endurance, and whilst many of the biggest challenges remain to be seen, for the most part Peace Studies provides an essential alternative to the focus on power-politics and state-centrism which has dominated International Relations.

As this essay has shown, whilst the focus on peace has challenged the status quo in International Relations theory, presenting an alternative to the emphasis on the conditions giving rise to war, it has provided valuable insight to conflict resolution and post-conflict peace building. In particular the research and data developed from Peace Studies, along with the re-conceptualising of the relationship between violence and peace itself has provided an insightful balance to the debate surrounding the nature of inter-state relations.

It is clear that when we consider the evolving agenda in the global community, and the rise of globalisation and complex interdependence, that Peace Studies will continue to provide a necessary emphasis on human nature, equality and peaceful measures to resolve crises which becomes even more pertinent as the scope of Security Studies is broadened. Beer, F.


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The Reduction of War and the Creation of Peace. In: Smoker, P. A Reader in Peace Studies. Oxford: Pergamon Press plc. Brunk, C. In: Webel, C. Peace and Conflict Studies: A Reader. Oxon: Routledge. Carter, A. In: In: Webel, C. Cortright, D. What is Peace? Dunn, D. Peace Research.

Rescuing Peacebuilding? Anthropology and Peace Formation

In: Taylor, T. Herbert C. Kelman , has formulated the following axioms relating to international conflict that reflect very well the current trend in peace and conflict research:. In elaborating these basic theorems, Kelman points especially to the nonfulfillment, or threats to the fulfillment, of the basic needs as causes of conflict and mentions in particular psychological needs, such as identity, security, recognition, autonomy, self-esteem, and a sense of justice, as centrally important for the behavior of individuals and characteristic for the individuals' identity groups e. Closely related, so to speak the other side of the coin, are fears about the denial of the needs, perceived threats to security, identity and survival Kelman, , Summing up, identity, security and other important collective needs, and the fears about survival connected with them, are viewed as critical causal factors of intergroup and intercommunal conflict.


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Similarly, John Burton , a prominent creative scholar specializing in international relations and conflict resolution, established a direct link between interstate and intergroup conflicts and the realm of basic human needs, principally identity, recognition and survival, and thus brought the study of conflict resolution safely into the vicinity of a socialpsychological approach to this key problem. What is relevant at this point in the review of the conception of conflict is Burton's very own distinction between disputes and conflicts, the latter being deeply rooted in human needs and therefore most difficult to resolve.

In his view, disputes lend themselves to the conventional methods of peacemaking, but conflicts must be probed and opened up by means of a profound psychological examination of the unmet or inadequately fulfilled basic human needs of the parties and their individual members. His approach deals with conflict as a universal phenomenon affecting all cultures and at all societal levels Burton, Similar views are held by scholars associated with Burton's theoretical and applied framework showing the wide acceptance of the socialpsychological approach to the description, analysis and resolution of intergroup and international conflicts by today's peace and conflict researchers.

Sandole, et al. Compared to the situation of peace research in the sixties, there is not the slightest doubt that the level of theoretical depth and methodological sophistication has risen tremendously since that time. The state-as-rational-actor hypothesis of political realism has given way to a much broader-based social science framework subsuming the special assumptions and contributions of the traditional disciplines and incorporating the novel insights of the innovative scholars exemplified by the annotated survey above. Based on the growth in understanding among students of conflict resolution, it probably would represent their consensus that conflict resolution "refers to removing the causes as well as the manifestations of a conflict between parties and eliminating the sources of incompatibility in their positions" Zartman, The axioms and categories of the specialized conceptions would expand and diversify this comprehensive definition of the scholarly and practical task involved.

Peace and conflict studies

The following should reveal what some of the differences are and how they affect the salience and utility of applied peace research. The central importance of conflict resolution for peace research was put forth above. While that relationship may be doubted by some, there should be no dissenting voice against the further axiomatic assertion that negotiations, the main instruments in the search for peace, are at the heart of conflict resolution.

Although one can identify still major lacunae in supportive research and salient findings in certain areas of the study of peace and conflict, we find that in negotiation research a plethora of monographs and articles exist rendering it practically impossible to cover these scholarly outputs anywhere close to the given totality.

An effort will be made to highlight recent studies and their key findings and evaluate them in terms of the principal objectives of this review. This endeavor is most ably assisted by two fundamental analytical essays by Druckman and Hopman and Druckman surveying and assessing behavioral aspects of negotiations and especially negotiations in the international context. Both meta-reviews are overflowing with bibliographical references showing the daunting dimensions of the research done in these special areas.

CRC Press Online - Series: Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution

Thus, a very selective standard emphasizing the most recent publications will be applied in the difficult journey through this rich field of scientific endeavor. As Druckman sees it, four perspectives about negotiation have become dominant in research and theory development, which differ according to the processes they focus on: moves and preferences, communication processes, intra- and interorganizational processes, and an international system of diplomatic politics.

The first approach of game and decision theory seeking to prescribe solutions based on the parties' preferences is grounded in a very simple model of two rational, symmetrical, unitary individuals negotiating about a simple issue that can be treated on a single dimension Druckman and Hopman, The search for the greatest possible benefit is made difficult by the fact that the opponent or adversary is bound to follow a similar strategy that would run counter to the first one. The classical game has players choose their strategies that determine their joint outcomes.

As remarked frequently, the simple game is severely restricted in its validity since it is static and tells us hardly anything about the processes from the choices to the outcome. As Brams , has claimed, his theory of moves TOM extends strategic thinking much more than most other dynamic theories.

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The progress over and above the classical game theoretical premises and applications, especially the well-known Prisoner's Dilemma game, is clearly apparent. In the quest for answers to the cardinal issue of how to promote cooperation, Axelrod , 3 asked the key question: Under what conditions will cooperation emerge in a world of egoists without central authority?

In his by now classical monograph he offered, based on iterated PD games, the conclusion that while no one strategy was optimal, the 'tit-for-tat' formula worked best over the long term, with the other players' strategies unknown and the value of the future payoffs important. In the elaboration of his basic thesis, Axelrod , 21 arrives at the crucial proposition that at the end cooperation, once it has been established on the basis of reciprocity, can maintain itself against less cooperative strategies. He develops his set of theorems further by placing them into the context of established social norms and practices, thereby increasing the attraction of cooperative behavior Axelrod, , chapter 8.

Rather closely related to classical game theory, Howard Raiffa developed what he himself called 'decision analysis', i. His reasoning in focusing on such real situations rather than on game theoretical problems with super-rational protagonists in a dispute, where the 'rules of the game' as well as their mutual calculations were well understood by both players, was based on his growing belief that the real human players in diplomatic and business negotiations were not following the highly artificial standards of game theory, were not acting in a coherent rational manner, were not satisfying the prescriptive norms of 'rational economic man'.

click here This type of real-life decision analysis which is richly illustrated in Raiffa's seminal work has frequently been used to assist business and government negotiators in deciding when to offer a concession, and when to remain adamant. The brief discussion of game theory and decision analysis and their potential contribution to successful conflict resolution endeavors should not be concluded without a comment on the 'rational actor' hypothesis and its well-known theoretical and practical weaknesses. Raiffa's own distancing from the rigidity of the rationality criterion points to the strikingly unrealistic insistence on this point by political scientists and economic theoreticians.

Psychologists and especially social-psychologists have made clear to what extent individuals and groups are guided by non-rational forces, such as feelings and emotions. A small but important book entitled Passions Within Reason. The Strategic Role of Emotions Frank, offers powerful evidence that people individually and in groups are much more shaped and directed by the non-rational element in the human personality and psyche than has been long assumed by social scientists, economists and legal scholars.

Several key findings of his impressive study are worth recording: 1 People often do not behave as predicted by the self-interest model. On the basis of these propositions that run counter to what Frank calls the 'self-interest model', he suggests as a complement to the flawed 'self-interest' theory his 'commitment' model, a first step in the construction of a theory of unopportunistic behavior.

Its point of departure is the observation that persons directly motivated to pursue self-interest are often for that reason doomed to fail Frank, , Therefore, a more differentiating image of human nature in decision-making and negotiating situations is highly desirable and should attract especially the psychologists and sociologists in the peace research community. Two other approaches to negotiation mentioned by Druckman , namely negotiation as a bargaining game and as organizational management, do not require more than a passing reference. The bargaining literature has not found much positive response among peace researchers as its main emphasis has been on matters of national security and especially the bipolar military confrontation, utilizing basic assumptions and processes from the gaming and decision theory.

The organizational theorists have argued that negotiation is exceedingly complex in that some consensus or common space must be obtained between the internal constituencies and their expectations and those of the other party in the negotiation as they impinge on the team charged with the pursuit of the negotiation. This organizational perspective overlaps considerably with the bureaucratic politics theme in political science. Theoretical and empirical studies on these aspects of the domestic political and decision-making process are numerous and reflect by now the wide-spread acceptance of this linkage.

Of special importance in this academic branch is the identification of the 'boundary-role conflict', i. A fourth perspective puts negotiations into the wider context of international politics and depicts them as microcosms of international relations mostly involving national governments and their foreign policy goals as well as the external constraints under which they must operate.