mean in peace research?
Galtung, TFF Associate
Dr hc mult, professor of peace studies, founder &
A Network for Peace and Development
Keynote, International Peace Research
Association, Calgary 1/7/2006
professionalization in general
Generally, the sociology of
professions identifies three characteristics of a
 There is a range of
SKILLS with which a range of professionals will handle a
range of problems for a range of clients, with proven
competence. The clients have an idea of what to expect
from the professional, and the professional of what to
expect from a client.
 There is a professional
CODE OF CONDUCT, defining the relation of a professional
to the clients, other professionals and others. The code
of conduct may be supported by an oath.
 There is a pattern of
ACCOUNTABILITY of the professional to the clients, to
other professionals, and to others.
Professionalization of peace work
moves us beyond peace research and studies, both
indispensable for skills. The purpose of peace research
is to produce intersubjectively communicable and
verifiable KNOWLEDGE according to the general rules of
research. Thus, research is incompatible with secrecy, as
research has to take place in public space. And one
purpose of peace studies is the communication of the
findings of peace research, in line with general rules
for education, another public space activity. The free
access of the rest of society to what happens is of the
essence. As peace workers are not planning to hurt or
harm, in other words to exercise violence, s/he has
nothing to conceal.
In the following a person
exercising the peace profession will be referred to as
"peace worker", like "social worker", or "peace
professional" like "health professional". Others may find
"peace specialist" more dignified. "Manager" must be
avoided as active participation of the clients, those
seeking professional advice, is of the essence.
"Facilitator" is much better.
realism versus peace movement idealism: tertium
To understand better where peace
research may be heading, let me juxtapose governments and
one special non-government, the peace movement. The
governments of the state system of the 1648 Peace of
Westphalia in a eurocentric view of history were
successors to feudal lords, kings, emperors. They entered
violence-war-peace with ULTIMA RATIO REGIS, the King's
last argument, the gun, with frequent use; to he who has
a hammer the world looks like a waiting nail. But that
also holds for the negation of the government, the peace
movement: to he who has a mouth the world looks like an
REALISM as a doctrine is based on
the "ultima" above, force, not persuasion from basic
principles, nor bargaining offering incentives, nor
decision-making by authoritative bodies. A derivative of
this thesis would be that the final word belongs to
whoever has superior force, the big sticks of the big
powers. In the present world Anglo- America; a peace
proposal unacceptable to them is not
The supreme goal of the realist
will be security, meaning low probability of being
hurt/harmed by the violence of any Other. The underlying
philosophy is that Evil exists, ready to turn violent for
violence's own sake, and that the only counter-measure is
sufficient strength to deter and/or crush Evil; thereby
IDEALISM AS A DOCTRINE is based on
persuasion from basic principles, particularly principles
held to be universally valid, even self-evident. Such
principles tend to be of the ought- rather than the
is-variety, like the sacredness of (human) life, meaning
(human) life should be considered sacred. But what if
Other does not share that noble view? Or, "in a war there
are only losers". But what if winning can be defined as
losing least? An endless debate, with strong statements
about human nature. Words, words, words.
Let us try to present the two
positions along some dimensions, in no way claiming that
the juxtaposition is complete, nor that there is not a
solid range of variation. What we are looking for is, of
course, a way of bridging the gap, even contradiction
bolstered by solid hatred on both sides, and the use of
violence, or nonviolence.
Table 1. The
Government movement and the peace movement
Foreign office, military
2. Basic mode
Realism based on
Idealism based on
Empiricism based on
Criticism based on
based on strength,
humans tend towards evil
based on moral strength,
humans tend towards good
5. Method I
6. Method II
7. Method III
8. Methods IV
like economic boycott
(A gandhian boycott of the USA
might work, mass demonstrations not)
This is a clear case of thesis vs
antithesis, at least as presented in this Table, not
denying that reality is more complex. It does not follow
that the alternative, a TERTIUM, has to be a synthesis.
Dialectics offers three non-exclusive possibilities: a
positive transcendence, synthesis, accepting basic
features of both, a negative transcendence denying the
validity of both, and a compromise picking some of this
and some of that. /1/
We are talking about two world
views, both of them found within the same societies, and
not only in the West although we sense the contradiction
between carry-overs from feudal faith in force and
enlightenment faith in human RATIO and appeals to
Realism, as spelt out above, would
make allies of the carrier of Anglo-American world
dominance in today's world, the United States of America,
say Yes-Yes-Yes to Washington DC. And idealism would make
the peace movements in the same countries say No-No-No to
whatever comes out of their foreign offices. The world
views are so contradictory that they become each other's
And yet we see in the present
concrete case of the "US-led Coalition" in the war in and
over Iraq one government after the other defecting.
Without necessarily saying so, they actually do what
their peace movements have demanded, they pull out. But
this is more an act of protest than an alternative peace
The best way of exploring these two
peace discourses further is probably not by elaborating
them, but by asking the question: how can this
contradiction be transcended, if at all? There are eight
jobs according to the Table, so let us look at all
But first permit me a little note
from my own autobiography. I refused military service and
became a conscientious objector in 1951 because I found
the governmental approach unacceptable; and in 1954
refused the alternative "civilian service" because it was
only a way of saying No, not a way of serving peace. The
outcome was half a year in prison winter 1954-55 for a
more extreme No. I have lived this contradiction, at one
time (early 1960s) being both some kind of consultant to
the Norwegian foreign office, a member of the board of
War Resisters' International (in London) and president of
its branch in Norway. And unhappy with them all; one
essentially built on bullets and bombs, the others on
So I will try to guide the reader
toward a peace profession as something arising out of
this contradiction because that is how it came about in
my case. As an effort to bridge the gap.
Obviously we are looking for an
actor, the peace professional, who could transcend this
government-peace movement dichotomy. The idea that
governments are somehow on Track 1 and non-governments on
Track 2 freezes this dichotomy in its present form. And
begs the question whether governments are not often on
Track -1 hoping that non-governments could compensate and
bring about Track 0 as a resultant. Given the damage
governmental diplomacy is capable of doing this is a
highly optimistic view. We need a better
of the peace professional who can transcend the
Some features of that answer are
The peace professional will have governments and non-
governments as clients and dispense advice to both. Like
the health profession the skills would be available not
only to friend and foe alike, but also to uniformed
(government) and civilian (non-government). The peace
professional would not think of friend-foe or
uniformed-civilian, but of actors desperately in need of
any advice that might move the actor system closer to
Peace is a relation among actors, a
system, not a property of one actor alone. The peace
professional would engage in dialogues with the actors,
but have the actor system on top of his or her
The peace professional
rejects violence as does the peace movement, based on the
idealism of the heart, but combines that with the realism
of the brain. Concretely, this leads to PEACE BY PEACEFUL
MEANS, rejecting violence less on moral grounds than on
pragmatic grounds. Violence does not work. Shedding blood
in a battle-field is like leeches sucking blood: not only
that it does not work, it may even make matters worse.
While not denying some preventive and curative effects of
minimum (threat of) violence, the approach would exclude
violence from the peace-creating repertory, building more
on RATIO, less on ULTIMA.
The basic difference is
here. Without rejecting empiricism linking theory and
data, and criticism linking data and values as basic
modes of intellectual activity, the focus will be on the
third possibility: CONSTRUCTIVISM, linking values and
The values emerge from the
legitimate goals of the parties to a conflict, and the
theory from viable realities. The idea would be to search
for a new reality where the parties might feel that their
goals can be sufficiently comfortably accommodated.
Imagine a child busily adding and subtracting integers,
establishing that 5+7 = 7+5 = 12, moving on to 7-5 = 2,
and then running the head against the wall when trying to
tackle 5-7. The contradiction between being
mathematically correct and handling 5-7 dissolves the
moment negative numbers, a NEW MATHEMATICAL REALITY, has
been introduced. And, the child is no longer
The task is not to be stuck between
the pragmatism of linking data to theories and the
moralism of linking data to values. The peace
professional will look for something new, like a
physician who has realized that if the "system" had
sufficient self-healing capacity then it would already
have produced health. Neither single - minded empiricism,
nor single-minded moralism will help although they should
not be disregarded. An intervention bringing in something
new is needed, for peace as well as for
Both the security and the
persuasion paradigms fall short of the desirable. The
former fails because efforts to deter by violence may
stimulate an arms race, and efforts to crush by violence
may produce trauma and stimulate a violence race with a
vicious cycle of retaliation. And the latter fails, being
based neither on ideas, nor incentives, nor threats.
Neither facts, nor values, are sufficient guides for
action. The parties get stuck.
A government confronted with
insecurity--a risk of violence - derives an action agenda
from the security paradigm. Neither the most brilliant
analysis a la Noam Chomsky, nor the most stinging moral
admonitions a la Pope John Paul II, provide guides for
action beyond the status quo of No, No, No. This is where
the peace professional enters, focusing on unresolved
present conflicts, unconciliated trauma from past
violence, and unresolved conflicts in the past, for
constructive action. A rich action agenda.
This calls for MEDIATION for the
conflicts of the present, and CONCILIATION for the
conflicts of the past, dropping the "re" as it has a
connotation of restoring a not necessarily desirable
past. This is the essence of the PEACE PARADIGM. Deep
conflicts exist. They may lead to violence. There is a
way out: SOLVE THE CONFLICTS, present and past. If done
well, we get peace, and with it security.
But these are only two of the tools
in the tool chest of the peace professional. Here is a
longer list of remedies: /2/
 peace research and
 basic needs
satisfaction, peace culture, peace structure
 goal restraint and
 mediation for conflict
transformation by peaceful means
 peace-building, with
peace education and peace journalism
 nonviolence and soft
 conciliation for the
removal of past traumas from the agenda
 creating virtuous peace
This is not the place to spell them
out. The challenge is to stick to "peace by peaceful
means", neither succumbing to violent governmental
pragmatism nor to the status quo of "not in my name"
peace movement moralism. Points 1-4 above are preventive
therapy, points 5-8 curative therapy, and point 9 builds
positive peace into the system, releasing the creative
and constructive potential of conflicts rather than the
potential for violence and destruction. All based on
diagnosis and prognosis of social ills. Much to
What, then, corresponds to Methods
I, II, III, IV? Given the general idea that direct
violence is the smoke that comes out of the fire of
conflicts not resolved, or from past violence with no
conciliation? Generally speaking through the power of the
word, DIALOGOS, by helping the parties to deeper insights
rather than by bribing them, threatening them or telling
them how bad they are.
This, of course, is very similar to
one basic assumption of psychotherapy: the talking
method. Or sociotherapy rather, as violence, like
conflict and peace, is a relation. A system of actors,
not only single actors, is in need of change. The peace
professional has to talk with all actors; HOW can be
disputed. There are schools here as elsewhere, all with
some valid points.
Like the Table, The TRANSCEND
approach has four phases:
Method I: Meeting all parties,
Method II: Empathic dialogues to
Method III: Demonstrations of
- transcending goals, positively or negatively
- creating a new system reality, capable of accommodating
the legitimate goals of all parties
Method IV: Joint action to
transform the conflict, always checking whether it works.
If not, Methods I-II-III-IV again.
This approach differs substantially
from both conventional, mainstream government and peace
movement action. The moral impulse, the (almost absolute)
No to violence, is shared with the peace movement, but
the pragmatism of step IV is shared with governments.
There is no apodictic position, no a priori truth.
Everything is tested for its validity and everything has
to pass that test.
The focus is no longer on one party
winning, like ETA or Madrid; nor on all parties winning,
the famous win-win. The focus is on the relation, the
system, on Spain moving forward, into new and better
realities. THOSE WHO REST ON CARPETS OF GOLD, CARPET
BOMBING, OR FLY MORAL CARPETS ARE OFTEN SHORT ON IDEAS.
Peace professionals have the
opposite profile. TERTIUM DATUR.
is a demand out there: A trip around the
Half a century after the tiny
beginnings of peace research after World War II -
including founding IPRA, the International Peace Research
Association, 42 years ago, those foggy autumn days in
London - some of us think we have a solid supply to
offer. But, there is always the nagging question: is
there a demand out there?
There is, and the listener/reader
will pardon me for giving as cases what I know best: what
I myself have been asked to do, say, this spring 2006,
from mid-February to mid-June to be precise. Twelve
cases, twelve processes to be more precise, some more,
some less successful, all with a certain promise. The
initiative often came from a go-between capable of
organizing a direct encounter with one or more of the
parties in the conflict. In no case did any of the
parties cover any travel expenses. There was no
honorarium. But the trip was combined with workshops on
mediation, conciliation etc., and that balanced the
budget. One formula, among several?
Before delving into the cases: from
where would we not expect any such demand, directly, or
indirectly, via a go-between?
Obviously from actors to whom
"winning is not everything, but the only thing".
Hegemons, may be, and their challengers? Or actors who
think they have mastered the necessary and sufficient
skills themselves, in need of no outsider's advice, even
softly offered under four eyes, or eight if both come
with a colleague, using the one-on-one formula? Whatever
the reason the present author has not been approached,
directly or indirectly, by the USA or by Norway; but by
many other countries, including the UK.
The description of the cases will
be down to the minimum necessary and sufficient to
identify the issue and the nature of the demand (more
details on www.transcend.org). Here they are:
1. DENMARK VS ISLAM, in Geneva.
Added to the cartoons came Danish refusal to dialogue and
the newspaper's earlier refusal to print cartoons about
the ascent of Jesus Christ to heaven, as it might hurt
Christian sensitivities, AND the burning of Danish flags
and embassies, with economic boycott. The demand was for
2. GERMANY VS THE HERERO PEOPLE, in
Windhoek. The issue was apology and compensation for the
1904 massacre, compounded by a court case against Germany
("apologizing is admitting"), other EU members fearing
the consequences of apology and compensation, and the
nature of any compensation. The demand was for
3. SRI LANKA, in Wien. The issue
was the breakdown of the cease fire agreement with the
warring parties still hoping to force their solution. Of
the five scenarios--unitary state, devolution,
federation, confederation, independence--asymmetric,
bicameral federation still seems preferable. The demand
was for mediation.
4. ISRAEL-PALESTINE, in Berlin. The
issue was to build a peace structure around a Middle East
Community of Israel with its five Arab neighbors
(Palestine fully recognized according to the UN
resolutions), like the European Community for Western
Europe after the Second world war. The demand was for new
5. TURKEY-ARMENIA, in Istanbul.
"Something happened" in 1915, with high complexity, and
involving many more than those two. The search is also
for a discourse to articulate what happened so that this
major issue can be removed from the political agenda for
the region to move forward. The demand was for
6. THE KASHMIR ISSUE, in New Delhi.
TRANSCEND took the initiative, with a former Pakistani
foreign minister, a member of the Indian National
Security Commission and myself proposing a "new reality"
to accommodate India, Pakistan and Kashmir; well received
and discussed at the top levels. The demand was for
7. MYANMAR, in Yangon. A military
dictatorship stands for Myanmar autonomy and integrity
against secession, the opposition supported by the
outside for democracy and human rights. An agenda with
all four goals, removing past traumas in favor of
cooperative futures, might work. The demand was for
mediation and conciliation.
8. CAMBODIA, in Phnom Penh.
"Something happened", indeed, 1975-79: Khmer Rouge
against Phnom Penh, but in the same period, 1961-89, and
before that, much else also happened. To select one
atrocity for a tribunal may serve punitive justice. But
the problem of conciliation remains. The demand was for
9. KOREA, in Seoul. The Korea war
1950-53 played a major role in the Cold War discourse,
started in 1948 with the Cheju uprising against US
occupation. North Korea's cause, to help South Korea
against US aggression, was not unfounded. The demand was
for conciliation, using a history commission to explore
10. JAPAN-CHINA/KOREA, in Tokyo.
Prime Minister visits to the Yasukuni shrine that turns
uniformed Japanese who died into gods deepens the war
trauma. An alternative memorial dedicated to uniformed
and civilians, from all countries, was solicited by, and
presented to, a major LDP faction. The demand was for
11. USA, in Washington. The US
Empire is on its way down, US foreign policy must change,
but how? Workshops are being organized, the peace
movement is unprepared as is the Democrat "opposition".
The demand is for peace research and peace
12. MEXICO, in Puebla. Latin
American integration is coming, and one problem will be
foreign policy in general, and toward the USA in
particular. Workshops are being organized, most people
seem unprepared. The demand is for peace research and
The listener/reader will have
noticed that the demand can usually be formulated in
terms of mediation and/or conciliation. But there is also
a demand for more basic services, like building peace
structures, and for peace research to explore what is
needed. But all the other offers in a peace
professional's chest, with nine remedies, are lurking in
the background and will of course sooner or later be
brought up by the peace worker.
Does this work?  did.
There have been dialogues and the burning has stopped.
But an apology, an exploration of the line between
freedom of expression and respect for what is sacred to
others, and the lifting of the boycott have still to
Number 2, 5 and 8 are complicated,
much work is needed. Number 3 looks bad right now
(spring-summer 2006), but going to the brink again may
possibly produce peace, and not only ceasefire, talks
next time. Number 4 is probably the only formula for
Middle East peace, but is a long term project even if
more needed than ever. Number 6 may stand a good chance
as long as those two leaders are in power, and that will
not be forever. Number 7has slow dynamism on its side and
is compatible with the idea of Myanmar being in control,
not some "international community". Number 9 may become
an important part in the North-South Korea process.
Number 10, in one way or the other, will be on the
agenda. Number 11 and 12 are for a more conscious near
We are dealing with systems, not
single actors. Peace workers have to become relation
specialists, with maximum knowledge about the capacity
for peace-making, -keeping, -building of all the actors.
Obviously, most such processes take time, like
complicated diseases for human beings. And no remedy
comes with the guarantee that it will always work. It may
even be counterproductive, so be watchful.
But the demand is enormous. And, we
have much to offer.
code of conduct and the problem of
TRANSCEND felt the need for some
guidelines arising out of experience, and to be tested by
more experience. Here they are:
[A] MISSION STATEMENT:
Peace by Peaceful Means
By PEACE we mean the capacity to
transform conflicts with empathy and creativity, without
violence; a never-ending process. By TRANSFORMING
CONFLICTS we mean enabling the parties to go ahead in a
self-reliant, acceptable, and sustainable manner. By WITH
EMPATHY we mean the ability to understand the conflict
also the ways the parties understand the conflict
themselves. By CREATIVITY we mean channeling conflict
energy toward new, innovative ways of satisfying basic
human needs for all. By WITHOUT VIOLENCE we mean that
this process should avoid
- any threat or use of direct
violence that hurts and harms,
- any use of structural violence
that demobilizes the parties.
[B] THE RELATION BETWEEN
THE CONFLICT WORKER AND HIM/HERSELF:
 Your motivation should
be to help the parties transform the conflict, not your
own promotion, materially or non-materially.
 You should possess
skills/knowledge for the task and develop them further,
but never use the conflicts only to acquire
 Do not have a hidden
agenda, for yourself or for others, beyond conflict
transformation. Have nothing to conceal.
 Your legitimacy is in
your skills, knowledge, creativity, compassion and
perseverance, and ability to stimulate the same in the
conflict parties; not in a mandate or organizational
[C] THE RELATION BETWEEN
THE CONFLICT WORKER AND THE PARTIES
 Do not enter a conflict
if you yourself have an unresolved conflict with any one
of the parties or bear too deep grudges.
 Empathy/dialogues with
ALL parties, also those you dislike.
 Do not manipulate. Play
with open cards, say what you do.
 Respect demands for
confidentiality, do not attribute.
 Do not receive
honoraria, gifts etc. from the parties beyond ordinary
 Communicate between
the parties only with their permission.
 Speak with one tongue,
not one version for one party and another for the others,
granted that the focus may be different.
 Be open to new ideas,
do not become a prisoner of any plan.
 Never propose any
outcome or any process that cannot be undone. You may be
[D] THE RELATION BETWEEN
THE CONFLICT WORKER AND SOCIETY
 Do not seek personal
or organizational credit.
 Disappear from the
conflict formation when no longer needed.
 Plans for conflict
outcomes and conflict processes belong neither to you,
nor to the parties, but to the system at
 Share your skills,
knowledge, experience with others; try to contribute to a
general conflict transformation culture.
 Do not receive direct
funding from past, present or future conflict parties who
have used, use or may use your services.
 Conflict work is
public service. The reward is to do it well.
 All conflicts are born
equal and have the same right to transformation. No
conflict is at a "higher level" than any
Particularly important are
,  and . As mentioned,
the code comes out of experience. This is the kind of
thing that has to be tested against the experience and
moral philosophies of others, for a good dialogue aiming
at an ever better code. And the essence of that code, the
moral maxims in a kantian sense, might one day provide a
basis for the equivalent of an hippocratic
But how about accountability?
This is a right and duty kind of
thing, between society and the profession, and between
the profession and the individual professional. You give
us/me the right to exercise the profession, and we/I
assume the duty to do so according to a code of conduct.
This is very different from the peace movement, protected
as it is by the human right of freedom of expression,
with no clear duty ever defined. It is more similar to
the governmental approach. There are the Vienna protocols
for the exercise of the diplomatic profession, and the
Geneva Conventions for the exercise of the military
profession. They set some limits even if the very essence
of diplomacy, the skills of negotiation, seem to be
exempt from any code of conduct and any accountability.
Except to whoever pays the piper and hence, as the saying
goes, is entitled to call the tune: the diplomat's
foreign office. Or--if s/he is not simply seconded - the
international governmental organization, the IGO, like
the UN. The ultimate test remains the national interest,
or the IGO, or the UN, interest.
Not so for the peace profession.
The ultimate test is the human interest and nature's
interest, not the interest of systems like local levels,
nations, states, regions, the world. The test of the
pudding is in the eating. Is there a transformation
heading for peace? Do people lead better lives, with less
suffering, more fulfillment? Or less DUKKHA, more SUKHA,
in age-old buddhist terms?
has come, with health professionals as one
Health studies are highly inter-
and trans-disciplinary, as even the
most cursory look at the curriculum of any medical school
will prove. But health studies
are also inter- or trans-national. Ideally
speaking, medical doctors have no
father/mother-land. Not only can they
practice anywhere, but they have a value overriding
patriotism, sexism, racism and
so on: HEALTH. The hippocratic oath demands of
them to treat friend, foe and Other
alike, as mentioned.
We are moving in that direction
also in the field of peace studies,
promoting a value more important than national
interests: PEACE. We are not
there yet, nor is the task of inter/trans-
disciplinarity carried as far as it
merits. But conflict studies, or
conflictology - as basic to peace studies as anatomy,
physiology and pathology to
health studies - span the whole spectrum from
micro via meso and macro to
mega conflicts, from individual psychology way
into global, not only inter-state and
inter-nation studies, two sides of
international relations. Increasingly peace researchers
feel at home at all these
We need inter/trans-disciplinarity
because traditional social sciences
are so closely related to the growth of the waning
Western state system, in the
era of imperialism. Thus, world history is
conceived of as parallel nation, state
and regional histories. The social
sciences politology, economics and sociology are
clearly dedicated to the three
pillars of the modern state, State, Capital
and Civil Society, one at the time,
endowed with a historicity not given
to colonized peoples for whom anthropology was invented.
And economics even explores
only one economic system, capitalism ("capitalistics"
would be a better word.) This is not good
The social sciences are badly in
need of globalization. Transcending
state borders is only one of these challenges,
however. There are other fault-lines
in the human construction: gender
and generation, race and nation, class (political,
economic, military, cultural
depending on the power involved), environment.
Peace studies need transcending
paradigms for them all, with no built-in
assumption favoring one fault-line side or the
A major task of peace studies is to
come to grips with MASSIVE CATEGORY
KILLING, referred to as "genocide" when against a nation.
Killing of unborn and born women may be the major form.
Another is death by starvation,
or by preventable or curable diseases. Health
studies are focussed on avoidable
diseases, including pandemics; peace
studies focus on avoidable violence(s), including
massive category killing. With
more work on positive health and peace, not
only to prevent disease and violence,
they can both serve as guidelights
for higher levels of human self-realization.
trans-faultline peace studies are around
the corner. Security studies are the
easy prey of upper class, white,
old male patriotism from the Anglo-American
countries producing settlers on
the lands of others (like Israel). They have
much to feel insecure about. Peace
studies and "security through peace"
would serve them much better than "peace through
With deep globalization comes
professionalism, and with professionalism come the
dangers of self-righteous narrowness. Hence the need for
pure academic peace studies able to analyze and critique
practices emerging from within its own ranks.
But more challenges will line up.
Whoever pushes in any direction,
like peace researchers looking for more ways of
turning theory into practice,
and practice into theory, should not be
surprised if counterforces appear.
ACTIO always provokes REACTIO.
Other disciplines will try
cooptation, like "the problem of peace
is basically psychological", hence Peace Psychology
courses. Excellent when
combinable with respect for a broader view, for
the forest, not only for a tree
or two. Taken alone, a step backward.
The strong reactions,
however, will come from the professions
that feel threatened, like diplomacy.
The Track I/Track II formula, "governments
do I, NGOs do II. Let us divide the turf" is simply
not good enough. Inter-state
diplomacy--representation, information and
negotiation - may in its present form
be a dying institution, and not only
because others do better jobs. The problem goes deeper,
into the notion of peace as
harmonized national interests. Where is
nature's interest? The human interest?
The local level interest?
The regional interest? The gender,
generation etc. interest? The global
interest? The world is more complex today, demanding a
very multi-layered approach.
The peace workers of the future can be
useful all over, but not if they are
tied to national interests; the concern
of very few people anyhow.
A foreign office is not necessarily
the obvious place to turn peace
theory into peace practice, nor a peace ministry for
that matter. We are moving away
from the world as an inter-state system,
toward an inter-regional, inter-local
authorities, inter-human, inter-gender/generation/race/class
world; all dependent on the environment.
Merely blowing fresh air into the Westphalia system
is suboptimal. Train the
diplomats to do a better job and move ahead
in all the other systems. With
nature's interest, and the human interest,
as the ultimate test.
Conclusion: research and theory
guided peace work to produce more
peace, not only more research, have come to stay.
Bridging the gap between
foreign policy pragmatism and peace movement
1. For more on this and most of the
topics mentioned in this paper see
the author's Transcend and Transform, London,
Boulder CO: Pluto, Paradigm
Press, 2004; published in many translations.
2. See Johan Galtung: "Conflict
Transformation By Peaceful Means" in Charles
Webel and Johan Galtung, eds., Handbook of Peace and
Conflict Studies, London: Routledge,
free articles &
TFF & the author 2006
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