Peace and Conflict: Advocating the Use of Non-Violoent Means for Resolving Conflict

Peace and Conflict: Advocating the Use of Non-Violoent Means for Resolving Conflict

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When we are trying to attain world peace, we must first start with peace between individuals as these relationships are the building blocks of society and nations. Peace can be achieved by non-violent means or by the use of lethal force. This essay will explore notions of peace and conflict, advocating the use of non-violent means for resolving conflict. The environmental and social cost of lethal force is very high and unsustainable. Never the less, there are situations when justice requires the use of lethal force and examples of these will be discussed. The paper will conclude with the argument that ongoing life enhancing structural reform is required for the management and the prevention of future violent conflicts throughout the world.

What is peace?

Our modern understanding of peace discusses the absence of war (the Macquarie Dictionary, 1987, p.1254), which Raymond Aron, (Barash, 1991. p7), calls negative peace. The majority of people in the West would expect more from the concept of peace, as many would not have experience war first hand. We would also include the freedom to choose for ourselves, freedom to pursue our own interests, as long as no one else was hurt in the process, tolerance for one another and living in a stable society. John Galtung expands the concept of peace to include positive peace, which is the absence of ‘structural’ violence that is built into the social and cultural structure of society that denies people the right to economic opportunity, political and social equality and self-fulfilment, (Barash, 1991, p.8). Positive peace includes the active role of building social structures that are non-tyrannical and harmonious, even in the absence of war.

Laue believes that peace is a proc...


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...aige, G.D. (1996). To leap beyond yet nearer bring: From war to Peace to non violence to non killing. “Creating non violent futures”. 16th General Conference of the International Peace Research Association, July 8-12, 1996, University of Queensland, Brisbane, pp. 2-24.

Schellenberg, J.A. 1996. Conflict Resolution. State University of New York Press: Albany.

Scimecca, J.A. (1993). Theory and alternative dispute resolution. A contradiction in terms? In Sandole D.J.D. & van der Merwe H.(Eds.), Conflict resolution theory and practice, integration and application (pp211-221). Manchester University Press: Manchester.

Tidwell, A.C. (1998). Conflict resolved?: a critical assessment of conflict resolution. Pinter: London and Washington.

Tillet, G (1991). Conflict and its resolution. In Resolving conflict (chap. 1, pp 1-10) Sydney University Press : Sydney.

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