Peace research has made great strides in the last half of the Twentieth Century. Most significant, our paradigms now include positive peace as well negative peace, thereby inclusive of economic, human rights and ecological concerns. Or, as John Burton might say, they are more responsive to "human needs" (Burton, 1990). In other words, we now have a more global perspective on the causes of peacelessness. At the same time, we have broadened our concerns beyond peacemaking (i.e. conflict resolution and conflict management) to include peacekeeping, and most important, peace building. The purpose of this article is to offer my impressions of where present efforts are leading, and thereby to discern the platform which is being constructed for future efforts of peace researchers, peace actors and peace educators. Therefore, it will be focused on research published in the past five years.
In this last decade of the Twentieth Century there has been such a torrent of literature that it is difficult to comprehend major trends and contributions. What is to follow offers only my impressions, based on the literature encountered in my personal research and teaching. It is not based on a systematic and comprehensive inventory. This effort builds on my earlier efforts to assess progress in "peace studies" that began in 1987 (Alger, 1987, 1989) and continued with efforts to portray the "emerging tool chest for peace builders" reported in this journal in 1996 and 1999 (Alger, 1996, 1999). These efforts were primarily focused on the emergence of peace tools in the United Nations "laboratory" since its founding. This article takes a much broader perspective, although still guided by a desire to focus on research that is likely to be most useful to peace actors.
Peace research is obviously being enriched by the tendency to encompass ever more kinds of actors and issues, and at the same time to illuminate the interdependencies of an array of peace related actors and issues. This, of course, contributes to the challenge confronted in any effort to summarize this literature. Acquiring reasonable brevity necessarily demands selectivity and simplification. We shall identify seven major trends. The first five will be briefly noted with only a few examples: (1) The increasing efforts to combine a number of tools into comprehensive peace strategies. (2) The growing attention to the importance of pursuing multiple tracks simultaneously. (3) The growing tendency to take a long term perspective. (4) Many recent works endeavor to bridge theory building and practice. (5) Special attention is being given to efforts to cope with violent conflict between ethnic groups. We will then develop more fully two broader themes. (6) The growing literature on the need for what is often referred to as "post conflict" strategies so as to sustain peace settlements. (7) The increased emphasis on prevention of extremely disruptive and violent conflict.
First, there are increasing efforts to develop approaches to peace building that combine a number of tools into comprehensive strategies. One example is William I. Zartman's (1997) edited volume, which describes tools and skills for peacemaking that are currently available and critically assesses their usefulness and limitations. The chapters include negotiation, mediation, adjudication, social-psychological dimensions, problem-solving workshops between unofficial representatives, religion, a diplomat's view, an NGO perspective and training for conflict resolution. Also taking a a broad approach is The New Agenda for Peace Research, edited by Jeong (1999). A section on approaches to peace includes disarmament, conflict transformation, self-determination, environmental security, development, and peace culture. The volume concludes with a section on transformation of global order.
Second, as reflected in the Zartman work, there is growing attention to the importance of pursuing multiple tracks simultaneously. An unusually comprehensive effort is Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace by Louise Diamond and John McDonald (1996). They strongly advocate multiple tracks and enumerate the following: (1)government, diplomacy, (2) nongovernmental/professional, through conflict resolution, (3) business, peacemaking through commerce, (4) private citizens, through personal involvement, (5) research/training/education, through learning, (6) activism, through advocacy, (7) religion, through faith in action, (8) funding, through providing resources, (9) communications and the media, through information.
Third, there is a growing tendency to take a long term perspective. One example is Fen Osler Hampson's (1996) Nurturing Peace: Why Peace Settlements Succeed or Fail. Concerned that peace agreements sometimes contain the seeds of their own destruction, Hampson asserts that it is better to take time to get the details of a settlement right. He observes that peace settlements may require strong support and unified direction from the outside. He reveals what he means by "nurturing" when he advises: "By entrenching their roles and remaining fully engaged, third parties can help settlements take root" (Hampson, 1996, 234). Also taking a long term perspective is Downton and Wehr (1997), a creative empirical study of what causes activists to stay with the peace movement over the long term. Based on collective action theories and interviews, they have developed a "model of sustained commitment" (Downtown and Wehr, 1997, 152-153).
Fourth, many recent works endeavor to bridge theory building and practice. One concrete manifestation of this effort is that many include case studies. A few examples: (1) Hampson (1996), Nurturing Peace: Cyprus, Namibia, Angola, El Salvador, Cambodia. (2) Lederbach (1997), Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies: four African case studies. (3) Fisher, et. al. (1997), Coping with International Conflict: Middle East, arms control, bombing campaign in Vietnam. (4) Daniel, et. al. (1999): Coercive Inducement and the Containment of International Crises: Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti. (5) Jentleson, Preventive Diplomacy (1999): Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Congo, Korea. It important that these cases involve many parts of the world, thus challenging those developing peace theories and strategies- -most of whom are from a few developed countries in this survey of English language publications--to contend with peacelessness in a diversity of cultural situations.
Fifth, special attention is being given to efforts to cope with violent conflict between ethnic groups. Hannum (1990) offers a broad framework in which to place ethnic conflict in his Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights. He warns that "no society is static, and it is absurd to think that any particular form of government structure now extant will survive unchanged ...International law does a disservice to this necessary evolution, if it is predicated on an unchanging system of states ..." (Hannum, 1990, 476). Based on consideration of a number of cases, he offers these dimensions of autonomy: language, education, access to government civil service employment and social services, land, control over natural resources and representative local government structures (Hannum, 1990, 458-468).
A number of works probe specific factors contributing to inter-ethnic violence and offer models for resolution. We will mention only three that illustrate the available diversity. Vanhanen (1999) asserts that "shared disposition to ethnic nepotism is the common factor behind all ethnic conflicts." He asserts that "...it may be possible to avoid the emergence of ethnic conflict by inventing social and political institutions that help to accommodate the interests of different ethnic groups." (Vanhanen, 1999, 66). Tellis, et. al. (1997), in Anticipating Ethnic Conflict, offer the analyst a three-stage model for anticipating the outbreak of ethnic violence: structural potential (in political, economic and social realms), requirements for the potential to be converted into likely strife, and how likely strife degenerates into actual strife. Rothman (1997), in Resolving Identity-Based Conflict in Nations, Organizations and Communities, presents a model for transforming the power behind passion and leading both parties into new realms of possibility in a process that surfaces differences, articulates common needs and generates cooperative solutions.
Echoing the multiple-tool and long term approaches already presented, is Lederbach's (1997, xvi) Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided societies, which "calls for long-term commitment to establishing an infrastructure across the levels of a society" through both internal and external means. Fundamental is building top level, middle range and grassroots relationships between antagonists. His twenty year strategy includes stages such as crisis intervention (2 to 6 months), preparation and training (1 to 2 years) and designs for social change (5 to 10 years).
Sixth, there is also a growing literature on the need for what is often referred to as "post conflict" strategies so as to sustain peace settlements. In After the Peace: Resistance and Reconciliation, Rothstein (1999) expresses concern that "fragile peace agreements" for resolving protracted conflicts fall short of being genuine, stable settlements. He emphasizes the importance of conceptualizing the period after a tentative peace has been negotiated, drawing attention to how pre and post peace periods are different.
Sorenson (1998), in Women and Post conflict Reconstruction: Issues and Sources, notes the importance of women as a reserve labor force in wartime but then is puzzled by the fact that they are expected to withdraw when the war is over. She believes that reconstruction efforts would be significantly strengthened if women were given roles in all aspects of postwar reconstruction.
Kumar has edited two volumes on the role of international assistance under "post conflict" conditions. Post Conflict Elections, Democratization and International Assistance (1998) is concerned with the design, management and evaluation of "post conflict" assistance programs. Rebuilding Societies After Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance (1997) asks three questions: (1) What sectors require assistance to promote political stability and economic growth? (2) What lessons can be learned from past experience? (3) How can more effective politics and programs be designed and implemented: for food, security, human rights, the military, demobilization, resettlement, and local reconciliation. Closely related to Kumar's work is Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Post Conflict Recovery (Forman and Patrick, 1999), which focuses on the consequences of failure to fill pledges of aid in "post conflict" situations. The six case studies in this volume contribute to concluding insights on how delays and failures in aid follow-through can undermine peace settlements.
Finally, there is a growing tendency for those involved in post violence/disruptive conflict settlement to employ forgiveness, and some form of truth and reconciliation, as a peace tool. As a result, literature on these topics is beginning to emerge. We will mention three quite different works on forgiveness. The first is an empirical study, "The Propensity to Forgive: Findings from Lebanon", an effort to apply psychological research on forgiveness to conflict among Catholics, Maronites and Orthodox in Lebanon (Azar, 1999). A sample of 48 Catholics, Maronites and Orthodox were asked to respond to brief stories about events in the Lebanese "civil" war. It was found that all respondents "were to a certain extent willing to forgive, at least under some circumstances" (Azar, 1999, 177). Educated people were more prone to forgive than the less educated. Surprisingly, "the participants expressed practically equivalent propensity to forgive whether the offender was a member of their religious group or a member of another religious group" (Azar, 1999, 180). Very significant is the finding that "when remorse and apologies were present, it was easier to forgive; especially for less educated people" (180). The authors caution that this self-reporting data requires a follow-up based on actual forgiveness behavior.
The second work, Henderson's (1996) The Forgiveness Factor: Stories of Hope in a World of Conflict, presents thirteen case studies "of morally compelled actors and their effects in various parts of the world over fifty years" since the establishment of a center of reconciliation and change by the Swiss Foundation for Moral Re-Armament. The case studies range across North Africa, Japan, Cambodia, South Africa and the South Tyrol. Most peace researchers who read this volume will be disappointed that no effort is made to draw conclusions out of these fascinating cases that would point toward future research. In a Forward, under the heading of "Science and Faith Come Together", Joseph Montville (editor of Conflict And Peacemaking In Multiethnic Societies, 1990) asserts that these cases are "raw data for a rigorous new theory of personal and political conflict resolution that had its origin in spiritual experience and is being studied at diverse secular research institutions" (Montville, 1996, xiii). Aside from insight on forgiveness as a factor in peace building, the volume very usefully draws attention of peace researchers to successes, thus rescuing them from a tendency to be focused on failures.
Falling between the micro empirical study of Johnston and Sampson and Shriver's thirteen "stories", is Shriver's (1995) An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics. He (1995, 11) discusses German-US, Japan-US relationships and race in America, seeking to understand the implications of Christian faith: "The principal purpose of the whole study is to identify both the need and the actual presence of forgiveness in political history, and thus to encourage readers, as citizens, to consider the political wisdom inherent in this neglected virtue. Is forgiveness indispensable for turning political enmity into political neighborliness?" Shriver offers a penetrating analysis of the problems created for the future by the insistence on revenge for past deeds. Then he takes up the diverse facets of apology and forgiveness and the difficulties confronted in mobilizing and implementing them in political contexts involving large numbers of people. But at the same time he offers penetrating insight on the costs of avoidance of these issues.
Closely related to these volumes focusing on forgiveness is the Truth and Reconciliation strategy applied in South Africa after the demise of Apartheid. No doubt this approach to "post conflict" peace building will be the focus of extensive inquiry in the near future. Useful for future inquiry will be A Brief Evaluation of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Some Lessons for Societies in Transition, by Graeme Simpson (1998). In considering transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule, he places the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) somewhere between two extremes: the prosecutions of "war criminals" in post-World War II Germany, and the blanket amnesties for gross violators of human rights in post-Pinochet Chile. Simpson, Director of the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Johannesburg, cautions those who might, from a distance, tend to inflate the contributions of TRC to reconciliation. He (1998, 29) believes that the TRC usefully illuminates a process but should not be accepted as "a hard-copy end product."
Simpson (1998, 29) sees the high level of violent crime in South Africa today as rooted in Aexperiences of social marginalisation, political exclusion and economic exploitation which are slow to change in the transition to democracy" He (1998, 30) concludes that in order for the rhetoric of reconciliation to become reality it is necessary "to tackle those deep rooted social imbalances, which - at the most fundamental structural level - underpin the culture of violence." In other words, we might say that he concludes that the TRC approach can only be effective if it is creatively combined with other peace building tools.
Seventh, an exceedingly significant advance in current peace research is the emphasis on prevention. Kriesberg (1998) has offered a valuable foundation for preventive efforts in Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution. It is Kriesberg's (1998, xiii) intent to Adevelop an empirically grounded understanding of how people prevent or stop destructive conflicts, but instead wage relatively constructive conflicts." This volume challenges those engaged in "prevention" to attempt to devise procedures for clearly distinguishing between potentially violent/disruptive conflicts and those that are constructive. It certainly is necessary to seek the termination of some conflicts, but, in the interest of long term peace, others should be converted into constructive conflicts.
Also offering a valuable foundation for most preventive efforts is research on risk assessment and early warning. Here a significant contribution is Davies and Gurr's (1998) edited volume on Preventive Measures: Building Risk Assessment and Crisis Early Warning. They are attempting to develop the capacity to diagnose "failures" far enough in advance to facilitate effective international efforts at "prevention or peaceful transformation." Contributors to this volume examine potential early warning indicators in different situations and attempt to judge their effectiveness according to various models.
Different emphases are suggested by the varying terminology employed by scholars emphasizing prevention. Bloomfield and Moulton (1997) wish to Amanage A international conflict. The Carnegie Commission (1997) desires to "prevent deadly conflict". Birkenbach (1997), Cahill (1996), Jentleson (1999) and Lund (1996) place their efforts under the rubric "preventive diplomacy." Also useful contributors in this vein are Bauwens and Reychler (1994). Cortright (1997), Peck (1998), Reychler (1998) and Vayrynen (1997). We choose to mention them separately because I believe that they significantly err in asserting that it is their goal to "prevent" conflict, thereby making a mistake widely encountered in the literature. It is quite obvious, in the light of the contribution of some forms of conflict to useful social change, that these insightful scholars really mean "transformation" most of the time.
Some of the volumes on prevention encompass a wide array of approaches and tools. Lund (1996) in Preventing Violent Conflicts: A Strategy for Preventive Diplomacy, develops a broad "preventive diplomacy toolbox" that includes (1) military approaches (restraints on the use of armed force and threat or use of armed force), (2) diplomatic measures (coercive--without use of armed force and noncoercive), and (3) development and governance approaches (promotion of economic and social development, promulgation and enforcement of human rights and democracy, and national governing structures to promote peaceful conflict resolution). This is indeed comprehensive because these three categories embrace more than fifty individual tools. For example, the noncoercive diplomatic measures are divided into judicial or quasi judicial and nonjudicial. Included in nonjudicial are twelve tools with a diversity of approaches, such as third party mediation, propaganda, and fact finding
Kevin Cahill (1996), a medical doctor, asserts in his edited volume on preventive diplomacy, 1996, that "it is only natural for me to think of clinical and public health models in contemplating the disorders now threatening the health of the world community." Thus he has sections on "interrupting a global epidemic", "causes and local remedies", "signs, symptoms and early intervention" and "establishing trust in the healer." There are also chapters on early warning, fact finding, economic sanctions, human rights, peacekeeping, the media and education.
After examining why deadly conflicts occur, the Carnegie Commission (1997), in Preventing Deadly Conflict, distinguishes between operational prevention and structural prevention. Operational prevention strategies range across early warning and response, preventive diplomacy, economic measures and "forceful" measures that include peacekeeping, preventive deployments and a rapid reaction "fire brigade." Structural prevention, employed as a synonym to peace building, addresses root causes of deadly conflict and includes security (from violence), economic well-being and justice. Responsibilities are laid out for states and their leaders, civil society (religion, science, media and business), the UN, and regional arrangements. A concluding section,Atoward a culture of prevention", provides tasks for the mass media, religious institutions, and the United Nations.
Although prevention necessarily involves a diversity of approaches and tools, some volumes focus their efforts on one kind of activity. In his volume on Asustainable peace", Peck (1998) asserts that the most sustainable means is good governance which addresses root causes and meets basic human security needs. He emphasizes that good governance offers a group a voice in resolving grievances at an early stage. Thus, he proposes the establishment of Regional Centers for Sustainable Peace that would promote more effective national and local governance.
In The Price of Peace: Incentives and International Conflict Prevention, edited by David Cortright ( 1997) the focus is on incentives, rather than on coercion, deterrence and sanctions. These positive inducements of an "economic, political or security character" can be focused on deterring nuclear proliferation, armed conflict and defending human rights.
In Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace--or War, Anderson (1996) asserts that the impact of aid is not neutral. She asks, how can humanitarian or development assistance be "given in conflict situations in ways that rather than feeding into and exacerbating the conflict help local people to disengage and establish alternative systems to deal with the problems that underlie conflict?" Her response includes concern for the implicit ethical message of aid and the impact of resource transfers on conflict. She would use aid in developing local capacities for peace through food for work, village rehabilitation, working with children in the context of civil war and coping with poverty. In a Joseph Bock and Anderson article (1999), the focus is on how aid agencies can defuse intercommunal conflict. Here aid would be used to "inculcate a sense of belonging among a large, more inclusive group" and to "support/strengthen interconnection structures and systems, rather than competitive ones" (Bock and Anderson, 1999, 336).
Also offering insight on links between aid and peace is Prendergast's (1996) study of humanitarian aid and conflict in Africa. He offers ten commandments for avoiding "good intentions on the road to hell", i.e. providing aid without sustaining conflict. His commandments involve deep analysis based on a diversity of information sources, independent monitoring and evaluation, integrating human rights monitoring, advocacy and capacity building and making aid conditional upon acceptance of humanitarian principles and conflict resolution. He concludes that humanitarian aid is the most important avenue of contact among the international community and conflicting parties, thereby aid offers one of the best policy instruments for preventing escalation of conflict and promoting long-term peace building (Prendergast, 1996, 143).
In the light of the prominent use of religious differences by leaders as a basis for waging conflict and war, research advocating the use of religion as a peace tool is an increasingly important response. Appelby (1999), in The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation, asserts that religion's ability to inspire violence is intimately related to its equally impressive power as a force for peace. He identifies what religious terrorists and religious peacemakers share in common, what causes them to take different paths in fighting injustice and the importance of acquiring understanding of religious extremism.
Johnston and Sampson (1994), in Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft, opens with a forward by Jimmy Carter asserting that Awe all realize that religious differences have often been a cause or pretext for war. Less known is the fact that the actions of many religious persons and communities point in another direction. They demonstrate that religion can be a potent force in encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflict" (Johnston and Sampson, 1994, vii). After six case studies of reconciliation, the volume concludes with implications for the foreign policy community and implications for four religious communities: Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu and Christian.
There are other works provoking thoughts of how religion can be used as a peace tool. These include Sampson (1997, 304), who informs us of the institutional moves within some religious communities toward developing "an increasingly intentional and systematic approach to peacebuilding." Johansen (1997) has contributed ARadical Islam and Nonviolence: A Case Study of Religious Empowerment and Constraint Among Pashtuns." Reychler (1997) asks for a serious study of the impact of religious organizations on conflict behavior, a comparative study of the peace building efforts of different religious organizations. He asserts that the world cannot survive without a new global ethic and that the religous ties of parties, passive bystanders, peacemakers and peace builders will play a major role.
This effort to discern some main trends in peace research reveals that in the year 2000 we have far more knowledge about the causes of peace and peacelessness than we had when the UN was founded, in the mid-Nineteenth Century, and we know more than we did only two decades ago. On the other hand, it might be more accurate to say that we have growing capacity to ask the right questions! Our survey has revealed that we have growing insight on (1) combining a number of peace tools into a comprehensive peace strategy (2) pursuing a number of peace tracks simultaneously, (3) taking a long term perspective in the pursuit of peace, (4) linking theory to practice, (5) coping with conflict between ethnic groups, (6) "post conflict" strategies for sustaining peace settlements, and (7) prevention of extremely disruptive and violent conflicts. But at first glance it appears to be quite obvious that much of what we know is not being applied. At least with respect to those violent and exceedingly disruptive conflicts that make the headlines, such as Rwanda, Congo, East Timor, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia, it seems that significant response to threats to the peace tends not to come until the violence begins. On the other hand, we must be careful in making these assessments based on the headlines because there is a tendency for the headlines to be focused on failures, not successes. Indeed, we need many more studies of successes!
Certainly one implication of our survey is that peace building is a far more more complicated task than most of us had earlier assumed. Relevant government roles extend far beyond foreign offices and the military, including departments concerned with a variety of economic and social issues. Furthermore, important roles must be performed not only by government officials, but also by various professions and groups in what we now customarily refer to as Acivil society." The literature that we have sampled has identified roles in a diversity of societal domains, including business, religion, education, media, ethnic communities, development assistance and local governance. Indeed, it appears that the peace research community is only gradually responding to the advice that Johan Galtung offered twenty years ago. After an extensive effort to map peace strategies, he concluded: "Hence, the answer lies rather in having tasks for everybody" (Galtung, 1980, 396).
Of course, coordinating these various roles, or at least making them more compatible, presents an overwhelming challenge to peace builders. On the other hand, there is a positive side to the existence of a multiplicity of peace roles in that peace builders now have many more options and resources than they were aware of in times past. Thus, in designing peace strategies they must think more creatively about the long term consequences of development aid. They must not only be concerned about the devastating impact of war and violence on women, they must more often employ them in peace building roles. They must have more penetrating understanding of the contributions that religion and religous leaders can make to peace building. They must acquire more discerning insight on the impact of punishment on peace settlements and on the options offered by truth, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Certainly there are also significant implications for peace education. There is obviously a need for peace education curricula that takes a broad, systemic view of peace building. Although most involved in peace building will tend to perform only one role in a complicated social network, it is absolutely necessary for all involved to know the nature of the entire network, where they fit in the network, and how they are linked to, and interdependent with, other roles. This does not mean, of course, that there is not a need, for example, for specialized training of mediators, human rights monitors, those who deliver humanitarian aid, and peacekeepers. But each must have a concrete understanding of the interdependency of their specific role with other roles.
It also follows that application of what we are now learning about peace building necessarily involves people in a diversity of professions, and therefore should be included in the curriculum not only of all of the social sciences, but also of education for business, medicine, engineering, the media, religion, and many kinds of government service, including local government. Indeed, from one perspective, the UN Security Council must accept considerable blame for not applying growing peace knowledge in building long term peace strategies for anticipating and acting early enough to avoid unnecessary loss of life in situations like the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Rwanda and East Timor. On the other hand, the members of the Security Council could accurately respond that they have been given impossible tasks because so many others, inside governments and in civil society, are not doing their share! Certainly growing knowledge about peace building informs us that, had many other people been fulfilling their responsibilities -- educators, government officials, aid providers, church leaders, business people, and others, some of the overwhelming challenges confronted by the Security Council might never have reached their agenda.
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