Volume 9 No. 2
Introduction: A Tool Chest for Peacebuilders
This special issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies honors the contributions of Chadwick (Chad) F. Alger to the field of peace studies. This introduction provides a brief description of Alger’s tool chest for peacebuilders, which in many ways represents a culmination of his decades of work and thinking regarding peace studies, and an overview of the articles in this issue. Each article is written by someone with a close connection to Alger who approaches his ideas and scholarship from their own perspective in order to build upon this work in new, innovative ways.
Building Peace Through the Political Processes of the United Nations
This article explores how peace can be built through the political processes of the United Nations. Drawing extensively on the work of Chadwick Alger, it is argued that the mechanisms and procedures of United Nations decisionmaking contribute to building peace, regardless of whatever decisions are ultimately made. In particular, four dimensions of his research related to the nexus between United Nations processes and peace are discussed: the non-resolution consequences of United Nations decisions, the effects of United Nations participation on delegates and other key actors, the performance of key dynamics which lie at the heart of United Nations decisionmaking, and the innovative research strategies for investigating these and other issues related to building peace through the United Nations.
Reviving Peacebuilding Tools Ravished By
Three recent developments threaten to undermine peace and weaken the tools of peacebuilding: (1) the danger of terrorist attacks similar to those of September 11, 2001; (2) the U.S. endorsement of pre-emptive war to maintain U.S. global dominance; and (3) the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Despite difficulties, the United Nations remains the most legitimate institution for developing a global grand strategy to address all these problems and respond to humanitarian emergencies. Those seeking to strengthen the tools of peace and the effectiveness of U.N. peace operations should: (1) encourage political leaders and civil societies to revive and respect international legal constraints on the use of collective violence by both states and non-state actors and (2) increase U.N. capabilities for peace operations, particularly by establishing a permanent, highly professional U.N. civilian police force to help address new security issues.
Civil Society As a Force for Peace
In “The Emerging Tool Chest for Peacebuilders,” Chadwick Alger begins with the premise that “we have learned much more about building peace in the Twentieth Century, through research and practice, than we normally tend to apply” (1996: 21). He goes further to suggest that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s movements represent a recent, and potentially most useful, set of tools for peacebuilding. In the time that has passed since he made those observations, non-state entities have indeed proven to be very useful forces for building peace. In doing so, they have added several additional tools to Alger’s NGOs, people’s movements, and civil society drawer, most notably: networking, coalition building, global campaigns, parallel conferencing, and partnerships. This article explores the nature of these peace tools as they relate to the interface between civil society and international institutions. It concludes that Alger’s first premise also remains true. Actual research and practice in international organization and world order continue to exceed what scholars and students of such phenomena tend to apply.
Tools for Environmental Peacebuilders
Scholars and activists promoting peace and environmental values have tended to work independently of one another, even though their goals and agendas are interrelated. Inspired by Chadwick Alger’s metaphor of a tool chest for peacebuilders, this article proposes twenty-four tools for environmental peacebuilding. These tools are organized into four categories (or drawers): (a) international law, (b) international governmental organizations (IGOs), (c) concepts and principles, and (d) non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and global civil society. Collectively, they can contribute to peace not only by ameliorating resource scarcities and environmental stresses that may lead to violent conflict, but also by fostering cooperative relations among IGOs, national governments, and non-governmental groups, while addressing environmental related social injustices.
Peace Research With a Diversity Perspective: A Look to Africa
This article builds upon Chadwick Alger’s expressed wish in the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies that the journal and the whole international peace research community include a diversity of cultures, experiences, and non-Western approaches. The author uses her long acquaintance with and great interest in African traditions to make readers familiar with some central concepts within peace studies that have African roots. In this article five concepts are discussed: ubuntu, the conflict-solving methods of Palaver and of Mato Oput, ujamaa, and kujitegemea. The last two concepts are closely related to the philosophy of Julius Nyerere. The author focuses on the great contrast between the individualistic Western philosophy of “Cogito, ergo sum”- I think, therefore I am - and the collectivist African ubuntu philosophy of “a person is a person through other people”. While the Western judicial system is based on punishment, the traditional African judicial system as discussed here is more concerned with reintegration of the plaintiff into the social community.
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