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Galtung Johan Essays In Peace Research Academy

The article is an effort to discuss ten major dilemmas of peace research as the field has evolved over the last 25 years: the definition of peace research; peace as absence of violence (including structural violence); violence as obstacles to basic needs satisfaction; extension to peace in nature, human and social spaces (not only the global space); the dialectic between research, education and action; the social role of the peace researcher; the basic strategies of peace action; the methods of peace research; the choice of intellectual style; the conception of peace in various civilizations. The central conclusion is that the basic concern of peace research is the reduction of violence of all kinds; this is done by progressively removing barriers in space (transnational, global studies), in the organization of knowledge (transdisciplinary, holistic studies), in time (integrating empirical studies of the past, critical studies of the present and constructive studies for the future). As such peace research can also be seen as an effort, along with development, future and woman studies, to counteract fragmentation in the social sciences.

This article introduces a concept of `cultural violence', and can be seen as a follow-up of the author's introduction of the concept of `structural violence' over 20 years ago (Galtung, 1969). `Cultural violence' is defined here as any aspect of a culture that can be used to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form. Symbolic violence built into a culture does not kill or maim like direct violence or the violence built into the structure. However, it is used to legitimize either or both, as for instance in the theory of a Herrenvolk, or a superior race. The relations between direct, structural and cultural violence are explored, using a violence triangle and a violence strata image, with various types of casual flows. Examples of cultural violence are indicated, using a division of culture into religion and ideology, art and language, and empirical and formal science. The theory of cultural violence is then related to two basic points in Gandhism, the doctrines of unity of life and of unity of means and ends. Finally, the inclusion of culture as a major focus of peace research is seen not only as deepening the quest for peace, but also as a possible contribution to the as yet non-existent general discipline of `culturology'.