Achieving Positive Peace by Learning From Others

This paper analyses the Israeli´/ Palestinian peace dialogue according to Galtung´s and Martínez Guzmán’s approach towards positive peace. For this sake, the first part of this paper will introduce the reader to the concept of positive peace and will
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     Achieving Positive Peace by Learning From Others   The role of the epistemological turn in the Israeli-Palestiniancivil society peace education approach Presented by: TAMAR SHUALI NIE: X4811571-VCourse n° 4000302: Introduction to Peace Studies  T. Shuali: Achieving Positive Peace 2  CONTENTS: I. INTRODUCTIONII. POSITIVE PEACE: THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL TURN AND THERECONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE:  II.1 Negative peace II.2 Structural Violence II.3 Positive peace II.3.a Epistemological reconstruction II.3.b Cultivating competences for positive peace II.4 Personal Transformation III. PROMOTING POSITIVE PEACE BY CIVIL SOCIETY INITIATIVES:  III.1 Civil Society Organizations in Israeli Society    III.2 Civil society and the Israeli Palestinian Peace Process III. CONCLUSIONS 2  T. Shuali: Achieving Positive Peace 3 I: INTRODUCTION The book  Peace and conflict studies is offering the reader an approximation tothe research of peace studies. In the first chapter the authors are introducing the lectureswith their understanding of the concept of peace (Barash & Webel, 2002: 3-4).Interesting enough, Barash &Webel are suggesting a definition of peace that rather thanbe a theoretical or philosophical one, is based upon its achievements. For them peacemeans the “establishment of positive, life affirming, and life enhancing values andsocial structure” (Barsha & Webel: 2002:3) As we will be realising a long this paper theauthors are following the definition which is traditionally known in the peace studiesfield as  positive peace . Thus, their interpretation of life affirming consists of the self -realization of individual and groups. Life enhancing values are standing fordevelopment and sustainability, perusing social and economic justice, and eliminatingmarginalization or any other conditions that might prejudice human growth (Barash &Webel, 2002). The following chapters of the book are dedicated to the multidisciplinarydiscussion which involves the filed of peace studies. The basic approach whichunderlines the book’s philosophy as understanding peace is the theory of  Positive Peace. The concept of Positive Peace was mainly developed by the Norwegian scholarJohn Galtung who understands peace as a social condition in which exploitation isminimized; a situation in which structural violence- the same violence that is built intothe structure of society-is eliminated 1 (Barash & Webel, 2002: 6-8). Positive peace   onthe contrary to the negative one, involves reconstruction of knowledge and competences,and is related to the development of justice and the perusing of human rights (Martínez-Guzmán, 2006, 27-29).The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process was officially initiated with the Osloaccords signed on 1993, and was followed by the Oslo II agreement, which is known bythe name of “the Interim Agreement” 2 . Ever since, and in spite of the politicaldifficulties and the mutual lack of trust and hostility among both people, civil societyorganizations have been committed to the perusing of positive peace. 1 Structural violence consists of the denial of fundamental rights and can take the form of, hunger,political oppression, sexual inequality and psychological alienation. 2 The interim agreement was signed on 25 September in Washington. This is one of the most significantinternational agreement assumed by Israeli government and by the Palestinian political leadership whereboth parties are committed to discuss the final status of the Palestinian nation, and are establishing termsfor the establishment of the latest. 3  T. Shuali: Achieving Positive Peace 4This paper main purpose is to understand Israeli´/ Palestinian peace dialogueaccording to Galtung´s and Martínez Guzmán’s approach towards positive peace. Forthis sake, the first part of this paper will introduce the reader to the concept of positivepeace and will describe the frame work in which the paper was written.The second part will establish in a more systematic way the philosophical andconceptual framework of the paper. It will mainly discuss Martinez philosophicalapproach towards positive peace and will discuss relevant terminology in the field of peace studies. The third part, parting from the theoretical frame work established by theabove mentioned concepts, will describe two of the Israeli-Palestinian civic societyinitiatives in promoting peace dialogue, taking place during the years 1994- 1997. Thefourth part of the paper will conclude by observing the significant role of civic societyinitiatives in the pursuing of positive peace. In this sense the role of educators can notbe undermined. II: POSITIVE PEACE: THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL TURN AND THERECONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE Peace Studies Research, in comparison to other disciplines, is relatively a newdiscipline but yet very complicated one. In order to approach issues related to peace, weneed to discuss what is not peace (Martínez-Guzmán, 2006). We need to learn abouthuman nature and the different possibilities of human interaction. There for aninterdisciplinary perspective is obligatory in peace studies. John Galtung, a prominentresearcher in the field of uses the terminology of   positive peace , negative peace , and structural violence in order to distinguish the kind of relationship established byindividuals and governments in a no war situation. These following terms, arefundamental to the understanding of this paper and there for will be explained asfollowed.  II.1 Negative peace Negative peace denotes the absence of war. It refers to a situation in which noactive military violence is occurring. Both modern democracies, like U.S, Israel Spain,and non-democratic states like Iran, China or Morocco, are submitted to a situation of 4  T. Shuali: Achieving Positive Peace 5negative peace, in which they might not have an open declared war led by militaryreprisal, but are violating the rights of its people or others. According to internationalrelation theories, peace is found where there is an absence of direct state violence(Bahsa & Webel, 2002: 1-27). In a more complex perception of the concepts of war,conflicts and peace, as Galtung suggests, the notion of violence contemplates not only aphysical direct one (Bashar & Webel, 2002). He refers to the structural violence that isbuilt into the proper structure of the social , cultural and economic dimensions of society.  II.2 Structural Violence Structural violence is describing a situation were society is submitted to asituation of starvation, marginalization, extreme poverty, and the denial of basic rightssuch as the right to expression, dignity or education. These parameters are indicating asituation of structural violence that accompanies the situation of negative peace. We canrecognize structural violence when we observe a condition that brings a society to adenial of economic well being, social political and sexual equality, and where theindividual or a group is deprived of personal fulfilment and growth (Barahs & Webel,2002: 6-8). Under condition of structural violence ordinary people can form part of ahuge machinery that produces and inflict systematically harm to others, such as in thecase of Nazi Germany or South Africa’s Apartheid.  II.3 Positive peace Positive peace refers to a “social condition in which exploitation is minimized oreliminated, and in which there is neither overt violence nor the more subtlephenomenon of underlying structural violence” (Barahs & Webel, 2002: 6) Positivepeace focuses on peace building initiatives. It strives to establish social justice, andchallenges conservative approaches and structures, by enhancing values of commonwell, economic and social equality, self realization and growth. This approach is mainlydeveloped by the Norwegian scholar John Galtung who is considered to be one of theprominent researchers in the field of peace studies. Positive peace is a situation in whichstructural violence is eliminated, and as the contrary to the negative one, involves5
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