EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK "PEACE, CONFLICT AND VIOLENCE: PEACE PSYCHOLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY"
(for some background information on the book, visit http://www.peace.ca/peacepsychology.htm )
 


CHAPTER 19 - INTRODUCING COOPERATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION INTO SCHOOLS: A SYSTEMS APPROACH by Peter Coleman and Morton Deutsch 

- In recent years, it has been increasingly recognized that our schools have to change in basic ways if we are to educate children so that they are for rather than against one another, so that they develop the ability to resolve their conflicts constructively rather than destructively, so that they are prepared to contribute to the development of a peaceful and just world.
- Viewing schools from a systems perspective can allow us to see how these movements may complement each other and work in concert to transform our schools at five levels: the disciplinary, the curricular, the pedagogical, the cultural, and the community.
- In her book, Comprehensive Peace Education (1988), Betty Reardon states that the general purpose of peace education is "to promote the development of an authentic planetary consciousness that will enable us to function as global citizens and to transform the present human condition by changing the social structures and the patterns of thought that have created it" (p. x).  This statement emphasizes the role of peace education in transforming the thinking and the values of students around social interdependence and social justice, in a manner that moves them to become agents for the constructive transformation of the larger society.
- We see cooperation, conflict, and constructive, nonviolent approaches to the resolution of conflict as processes that are central to the broader mission of peace education.
- In order to accomplish this most effectively, schools must undergo a basic restructuring of the way in which they function.
- Most schools, in the United States anyway, are not such institutions, and the people within them, teachers and administrators, are not adequately prepared to function that way.  This must be a core concern for educators.
- Systemic approaches to conceptualizing conflict processes and intervening in intense conflicts have been gaining increasing attention
- Interventions at these five levels differ considerably, but all are aimed at change at both the individual and systems level and are centered on the values of empowerment, positive social interdependence, nonviolence and social justice.
- Generally, it is our assessment that mediation programs alone, although useful, are not sufficient to bring about the paradigmatic shift in education that we are proposing is needed to prepare students to live in a peaceful world.
- A culture of competition, authoritarianism, coercion, and contention still appears to reign supreme in schools in this country (Glasser, 1992; Raider, 1995).
- the adults in schools also must be trained
- Parents, caretakers, local clergy, local police officers, members of local community organizations, and others should be trained in conflict resolution and involved in the overall planning process for preventing destructive conflict among children and youths.
- unless schools and districts are sufficiently motivated to embrace a change initiative such as this, it is likely to fail (Sarason, 1982; Roderick, 1998)
- Introducing cooperation and conflict resolution concepts and practices into schools often involves significant systemic change.  It requires, in a sense, a paradigm shift in how people see and approach problems.  Fostering this type of fundamental change in the norms and practices of a system requires that people have the necessary skills to motivate and persuade, organize, mobilize, and institutionalize the change.  These skills need to be more adequately integrated into the training of school system personnel.
- Students need to have continuing experiences of constructive conflict resolution as they learn different subject-matters and an immersion in a school environment which provides these experience.  The school should also act for the students as a model of cooperative relations and constructive resolution of conflicts.


CHAPTER 23 - TOWARD A PSYCHOLOGY OF STRUCTURAL PEACEBUILDING
by Cristina Jayme Montiel
 
- psychological strategies
- Social structure pertains to patterns of relatively permanent hierarchical relations among groups or collectivities in a social system (Parsons, 1961).  This definition highlights three properties of social structure.  First, social systems are the primary unit of analysis, not interpersonal relations ... Second is that it is marked by social differentiation that is not only heterogeneous but also unequal (Blau, 1977).  Third... is its invariance or tendency to resist change (Parsons, 1961).
- A social structure is violent when its vertical arrangement of inequality prevents huge numbers of collectivities from satisfying basic human needs (Christie; Galtung).  Resources are controlled by a privileged few.  Massive deprivations underneath a layer of elite overindulgence characterize structurally violent social configurations.
- Galtung (1980a) separates the sources of violence into two types: actors and structures.
- Peace workers who focus on the individual actor ... may remain oblivious to the goal of restructuring vertical intergroup relations embedded in the social system.
- The primary aim of peace workers with a structural perspective is to restructure vertical systems toward more equal systemic configurations.
- Structurally peaceful social systems are marked by equitably-distributed decision-powers in the production, allocation, and utilization of economic, political and cultural resources.
- Building peace entails changing structures of violence to structures of peace.  More specifically, structural peacebuilding is (a) a social psychological process of transforming (b) relatively permanent unequal relationships among collectivities in a social structure (c) to new sets of intergroup relations where all groups have more equitable control over politico-economic resources needed to satisfy basic needs.
- peacebuilding is characterized by disequilibrium and strain, as collectivities disengage from a structurally violent system.
- Since structural peacebuilding necessitates systemic transformation, one needs to take a closer look at sources of structural change.
- Paradoxically, the route to creating horizontal structures includes the production of strain within vertical systems.
- Since vertical structures are deeply embedded in social systems, structural peacebuilding involves the creation (not the cessation) of social strain, conflict and disequilibrium between two or more structural collectivities, producing movement toward more horizontal relations.
- As psychologists and peace activists carry out peace work in the midst of social conflict, they confront the invisible danger of prematurely restoring structural equilibrium, even when peacebuilding requires precisely the opposite,  systemic disequilibrium.
- Groups in the dominant structure tend to control local arsenals and use these to resist attempts to change systemic configurations.
- Persistent systemic resistance and the relatively invariant nature of social structures make structural peacebuilding a formidable challenge to human societies.  As a protective counterforce to structural invariance, the production and management of strain necessitates some kind of social power.
- The nature of human action carries the key to the possibility of structural change despite structural rigidity and resistance.
- The mental facilities of purpose and cognition make it possible to disconnect human action from the deterministic hold of oppressive and exploitative social structures.
- To produce systemically transformative power, structural peacebuilders face three concrete tasks: networking, mobilizing, and political education. ... Mobilization aims to produce collective action ... to oppose the actions emanating from the vertical structure. ... education transforms the corresponding subjective verticality within one's consciousness ... toward disequilibrating exploitative systems and creating alternative peaceful structures.
- ... Paulo Freire's (1970) process of nonvertical education called conscientization, where the emphasis is on relationships that are horizontal instead of authoritarian and hierarchical.
- We facilitated conscientization sessions covering topics such as structural analysis, vision of person and society, ... political spectrum, active nonviolence, and strategies for change.
- three social psychological processes related to roles: First, a conscientization process is experienced as people grow aware of their respective structural roles.  Second, individuals disentangle from the behaviors and cognitions prescribed by their positions in the embedded inequitable system.  Third, individuals acquire new roles needed to `create and utilize social disequilibrium. 
- Those who opt to remain in their structural roles do not produce any social strain and may even obtain rewards for such behaviors.
- In summary, the forcefulness of structural peacebuilding comes from: (a) creative -- i.e. not structure-determined -- action (b) skilled in the production and management of nonviolent social strain (c) collected or mobilized into conscientized social power (d) purposefully directed by the dual goals of removing structural inequities and crafting more equitable structural configurations.  These procedural requirements open up systemic transformation to the positive contributions of structure-sensitive psychologists.
- The production of nonviolent strain includes at least three psychological ingredients: a sense of sacrifice and shared spirituality among participants, practical politico-organizational tactics while facing a militarized enemy, and leadership which is ascetic, pragmatic, and decentralized.
- A spiritual orientation provides the psychological strength needed to engage in nonviolent structural transformation.
- Creating a social force for restructuring requires that individuals act collectively and purposefully.
- Some social psychological features of collective active nonviolence are a high level of psychological tolerance for the enemy, knowledge of and insistence on one's human rights, the buddy or partner system (i.e. always being with one other person to deter abduction by military agents), unquestioned obedience to the group's security marshals, and protective, not offensive collective behaviors in case of physical violence (e.g.. lying down and taking cover instead of standing up or going against water cannons, explosives, and tear gas...)
- Collective nonviolence likewise requires an attempt to win over the goodwill of the militarized enemy.
- military forces are less angry and fearful toward women and religious leaders.
- Often, structural peacebuilding leaders fuse contemporary asceticism with practical political power.  Their social influence emanates not from their ability to wield brute force, but from a capacity for self-sacrifice and kind acts effectively coupled with pragmatic political tactics. ... there is not a single leader but many leaders ... Leadership roles are not centralized for pragmatic reasons.
- the psychological requirements of self-sacrificial readiness constitute a choice that cannot be imposed by centralized leadership.  Self-sacrifice is a daily personal decision...
- Structures work through social power which, in turn, is implemented through human action.
- Psychologists tend to focus on individuals' structural victimization, but not on the discovery of social psychological processes involved in changing social configurations.  A paradigm expansion is needed.
- the phenomenon of People's Power demonstrates how large groups can use peaceful but forceful means to disequilibrate well-oiled authoritarian political structures.
- Global structural peacebuilding refers to human-based processes that distribute power and wealth more equitably among the different nations and regions of the world.
- Indeed, psychology holds a vital key to structural peacebuilding, to the crafting of a more forceful peace.
- And as long as we pursue harmony and avoid strain, we may remain disconnected from a majority of world populations that bear the yoke of structural inequities.
 

 
CONCLUSION: PEACE PSYCHOLOGY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Deborah Du Nann Winter, Daniel J. Christies, Richard V. Wagner, and Laura B. Boston
 
- Many forms of direct violence can be traced to structure-based inequalities, exacerbated by ethnic tensions, environmental degradation, and economic desperation, which powerful leaders exploit (Hauchler & Kennedy, 1994; Homer-Dixon, 1993; Renner, 1996) (emphasis added).
- Paradoxically, both the omnipresence of  armed violence, and the prospects for peace, have never been greater than at the turn of the millennium.
- Our model distinguishes direct from indirect violence, and direct from indirect peace.
- Peacebuilding will require increasing rather than decreasing tension (see Montiel, Ch. 23), redressing poverty (see Dawes), and the large scale project of building culture of peace (see Wessells, Schwebel, & Anderson).
- Direct violence usually stems from structural violence because structured inequalities are predisposing conditions for outbreaks of violent episodes.
- Activism vs. Analysis: We believe that lasting peace requires active political confrontation against socially unjust institutions and traditions.
- Throughout ... history, great thinkers have urged us to find ways to alleviate human suffering.
- peace psychology should be based on both activism and analysis.  While the idea of political activism is not new, ... students are not currently trained to practice and pursue it.
- Because public policy is a psychological issue, we believe that students should be trained how to think about, research, lobby, and affect peace.  ... psychologists cannot abdicate the political dimension of our work.  Our roles as scientists do not require us to remain politically neutral.  Science itself is value laden; feigning neutrality is intellectually dishonest and socially irresponsible.
- Thus for several reasons, we believe that peace psychologists should be activists.  First, because peace cannot wait until all the data are in; second, because we learn from our ideas as we apply them; third, because we are likely to be better practitioners if we simultaneously test our ideas.
- we believe that equitable distribution of human resources is  a necessary step for creating peace.
- we cannot abandon the project of defining values simply because they are difficult to generalize...  All we can do is promote one definition as the best we have right now, staying aware of the risks involved in putting it forward, and assuming that we will learn more about how to improve it.  Building peace requires us to take some uncomfortable stands...
- proactive approaches aim at the pursuit of social justice, the mitigation of oppressive and exploitative structures that can be predisposing conditions for episodes of direct violence.  Proactive approaches treat peace and social justice as indivisible, and take a long view of peace, committing resources to social changes that embrace the principles of equity and inclusion (Wagner, 1988).
- Peaceful Means vs. Peaceful Ends: Gandhi's view explicitly rejected violence of any kind.  From his perspective, means and ends could be distinguished conceptually and temporally, but not morally (Ostergaard, 1990).
- Challenges for the Twenty-First Century: ... transform peace education ...
- Long term solutions require that we illuminate the systemic connections between direct and indirect levels of violence as well as between individuals and their communities.
- ... address community structures which give meaning to individual identity.  Thus, the individual cannot be separated from the collective.
- ... human need for security and respect: ... violence can be expected until those needs are satisfied.
- ... conflict and war are human behaviors that have human needs at their root.
- ... attention to the psychological needs that various groups carry.
- Peace psychology has much to learn from liberatory pedagogies, the central purpose of which is the empowerment of individuals and communities to challenge and change the world rather than adapt to unjust situations (Freire, 1993; Martin-Baro, 1994).
- Transforming peace education to address social justice presents challenges.  First, there may be little consensus about what constitutes social justice, in which case, the most productive education might results from simply raising issues, pointing to social injustice in settings where the topic has never been raised before (see Opotow).  Second, the education process is a multilevel enterprise, in which student culture, pedagogy, administrative decisions, and community values are relevant (see Coleman & Deutsch, Ch. 19).
- The problem is that a curriculum that attempts to transform peace education to address issues of social justice is itself embedded in socially unjust structures of society.
- Key limits in the twenty-first century will be fresh water, range-lands, forests, oceanic fisheries, biological diversity, and the global atmosphere (Brown & Flavin, 1999). As Homer-Dixon (1993) and Renner (1996) have shown, ecological stresses are common causes of armed conflict around the world, and we can expect wars to increase as environments continue to deteriorate.  Indeed, some have made a persuasive case for the proposition that in the twenty-first century, environmental security will replace national security as a primary strategy for preventing war (Myers, 1993).  Environmental security requires international cooperation because ecological damage does not respect national borders.  Global treaties to protect environmental indicators will become as important as military alliances are now.
- Education is crucial for building environmental security.
- Ecological education means helping people assume responsibility and consciousness about the environmental impacts of their own households, organizations, governments, and militaries.  A peaceful world will require a populace educated for civic life, committed to environmental responsibility, and determined to build a peaceful world.
- ... peace depends on ending poverty and making a commitment to justice and insuring environmental security.  Meeting human needs in the twenty-first century means that we begin building sustainable cultures immediately.
- Peace psychologists can provide important leadership, analysis, activism, and support for the crucial task of building sustainable peace.  Analyzing the causes of violence, rebuilding war-torn communities, lobbying for social justice and arms control, teaching and practicing nonviolent conflict resolution, sensitizing ourselves to our own ethnocentrism, consulting with peacekeeping operations, ensuring gender parity, addressing ethnic identities and hostilities, empowering alternative voices, and building environmental security are just a few of the myriad ways peace psychologists can contribute to building a peaceful world.
- Peacebuilding is not small task -- but, we ask, what else is more important?

 

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