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Towards Positive Peace

January 1, 1970 @ 10:00 am

Join Professor Paul James as he discusses the complicated nature of Peace through history and in contemporary times.
War and peace seem to always occur in serial order with peace trailing behind – and it is not just because of Tolstoy.

Nobody knows how to define peace. The definition of peace is usually only done in the negative.

Peace is defined as the absence of war.

This talk will attempt to develop a positive definition of peace; one that goes a little beyond the usual childhood drawings or symbolic gestures of peace as people holding hands or carrying garlands of flowers.

It begins with ancient symbols such as the early Greek and Christian olive branch or the Jewish greeting of shalom.

For all their strengths these symbols and greetings have simultaneously become the signs of empty peace.

Coming forward to the present, the talk will take up the issue of humanitarian intervention, arguing that to maintain positive peace we are sometimes required to intervene militarily.

However, given that most contemporary military interventions are done in the name of ‘peace’, and most are failures, humanitarian intervention has become a vexatious issue.

This too needs redefining.


January 1, 1970
10:00 am

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