Thursday, May 29, 2008


50 years of peace research--giving peace a chance--Town Square 5 pm today

by Larry Geller

When war breaks out or when we bomb some far-off place on the planet, it's instant news.

But when war is avoided, or "peace breaks out" if you understand what I mean, it probably never hits the news here.

That's not human nature, it's social conditioning. We have been raised to mark history by its wars.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Prof. Johan Galtung is credited with inventing peace research as a discipline 50 years ago. Although the term was probably used earlier, things did not get going until Prof. Galtung started teaching and training the methodology of peace research.

He'll be on Town Square tonight, speaking with host Beth-Ann Kozlovich about these 50 years, their contribution to peace, and his new book. Tune in 5-6 pm on 89.3 FM or streaming via

It's sad that we can't easily recount when disputes have been settled or avoided.  As an example, in 1995 Prof. Galtung intervened in negotiations between Ecuador and Peru, which had fought three wars since 1941 over a border dispute. He proposed converting the disputed area into a bi-national park, and both sides thought this was a great idea. And so peace broke out and fighting stopped. I doubt it made papers stateside.

All the more reason to study peace, the better to put it into practice.

Tune in tonight. You can call and ask Prof. Galtung any related question you like. Or congratulate him on these 50 years of training and research.

For more information, google Johan Galtung or his organization, Transcend.


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