Achieving Kyosei in East Asia
Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Chapter 5: Horizons of a Grand Theory of Peace
Richard Falk 1. INTRODUCTION My approach to such a daunting challenge seeks to be attentive to the urgings of Shin Chiba that “our quest for a grand theory of peace should be made in response to the crisis of the present age as it is beset by [a] series of wars, the absence of peace and safety, environmental destruction, the structural cleavage between the haves and the have nots”. It is his claim that “a grand theory can only be justiﬁed by the strong demand for a new normative theory. This new normative theory is supposed to serve the world by undertaking the . . . task of responding critically and constructively to the crisis of the present age”.1 I would only add that this sense of rooted concern and engagement with the lifeworld must also encompass, in Derridian fashion, “catastrophes to come,” what is menacingly present as negative potentiality when contemplating existing historical circumstances (of poverty, disease, genocidal strife, weapons of mass destruction, war dangers) and the most worrisome futures (severe climate change, energy squeeze, nuclear wars, pandemics, and the unseen). Also, to face the crisis we must not be so arrogant as to exclude unforeseen and unforeseeable positive unfoldings of future world history that are not presently encompassed by our understanding of dominant trends. In this respect, a grand theory of peace needs to encourage the utopian imagination as a way of not becoming entrapped by our sense of the probable or demoralized by the seeming absence of plausible...