A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation

A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation

Achieving Kyosei in East Asia

Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Scholars from Japan and a range of other countries explore in this book the still-unfinished effort to achieve the reconciliation of old enmities left over from past wars in East Asia. They present concrete policy proposals for a ‘grand design’ of peace based on the Japanese concept of ‘kyosei’, a word roughly translated as ‘conviviality’. A positive peace through kyosei means not only the absence of violence, but also the amelioration of past injustices, exploitation and oppression. The diversity of disciplines represented in the volume—international law and politics, history, philosophy and theology – enrich the contributors’ search for an intellectually appropriate, practically transformative and viable grand theory of peace in the twenty-first century. Chapters address issues such as security in North–South conflict situations, foreign policy strategies for Japan, the perspective of comparative religions, and current skepticism for the possibility of peace and reconciliation. These insightful and compelling analyses will be of great interest to students and researchers of East Asia and the politics of peace in general.

Chapter 7: Toward a Grand Theory of Negative and Positive Peace: Peace, Security, and Conviviality

Johan Galtung

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


Johan Galtung 1. ON “GRAND THEORY” Like the organizers of this book project I see a grand theory as grand in the sense of covering a vast intellectual territory; and theory in the sense of a perspective very rich in implications. I feel we are ready for that in the field of peace research. But first some words on some experiences from another field, macro-history. That intellectual territory is certainly vast: vast human spaces, over vast periods of time. In other words, vast space–time regions. And macro-history perspectives are many and very rich in implications, as produced by giants like SsuMa Ch’ien, Augustine, Ibn Khaldun, Vico, Adam Smith, Comte, Spencer, Pareto, Hegel, Marx, Gramsci, Weber, Spengler, Sorokin, Toynbee, Sarkar, Steiner, Teilhard de Chardin, to mention some. These great thinkers tell stories, macro-histories, tracing phenomena through time. The term grand narrative applies, but grand theory is more general. And all these macro-history narratives highlight something crucial in the human condition. Of these works it can safely be said that if you ignore them, it is at your own (considerable) risk. And it can equally safely be said that if you believe in any one of them as the only valid narrative, it is also at your own (considerable) risk. Let yourself be enriched by these narratives, but do not become a slave to them. The same applies to any grand theory of peace. “Balance of power” with its paradoxical si vis pacem para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for...

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