A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation
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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.
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Chapter 5: Horizons of a Grand Theory of Peace

Richard Falk


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...

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