Achieving Kyosei in East Asia
Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Chapter 7: Toward a Grand Theory of Negative and Positive Peace: Peace, Security, and Conviviality
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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