Peace and Conflict Studies
Introduction of the subject:
Peace and conflict studies is a social science field that identifies and analyzes violent and nonviolent behaviors as well as the structural mechanisms attending conflicts (including social conflicts), with a view towards understanding those processes which lead to a more desirable human condition. A variation on this, peace studies (irenology), is an interdisciplinary effort aiming at the prevention, de-escalation, and solution of conflicts by peaceful means, thereby seeking “victory” for all parties involved in the conflict. This is in contrast to military studies, it has as its aim on the efficient attainment of victory in conflicts, primarily by violent means to the satisfaction of one or more, but not all, parties involved. Disciplines involved may include philosophy, political science, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, international relations, history, anthropology, religious studies, and gender studies, as well as a variety of others. Relevant sub-disciplines of such fields, such as peace economics, may be regarded as belonging to peace and conflict studies also.
Peace studies is an interdisciplinary study, and to understand the source of violent conflicts one can compare theories from psychology, social sciences, international relations, philosophy, political science and other academic fields. To understand how one can change violence and violent episodes, peace studies scholars investigate explanatory and constructive methods. Moreover they explore different ways in which people can coexist, make peace and post conflict solutions.
Within peace studies peace is analyzed and understood from the perspective of different cultures and religions. Peace supporters locally and globally; peace activists, anti-war movements, non-violent demonstrations and demonstrations function as starting points for peace studies. Hence, peace is so much more than just the absence of war and violence.