Q: “If conflict is an inherent aspect of life, how do we know when we’ve achieved positive peace?”


Johan Galtung – TRANSCEND Media Service

A: “Conflict does not mean violence. It means incompatible goals that may lead to violence. Conflict solution=making incompatible goals compatible; it may avoid violence and lead to positive, cooperative peace for mutual and added benefits to all parties.

“Example: A Ukrainian federation with Ukrainians ruling majority Ukrainian population, and Russians govern majority Russian parts—if possible with two presidents: the Roman Empire biconsular solution.  Ukrainians or Russians ruling the whole territory constitutes Structural Violence that may, and does, lead to Direct Violence. History stores huge amounts of conflicts, solutions and violence.  A wise person once said: “Who fails to learn from history is doomed to relive it.” (Maybe not quite; could be worse).”


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. He was awarded among others the 1987 Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Galtung has mediated in over 150 conflicts in more than 150 countries, and written more than 170 books on peace and related issues, 96 as the sole author. More than 40 have been translated to other languages, including 50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives published by TRANSCEND University Press. His book, Transcend and Transform, was translated to 25 languages. He has published more than 1700 articles and book chapters and over 500 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service. More information about Prof. Galtung and all of his publications can be found at transcend.org/galtung.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Mar 2021.

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