The Three Kinds of Violence Defined by Prof. Johan Galtung


Gandhi Nonviolence – TRANSCEND Media Service

Johan Galtung is the Norwegian researcher and mediator who founded the academic discipline “Peace and Conflict Studies.”

The word “violence” is typically used to describe harmful actions inflicted upon one person by another, but Galtung suggests that the the concept of “violence” actually denotes a much broader range of actions and behaviors. This video defines and differentiates the three types.

“Direct Violence”
“Structural Violence”
“Cultural Violence”

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

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Feb 2022.

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One Response to “The Three Kinds of Violence Defined by Prof. Johan Galtung”

  1. After viewing and listening, Prof. Galtung‘s concept of three types of violence, viz. direct, structural and cultural, I recalled his two written contributions, viz., Concept of Peace in UNICEF Teacher’s Kit on Peace Education, and How to Succeed in Peace Education Without Really Trying, which I published in the Special issue of our Peace Education: An International Journal in 1986 in dedication of UN International Year of Peace. Prof. Galtung dealt with these three types of violence in the Concept of Peace. Prof. Galtung is one of the founding members in the Editorial Board of Journal Peace Education since 1975. The inaugural issue of the Journal was on the theme: Role of Women in Peace Education in the UN International Year women. Though this issue of the Journal was published in 1977 when the emergency was over in our country, and the Journal got the Registration.