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Launching Peace Studies - The First Prio Years
ISBN: 978-82-300-0709-9
Year: 2010

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Launching Peace Studies - The First Prio Years

Strategies Findings Implications

How did peace research as a comprehensive program start back in 1959, in Oslo? In this book Johan Galtung tells the story of what happened the first 12 years from 1958Â 1970, the strategies in selecting research projects, the key findings, the 60 basic implications for peace politics, and the 13 efforts to convert theory into concrete peace practice. The book comes with some dos and don'ts for discussion and possible inspiration.

Johan Galtung, born 1930 in Oslo, Norway, lives in Spain, France, Japan and the USA, mainly engaged in mediation and research. He has so far published about 150 books and over 1500 articles on peace and related issues. 40 of his books have been translated into 33 languages, for a total of 134 book translation. He founded TRANSCEND: A Peace Development Environment Network in 1993 and was founding rector of Transcend Peace University 2003-2007 and again from 2011.


Johan Galtung

Launching Peace Studies: The First PRIO Years

Strategies Findings Implications

Table of Contents



1. The Autobiographical Background

2. The Baggage Brought Into Peace Studies

3. The First Program: Strategies, Five Projects and Basic Findings

4. The First Program: Five Projects and Peace Policy Implications

5. Relations to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry

6. Going International: The Second Program and Five Projects

7. Projects on the Side: Ten Territorial Conflicts

8. Projects on the Side: Twelve Issue Conflicts

9. From Theory to Practice: Seventeen Cases

10. Conclusion: Sixty Implications as Politics




The "first years" covers the period from the early planning in 1958-59 of the Section for Conflict and Peace Research at the Institute for Social Research, in Oslo, later PRIO, till I was appointed to the Chair in Conflict and Peace Research at the University of Oslo in 1969 and a little beyond, as PRIO director of research. All together about 12 years. The research was collected in Essays in Peace Research, Vols I-V, published by Christian Ejlers in Copenhagen, 1975-1980, and two volumes on Methodology; deep gratitude to Christian for that wonderful cooperation. These 100 essays, today made available through, were in some cases published later, but the strategies are from the late 1950s, the findings were available in the 1960s, and that also applies to the basic implications for peace politics. Most references for readers who want to know more about findings and implications are to the volumes and chapters of the Ejlers collection, like (II, 13-15) for research on nonviolence; and some to the books in the bibliography at the end, like (see E19).

There are also some references to two unpublished books, now available on the website Theories of Peace, TOPS, from 1969, and Theories of Conflict, TOCS, from 1958-72-74.

Towards the end of this book there will be a section on peace politics practice, summarized in the book 50 Years: 100 Peace & Conflict Perspectives, TRANSCEND University Press (, 2008; the 17 first cases in that book referring to this period.

A follow-up to this little book will cover the period of the Chair in Conflict and Peace Research (CCPR, 1969-1977) and the Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development of the United Nations University (GPID, 1976-1981); also all together about 12 years. (A second follow-up will cover 1982-93.) There were many working papers and later on books from both, and an author might want people to read books and articles, lock, stock and barrel. But readers have a human right to reasonably short summaries. The books also serve that function.

There were many people founding those institution, but these books cover the intellectual foundations, not bureaucratic history. They are efforts to clarify the thinking behind that activity, in a sense essays in the early intellectual history of peace studies, and as such might be of some value for others launching such initiatives.

In this book, at the appropriate places, my gratitude to the many collaborators is expressed, as also in the books referred to above. But there is one person outside that frame of reference I want to thank particularly. He is no longer among us: Professor Otte Hustad, mentioned with much love in my autobiography. His father, Tormod, was one of Quisling's closest collaborator, a very capable minister of labor in his government during the German occupation, condemned to 20 years of imprisonment for treason. And Otte was deprived of the right to attend high school. That was reversed, however, and the rector gave me the task of seeing to it that "nothing happened."

Otte became one of my best friends, and I am deeply grateful to him for conveying to me, upon my insistent questioning, how the war, occupation, everything, looked from that "politically incorrect", side. He did so beautifully, gracefully, in ways indispensable for a mediator. If anybody taught me this, Otte was the one.

I also gratefully acknowledge the cooperation with Erik Ivås, my wonderful secretary in that period, with Susan Höivik for gracious editing, and with my good friend Antonio Rosa for preparing this manuscript for publication.

Alfaz del Pi, Summer 2010 Johan Galtung


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