The Art of Peace
ISBN: 978-849-412-197-5
Year: 2017

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The Art of Peace

Global Peace Studies 101: Theory and Practice

by Johan Galtung

Peace is not only absence of violence and threat if violence, negative peace, but the parties being good to each other, positive peace. Part One of this book is about the theory of peace, Part Two about the practice. And The Art of Peace is to bring the two together. There is no peace without practice and no practice without theory, but that theory has to be practice-indicative, producing a track record.

Johan Galtung, dr hc mult, professor of peace studies born 1930 in Oslo, founder of Transcend International, has published more than 150 books mostly on peace studies and mediated in more than 150 conflicts.


The Art of Peace

Global Peace Studies 101: Theory and Practice

Table of Contents

Prologue: Peace as Love8
[1] Peace: Positive Negative Violence A Formula11
[2] Violence: Direct Structural Cultural Natural19
[3] Deep: Culture Structure Nature29
[4] Socio: Diagnosis Prognosis Therapy41
[5] Cooperation with Equity55
[6] Harmony with Empathy59
[7] Conciliation with Closure63
[8] Solution with Transcendence73
[9] State: Peace Military Diplomacy Law83
[10] Capital: Peace Business91
[11] Civil Society: Peace Education Peace Journalism95
[12] Philosophy: Epistemology Methodology101
[13] History: War Peace109
[14] Toward a Culture of Peace117
Epilogue: On the Future of Peace Theory123
Prologue: Solution Replaces Victory129
[1] A Year in a Mediator's Logbook133
[2] 4 Worlds: First Second Third Fourth137
[4] 7 Regions: United for Global Peace?155
[5] 2 Americas: Latin America Anglo-America165
[6] 3 Africas: Muslim Precolonial Post-colonial173
[7] 4 Europes: Orthodox Catholic Protestant Muslim179
[8] 5 Asias: West Central South Southeast East185
[9] 100 visions: What Happened195
[10] The Transcend Track Record201
[11] Visions: A Vision of Visions215
[12] Nonviolence: Negative Positive219
[13] Inner Peace: Universalia Particularia223
[14] Toward a Structure of Peace233
Epilogue: On the Future of Peace Practice237
Appendix: Visions Presented at the Logbook Events241
Endnotes 281


The Art of Peace

Global Peace Studies 101: Theory and Practice

Part Two, Chapter [10]
The Transcend Track Record

How does it work and work out, what is the track record?

The Transcend method uses dialogues with all parties to identify their goals, then tests the legitimacy of the goals, then creates visions of a new social reality meeting legitimate goals. Diagnoses focus on conflict and trauma; prognoses without or with intervention, therapy on visions with solution, conciliation.

The method is neither necessary nor sufficient. Other approaches may also work, other factors may also have mattered; therapies may have been prognoses of what happens anyhow.

But numerous feed-backs and prizes point to impact. Thoughts, words, acts may blunt conflicts-contradictions; opening for alternatives to violence-war as reaction to blocked goals. Conflict transformation may slide through history to solutions at the micro-meso-macro-mega levels, greased by some optimism. Maybe the crux of the matter: visions create openings, light.

The 35 cases, in six categories, are mainly from the 100 in 50/100. The reader can also read the book fore what has not worked, but what looks like a failure may turn into a success. And vice versa. Much work has been done, in many places: the Middle East (1-2-6-20), USA all over, in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, East Asia, IS, Ukraine with no impact so far, but not for lack of trying. If the 35 below are successes then the failures are more numerous. But, wait a little.

Many voices have their say and their hands on history. They do not act too quickly. For World Bank projects more failures showed up the older the projects. Better the opposite; the older the projects, the more successes. Or so we hope. Could Transcend theory simply be better than World Bank theory?

I. Approaches to Peace (5)

* Peace Research-Studies, argued from 1951 as a new, applied, trans-disciplinary science, linking theory and practice, theory being practice-indicative, practice being theory-based, and testable. A problem at the time was that in the West “peace” was seen as communist propaganda, and by communists as bourgeois. Anyhow, the author became "father of peace studies".

* Peace Education as an outcome of peace studies, now being taught at 500+ universities around the world and countless seminars-conferences; with many of our books and articles being used as texts all over. And finding. slowly, its way into the school and kindergarten systems.

* Peace Service as alternative to military service, in Norway as assistants at the peace research institute, after my own civil disobedience refusal to do meaningless service, and half a year in prison 1954/55.

* Peace Corps proposed 1960 in Norway, before USA, for direct, positive relations, also in crisis areas, bridging fault-lines; but it became, so far, mainly a one way development corps, with potentials for peace.

* Peace Journalism, from1961, by reporting peace efforts, and possibilities like conflict solution and trauma conciliation, not only violence and negative news. Has caught on particularly well in Southeast Asia where wars to a large extent are “civil”, internal wars, and academically in numerous PhD theses.

II. Approaches to the East-West Mega Conflict (5)

* A 19-states Council of Europe initiated study “Co-Operation in Europe” based on dialogues with the foreign offices, proposing a UN Security Commission for Europe (1967), like the UN Economic Commission for Europe; working for implementation with Eugen Chossudovsky from the USSR and Jean Siotis from Greece, both stationed in Geneva.

* Propagating the vision particularly in Finland, according to a later president of Finland the numerous talks and dialogues were instrumental in making Kekkonen launch the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (later CSSE). We were together awarded dr hc at University of Tampere, Finland, 1974.

* Propagating the vision in Czechoslovakia, according to the deputy foreign minister in 1989, later ambassador, the USSR withdrew their troops, with the vision as successor to the bloc system; "you were the father of the idea, I the executor".

* Working at top levels in Rumania, particularly with Professor Mircea Malita, also adviser to Nicolae Ceausescu (with direct contact with him) discrediting a bloc system with mutual nuclear targeting in Europe; visions of post Cold War Europe.

* Establishing a Norway-Poland axis of two low ranking but at the time somewhat dissident bloc countries, with full support of the two foreign ministries, leading to a joint disarmament commission, to normalizing and depolarizing contacts, and to tourism (1964).

III. Approaches to the North-South Mega Conflict (5)

* North-South inside the USA: Race Relations, Desegregation; working 1958-60 for nonviolent desegregation in Charlottesville VA, opening for white extremists to have their own private schools as a safety valve, write-up in Washington Post, deep gratitude from the mayor.

* North-South inside the UK: Northern Ireland as colony, proposing 17 concrete measures in 1997 at a Houses of Parliament NGO conference, before “Easter Sunday” (where they refer to North-South as "East-West"). Said to have inspired optimism, that solution is possible, feasible; and deep gratitude.

* South-South Cooperation, parity with North: proposed successfully 1962 for social sciences in the Americas as a separate Latin American organization meteing on equal terms with a US organization, later on achieving model character, to be emulated in any field between Latin America and Anglo America.

* South-South-South Cooperation Latin America-Africa-Asia: proposed 2012 at high level in China as road or rail through Africa from Dar to Kinshasa for container traffic linking the three continents. Chinese credit was made available same fall as part of the general policy of building infrastructure.

* Rhodesia Becoming Zimbabwe, showing (from 1965) that economic sanctions against the white regime would never bring independence and might even strengthen the whites, working for nonviolent transition with a role for the white minority.

IV. Approaches to Macro Conflicts (10)

* Korea: Unification as unifying the nation, two states can come later as basic theme from 1972; opening the border ever more, road, train, cooperation based on equity; one state means one president less. Praise from both Koreas, prize from the province spanning both across DMZ (DMZ name of the prize).

* Iran: Predicting 1974 in Persepolis a Muslim revolution “withing 5 years/’ against a Zoroaster-Western Shah regime, working wit Farah Diba and her wing for a basic needs orientation compatible with, and in cooperation with, Islam.

* Ecuador-Peru: proposing 1995 a two-states condominium zone in the region contested in the Andes after the 1941 war, not drawing borders; according to Ecuador's ex-president a totally new idea, for him too new, but implemented in 1998.

* Kurds and the Four States: propagating from 1991 not moving borders but creating a Kurdistan of four adjoining autonomous regions with human rights for Kurds in all four and joint Kurdish institutions; but keeping the nationalities they have. Has caught on among Kurds, is realize in Iraq, coming in Syria, lagging in Turkey and Iran.

* Caucasus: proposing in 1997 a joint zone where the three countries meet for a Caucasian parliament, also with a chamber for the 26 nations in the region, a joint airline, with Caucasus maybe moving from confederation to federation. Has stimulated many concrete efforts at all levels, mostly in Georgia.

* Myanmar: during the 2005-6 tension proposing to top people, in a military dictatorship and an opposition living in the past, a think tank to explore a shared future together, with a federation for Myanmar to ease ethnic tensions, making it possible to move on. Think tank yes, federation not yet.

* Rwanda-Burundi: propagating in 1997 a bi-oceanic confederation of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the two Congos with open borders to relieve pressure and to accommodate large nomadic parts; trading with Arabia-India and Latin America across the oceans, like South Africa further south.

* México: propagating in 2014 50 points to reduce violence, to solve conflicts and build peace, dividing Mexico in ten foci (federal-state-municipal being three) with five points for each, as alternative to violence. For the first time a complete peace plan for a country, like a development, environment plan.

* Adjudication vs conflict solution: The conflict between Rule of Law with punishment-violence and nonviolent conflict solution can be solved by judicial mediation, invited and propagated successfully in a number of states in Mexico from 2004; with Fernando Montiel T.

* Military approaches vs peace: The peaceful use of the military would be for negative peace, security, as defensive defense at the borders, as militia and nonmilitary defense all over, and as peace-keeping forces; but not weapons for attack. From 1971 dialogue with ministries of defense and military staffs. The concept has arrived, general practice not yet.

V Approaches to Micro Conflicts: SABONA (5)

* Couples, family: helping design numerous cooperation projects for mutual and equal benefit linking the good, positive sides always present in the parties, husband as well as wife. From victory-orientation "I am right-you not" to solution-orientation with new, joint projects; particularly important for couples in their forties when the children have left.

* Kindergarten: training teachers in not scolding shouting-fighting kids, but having them formulate the problem, proposing solutions, practicing them, training them in helping each other; from 2010 in Norway.

* School: reducing bullying, starting with the statement "what you did is unacceptable but why did you do it?", to identifying acceptable goals and solutions for bully and bullied, maybe also for teachers, administrators, parents; with children helping each other, and helping parents; from 2004 in Norway.

* University: like for schools teaching peace studies by dialogical approach to university conflicts, by using more horizontal seminars and study groups (colloquium), less vertical lecturing, at least always with dialogue; from 1951 in Norway.

* At Work: Moving production from vertical CEO-Board focused companies to People-Nature focused cooperatives with less exploitation, conditioning, segmentation, fragmentation and marginalization, more solidarity, multi-tasking, mutuality. Designing intermediate forms, processes; from 2000, all over.

VI. Approaches to Traumas (5)

* The Crusades Against Islam declared by Pope Urbain II 27-11-1095: insisting from 1990 that Pope John Paul II should distance himself in 1995; according to a Vatican Monsignore this was a factor in his February 1995 declaration that dialogue was the way, not violence.

* Germany vs Herero, the genocide massacre in Namibia in 1904: working in 2006 with the embassy and top Herero people for Germany to acknowledge what happened with apology, possibly compensation, beyond the Ministry’s "with the words of the prayer of God that we share ask you to forgive our sins".

* Turkey-Armenians-Kurds in 1915: Turkey used Kurds to drive out Armenians, an enemy high on economic-cultural power (war and genocide?). Open archives, international commission, compensation, open border Armenia-Turkey, Mt Ararat jointly administered as a Peace Mountain; from 2006.

* Denmark vs Islam over Jyllandsposten caricature 2006: proposing, and getting, Danish invitation to dialogue in return for canceling burning flags and embassies, arguing freedom of expression and right to dignity, to not being molested spiritually.

* Immigrants vs host countries: immigrants have to and respect the laws and basic norms of the host country, which in turn has to respect their culture, inviting culture dialogues for mutual learning; from 2006, particularly in Benidorm and Alfaz del Pi, Spain.

We repeat: there is no claim to have been the sole cause, only to have played a positive role, even if not necessarily decisive. If it looks like much has been achieved a major reason is that Transcend is operating in a vacuum. Nobody else does this, something similar yes, but not in the Transcend way. Our hope is not cloning which easily becomes clowning, but more, broader, deeper mediation everywhere. See Chapter [11].

The book 50/100 was published in 2008; at the same time as Transcend Media Service started with weekly editorials (, Editorial Archive). Most of them include peace visions as peace journalism, many are based on field research and dialogues.

However, much else happened around that time, in 2008. There was a major economic crash for US stocks spreading world wide, to some countries more than others (Muslim countries and China survived well). The world capitalist system proved vulnerable because a major economic fault-line was added to class: real vs finance economies. Our diagnosis: when the finance economy grows out of proportion relative to the real economy it no longer mirrors reality; the crash will come to the weakest assets. Easily predictable by comparing the growth rates before the 1987 and 2008 crashes. probable in 2016-2018. Mainstream approach: bank runs show lack of confidence, hence restore confidence by making banks pass "stress tests".

Our approach: strong limits on speculations in derivatives; separation of normal saving-investment from speculation banks.

We mention this because the crash had geo-political and geo-military consequences to protect the special status of the US$ as "world reserve currency" — meaning that trade surplus and debt are quoted in US$, meaning more demand for US good and services, and, if exchanged into local currency, commission fees for US banks — by all necessary means". What comes next? Evidently much focus on the USA.

More than ever macro and mega level conflicts became conflicts with the USA. Table 18 on this and the next page summarizes talks given dozens of times, mainly in the USA.

Fifteen conflicts, with the traditional US destructive approaches to the right, and constructive alternatives to the left.

Adding, somewhat rhetorically: USA, if you want to be hated by people all over, stick to the right hand column; if you want to be loved to the left hand column. People love to love the USA, make it less difficult for them.

All conflicts are born equal and have the same right to transformation. But conflicts centered on Israel in the Middle East and on USA all over loom high because of the high levels of violence, not by that saying that Israel and USA are the only ones to be blamed. Actually, Transcend does not blame parties but tries to identify what is wrong in their relations, and transform the relations to make peace possible.

For Israel-Palestine we have the 4 points in the 1-2-6-20 vision; for the USA the 15 points in this Table 18. No Thatcher TINA, “there is no alternative”, please. There are alternatives, for informed dialogues like all visions, right there for your eyes:










Encourage local saving banks

Publish M2 Check Fed Reserve

Tax speculation Drop bonuses

Outlaw basic need speculation

Democratic control of central banks; mixed world currency

More F than Real growth

More money than value

Serving loans not people

Countries in debt bondage

Globalization through

privatized central banks



Identify their just goals

Publish Atta Who did 9/11?

Extrajudicial execution

SOC-Drones Covert war



Palestine fully recognized, and

Two states 1967solution,

A Middle East Community Israel and 5 Arab neighbors and

Org for Sec & Cooperation

Tail wagging dog:

Israel wagging USA; AIPAC wagging Congress; Judeo-Christianity vs.Islam

Endless wars, violence

LIBYA Self-determination for parts, federalism with democracy

Attack, IS response

Unitary state illusion


Self-determination for parts,

federalism with democracy

Attack, IS response

IS excluded


Self-determination for parts,

Federalism with democracy

Kurdish autonomy

Withdrawal only:

no rebuilding,

no compensation


More high level dialogue,

Conciliation for 1953,

Human rights for Iran

One-sided nuclear “deal”

No Middle East

nuclear free zone

PAKISTAN Pashtun autonomy, drop Durand Self-determination in Kashmir

Extrajudicial execution

SOC-Drones Covert war


A non-aligned nuclear free

Central Asian Community

Federation Local autonomy

Withdrawal only;

no rebuilding,

no compensation


Peace Treaty with North

Normalization USA-North

All Korea nuclear free

Marginalizing NK

US-SK military exercises

Breaking agreements


More high level dialogue on Economics and Politics; Both

Civil and Economic rights

Encircling, sub-sat-navy

Economic exploitation within and between both


Japan in NE Asian Community

Good relations to USA, APEC+

USA pulls out of Okinawa

No conciliation NK, China

Keeping Japan as client

Subverting A9


Welcome African Unity

Build with China E-W highway


Military intervention


Welcome CELAC integration

Equity Latin/AngloAmerica


Military intervention


All human rights conventions

National self-determination

Dialogue of civilizations

Stronger UN, with parliament

Civil-political only

Unitary state models

Western universalism

US exceptionalism

Needless to say, the two columns contrast victory-orientation with solution-orientation. There is a story to go with that.

I had dialogues with Taliban inside Afghanistan and identified four clear goals: do away with the Durand Line, understand that Afghanistan is not a unitary state run from Kabul but has, say, eight, different nations; and 25,000 poor but very autonomous villages. And, please, stop invading us!

David Kucinich, then a House Representative, invited me to his suite in the office building across the street from the US Congress to meet with some of his colleagues. He introduced me, saying that I had talked with the Taliban to find out what they wanted, what was the Afghanistan they wanted to live in.

They listened to the four points and did not challenge them. Then one of them said: “the people who elected us are not interested in solutions. They are interested in this”: he held up two fingers, V for victory, “and then we will tell them the solution”! I said, but you are among their leaders, and do not leaders lead by showing other ways of thinking, other approaches? He shrugged his shoulders: democracy is by, of and for the people.

He probably read his people by and large right. And the US peace movement against war argues only "get our boys home“, not "identify underlying conflicts and solve them". Peace movements are generally not interested in solving conflicts. But other states, except Israel, are considerably less war-prone than USA. They may join "US-led coalitions", but in non-combat roles.

And yet all these standing ovations in the USA, admittedly mainly at university campuses. The US Marine recruiter on campus and the ROTC head then get up, leave, slamming the door. But not the students, even if they have grave doubts. One point: more peace studies, not only anti-war studies, might help.

Look at the left hand column again, not mesmerized by US unwillingness/inability. What WDC does not do, maybe some of the 50 states can do? Vermont? Municipalities? NGOs, not only passing resolutions, marching, but actually doing it?

If not in the USA, the world is big, there are many states and nations and the whole global super-structure, with TNCs, NGOs, IGOs. And the UN itself, with such specialized agencies as UNESCO. Where NGOs lead, states tend to follow, where other states lead USA may sooner or later follow, with or without Israel, with or without Japan. There is a difference: Israel at times dictates US foreign policy and USA obeys; USA permanently dictates Japan's foreign policy and Japan obeys.

The consequences of right column policies we know: more of the same; more terrorism, state terrorism, torturism. How about the consequences of left column policies, keeping in mind that this means reduction of the right hand column down to zero.

We might say, rhetorically: from realist to realistic policies.

Economically the policies aim at USA bringing its house in order; not living at the expense of others increasingly pulling out, like BRICS. Rich US human resources are there, but participation of the whole US society is needed for a better economy. h States doing that are at an advantage. Be realistic, give up the special status of the US$, stop printing, increase participation.

The rest is based on two principles. One is very dear to the US mind as basic for independence: self-determination, all over, not only for friends, allies, also for “foes”. Te other is a structure at which US citizens are very good: dialogue. If everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness, ask what that means, and search together for acceptable-sustainable solutions. And they live happily ever after? Till the next conflict. Then do the same.

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