print Icon print this page share this article

Father of Peace Studies speaks at Civic Peace lecture

Professor Galtung Tuesday 29 January 2013

Professor Johan Galtung talks to guests of the Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies Civic Peace Lecture about the formula for peace and how reconciliation and resolution are the solutions to conflict and trauma.

In his Civic Lecture on the Four Components of Peace, Professor Johan Galtung talked about how peace concepts should be applicable across history, geography, and level of human organisation.

His lecture focused on the formula of peace which he expressed as equity x harmony/trauma x conflict.

Professor Galtung defined equity as co-operation for mutual and equal benefit, while harmony is when you suffer the suffering of others and enjoy the joy of others. The more of these factors you have in the formula the better, while the two factors in the denominator - trauma and conflict - lead to direct and structural violence. Trauma refers to the traces of violence from the past, while conflict is the threat of violence in the present or future.

In the lecture, Professor Galtung explored the formula for peace and outline four tasks required in its creation:

• Constructing Equity
• Constructing Harmony
• Reconciling Past Trauma
• Resolving Present Conflict

He drew on his experience in acting as a mediator in more than 150 conflicts all over the world during the lecture to demonstrate his formula. He also discussed major historic and current conflicts including in Palestine and discussed possible resolutions.

Professor Galtung can be considered a founding father of the discipline of Peace Studies and one of the most famous and influential thinkers, both in terms of the academic community as well as among practitioners. His TRANSCEND method is very widely used in the fields of conflict resolution and conflict transformation around the world. He is still very active with respect to publishing his path-breaking work and engaging in peacebuilding internationally.

Speaking at the event, Director of the Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Dr Stefanie Kappler, said: "We are so privileged to have such an influential academic and practitioner in peace studies speaking at Liverpool Hope. His theoretical insight and practical application is inspirational to us all."

You can watch the lecture here: