According to Martin Luther King, “true peace” can only be achieved through “the presence of justice.” Since it took almost one century for the US Civil Rights Movement to emerge after the post-Civil War Reconstruction was initiated in 1865, the assumption that a peacemaker’s mission is accomplished as soon as peace breaks out could not be further from the reality of conflict environments. Not only does the real challenge of building peace starts after a war, the action of peace-building has sometimes drawn entire regions into an abyss, hence the importance of conflict prevention at all stages of conflict. Countless examples of recurring armed conflicts, protracted conflicts, account for this latter assumption. In some cases, could the search for positive peace actually maintain or lead to structural violence? If yes, what lessons can be drawn from past experiences to achieve positive peace? Can there be a solution to everlasting conflicts?
- Professor: Victoria Fontan