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An Evolutionary Theory of Peace

PhD Proposal

An Evolutionary Theory of Peace


University of the Free State

Bloemfontein, South Africa



prof. dr. R. Heijblom MBA



R. van Harten MBA

Almere, The Netherlands

15 August 2007


"Peace is fundamentally a function of social consciousness, social organisation and the democratization of social power and advances related to these three factors point to the possibility of achieving a permanent condition of peace between nation-states."


Table of contents

I. Introduction 6

I.1 How to read this proposal 6

I.2 Central Hypothesis and Corollary 7

I.3 Not included in the research 10

I.4 About the author 10

II. War and Peace: A brief overview 11

II.1 Is war inevitable? 11

II.2 Revolutionary and Evolutionary Change Processes 12

II.3 War, Peace and Political Organisation 14

II.4 Competitive vs. Cooperative Security 14

II.5 Peace & the Evolution of Social Consciousness 16

II.6 Consciousness and Social Organization 18

II.7 Grades or Levels of Peace 19

II.8 Peace & Development 23

II.9 Peace and business 25

II.10 The Emerging Individual 27

III. Hypothesis 28

III.1 Research Objectives 28

III.2 Central Hypothesis 28

III.3 The Three Main Factors Explained 29

1. Evolution of Social Organisation 29

2. Evolution of Social Power 30

3. Evolution of Social Consciousness 32

IV. Research Methodology 34

IV.1 Analytical Framework 34

IV.2 Research Methodology 34

IV.3 Research Topics 38

IV.4 Literature Research 39

IV.5 National - Regional - Global 42

IV.6 Integrated scale of Peace & Security 44

IV.7 Additional Literature Research 45

IV.8 Field Research: experts interviews 45

IV.9 Input through 46

IV.10 Confrontation, Analysis & Synthesis 47

V. Applications of the Research 48

V.1 Strategies for conflict avoidance and resolution 48

V.2 Implications for Social Development Theory 49

VI. Previous Research into Peace Theories 51

VI.1 Introduction 51

VI.2 Theories of War and Peace - Essays 52

VI.3 Sun Tzu On The Art Of War (~ 400 - 320 BC) 59

VI.4 Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 60

VI.5 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) 61

VI.6 Karl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831) 62

VI.7 Causes of Peace - Oneal and Russett 63

VI.8 'Integrative Theory of Peace' - H. B. Danesh 65

VI.9 'A Mini Theory Of Peace' - J. Galtung 65

VI.10 Understanding Conflict and War - R.J. Rummel 66

VI.11 Military Theory and the Future of War, M. Evans 67


Appendix A Provisional Operational Definitions

Appendix B Research Timeline



This paper is a proposal for a PhD-study by Robert van Harten on an evolutionary Theory of Peace. It is intended for review by a Promoter Committee of the University of the Free State, South Africa. The proposed supervisor is Prof. dr. R. Heijblom MBA, lecturer at University of the Free State.

The topic for this research proposal is transdisciplinary in nature, drawing on perspectives and experiences from social theory, international affairs, development economics and business management.

The research intends to pose a central hypothesis and a supporting corollary, which are to be substantiated based on existing material and own research and observations.

I.1How to read this proposal

Paragraph I.2, Central Hypothesis presents the hypothesis which will be the starting point of the research. It provides the viewpoint from which the research is to start, determines the research objectives and delimits the boundaries. Additionally, the topics that will not be covered are mentioned and the author is introduced.

Chapter II, War and Peace: A brief overviewprovides the context that eventually leads to the central hypothesis proposed here. It summarizes the author’s observations regarding the long-term developments of human societies and the role of war and peace.

In Chapter III, Hypothesis the central thesis is elaborated. The research objectives are mentioned and the three main variables of the thesis are detailed. Also the relations between peace and the development of the business community are covered.

Chapter IV, Research Methodology shows the methodology through which the author intends to conduct the research.

In Chapter V, Applications of the Research the author envisages both practical and theoretical applications of the research’s result.

Finally Chapter VI, Previous Research into Peace Theories gives a brief summary of existing historical and contemporary material on theories of war and peace, from Sun Tzu around 400 BC to work in the early 21st century.

Appendices A and B respectively provide Provisional Operational Definitions as used in this proposal and a Research Timeline.

I.2Central Hypothesis and Corollary

While war has been the subject of intensive study and commentary throughout history, little research has been done on the essential conditions for peace between nations and the possibility of a final and total elimination of war. Yet, when we more closely observe the evolution of certain key processes constituting modern civil societies and the direction in and speed with which these societies develop, we get the impression that an elimination of war is not only a possibility in some distant future, but a logical – even necessary – outcome of these existing processes. With some certainty the author dares to state that most theories of war and peace assume - implicitly - that the human consciousness is a constant. In the research the author will challenge that assumption.

Phase Changes

Social development is a process that encompasses all fields and aspects of human activity – political, economic, and social. Operationally we define social development in terms of progress on three major variables – social organization, social power and social consciousness. Organisation increases in terms of quantity, reach and efficiency. Power increases in terms of quantity, reach and effectiveness. Consciousness evolves in terms of the breadth and scope of social awareness and the quantity of information and knowledge. Coupled with a linear, quantitative movement, each of these three factors also undergoes a qualitative or phase change as society evolves from a physical to a vital to a mental stage of evolution. Metaphorically, these three stages could be compared to the three stages of matter as solid, liquid and gas. A volumetric increase in any of the three phases can be measured quantitatively and linearly. But with each change of phase the qualitative nature of society changes dramatically as the characteristics of matter change when it undergoes a phase change.

One expression of this phase change is that each phase transition brings with it an exponential or logarithmic, rather than merely a linear, increase in the rate of social change. Another expression is a qualitative difference in the relations between people and groups and their means of resolving disputes. This thesis is that the propensity for war is directly related to the phase of social development. During the physical stage, confrontation and conflict are the primary form of relationship between social groups. Exchange and competition are characteristics of the vital stage. During the mental stage, cooperation and integration become predominant. When society evolves to the mental phase of development with a wide distribution of social power through efficient decentralized organization, it enters a phase in which peace becomes of paramount importance and the willingness and capacity to avoid war reach the stage where it no longer becomes an inevitable or even a likely outcome. These are the very characteristics which Robert Cooper associates with the post-modern state and those which we find emerging in their most advanced form today among the member states of the European Union.

The author will argue that the process of social development is a function of three major factors:

  1. an increasingly effective, complex and integrated social organization,

  2. a more widespread distribution and decentralization of social power, and

  3. a progressive evolution from a physical to a vital to a mental stage of consciousness.

Progress on these three variables spurs development of society in every field, including its capacity and propensity for peace. The thesis is that the increase in these three factors will eventually lead to a stage in which war will no longer be an inevitable human activity.

The central hypothesis is that peace is, fundamentally a function of social consciousness, social organisation and the democratization of social power and advances related to these three factors point to the possibility of achieving a permanent condition of peace between nation-states.

As a corollary to this central thesis, the author postulates that the evolution of the European Union to a trans-national social organisation and its current state of peace and security in the region may serve as a model for achieving permanent peace at the global level.


The research project will seek to achieve three specific objectives:

  1. To demonstrate that an evolutionary Theory of Peace can be formulated

  2. To demonstrate that 'evolutionary' in this context means that permanent peace will eventually become inevitable

  3. To demonstrate that an increasing knowledge of the processes which drive peace can consciously accelerate the movement toward global, sustainable peace

Approach - Summary

The approach will be to examine the issue of war and peace from the wider perspective of social evolution and to identify the factors and conditions needed to achieve a permanent state of peace between nations with emphasis on the role of economics and business in that process.

For contemporary evidence of this thesis, the author will look closely at the European Union, which is at the fore-front of political, social and economic development, creating forms of governance that seem quite astounding when we look back on events only 60 years earlier.

The research methodology will make a distinction between three separate but interrelated levels: national, regional and global. Where relevant, the research will provide evidence from three contemporary examples on these levels: Northern Ireland (national), the European Union (regional) and the US - China relations (as one representation of global developments).

The author will examine a wide range of previous research that has been conducted regarding the causes of war, war avoidance, conflict resolution and peace.

Field research will consist of interviews with a wide range of distinguished experts on all major issues related to the research topics.

I.3Not included in the research

Stating the subjects, areas and domains that will not be part of the research is as important as stating the inclusions. Not included will be:

  • Violent conflict with or between non-state actors such as national and international terrorism, freedom fights, insurgence, national uprising, rebellion et cetera.

  • Violent or other conflicts at other levels than that of the nation-state such as domestic violence, violence associated with criminal activities and vandalism.

  • Non-physical ‘wars’ such as trade-wars.

  • Psychological conflicts.

Furthermore the author does not propose alternative hypotheses. The author could, for instance, state an alternative hypothesis H1 "Peace is a function of economic development". This may well be true, but we expect this starting point to be too thin a basis and insufficient an explanation of the - in the author’s view - irresistible development towards a Culture of Peace.

I.4About the author

The author’s CV was previously sent to and approved by the University.

The author has been involved for more than 30 years with work on a comprehensive theory of social development through his association with a social science research institute in India, his membership on an international commission, his work with a US-based NGO working on peace & development issues, and his involvement in a world academy.

II.War and Peace: A brief overview

This section provides the context in which the thesis was developed. Existing literature, current local, regional and global events, the author’s own interpretation, experiences and discussions provided a background for a thought process which eventually lead to the central thesis. Through this section the reader gets insight into the preceding thought processes.

II.1Is war inevitable?

The history of nations, eras and civilizations is often defined by the succession of wars that serve as landmarks for great social transitions. The siege of Troy, the wars of Alexander, the conquests of Caesar, the Norman invasion, the Crusades, the Spanish Armada, the French Revolution, and Austerlitz are the stuff of which the fabric of the historical record is woven. Often all we can recollect of bygone societies are those they invaded and conquered or were invaded and conquered by.

So great is our fascination with these momentous events, that an impression is created that war has been the dominant reality or natural state of society in the past. The fallacy of this perception becomes evident when we consider that even during prolonged periods of war, the actual field of strife was normally confined to a narrow strip of territory; the actual time spent in combat was usually interspersed with much longer periods of preparation, recovery or idleness; and the actual proportion of society engaged in that combat was normally restricted to a small portion of the total population, be they samurai or Mongol warriors, knighted legions led by a feudal lord, foreign mercenaries, young male conscripts,  or naval seamen. Viewed from this perspective we find that during most of human history, war has been the exception – a sudden, brief, localized encounter between limited forces fighting on behalf of king, country, religion or class.

If wars are events, then periods of peace may be regarded as non-events or events of a very different character. When we search back through history and focus on these peaceful non-events, we find that they dominate in space and time over the relatively transient incidents of war. Prior to the development of agriculture and sedentary societies some 10,000 years ago, it may be true that humanity consisted mostly of warrior tribes and nomadic hoards in constant warfare over territory and food sources. But after that first great step toward civilization, the entire evolution of humanity has been a progressive effort to contain and limit instances of war to brief interludes of time, localized points in space, specific categories of people, special rules of engagement, and treaties marking the beginning and end of hostilities. The very conception of a kingdom, an empire, a nation is of a contiguous area in which violent physical strife has been eliminated or controlled by rule of law or force imposed by the rulers on their people or by the population on themselves.

In his depiction of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in War and Peace, Tolstoy marvels at the fact that the outcome of a relatively brief military engagement among a small number of soldiers in opposing armies fighting a symbolic battle over a few square miles of territory is accepted by the warring nations as a decisive determinant of which nation has ‘conquered’ the other, while in fact 98% of the ‘warring’ populations and 99% of the territory of both countries remain far from the field of engagement. It is a measure of civilization that only a tiny portion of the population and territory were involved in the war. War had become a symbolic activity carried out on behalf of the entire population.

In the 20th Century, the increasing power of modern weaponry and warfare to destroy not only huge numbers of soldiers, but large civilian populations as well, has undoubtedly influenced our perceptions regarding the inevitability of war.  Yet today the nations of Europe, which live on the graveyard of the most numerous and cataclysmic wars of the past 1000 years, have moved so far beyond the relationships of conflict that defined European history for so long, that “war within Europe has become almost unthinkable,” as an eminent Dutch military expert explained to us. If war has become unthinkable over such a vast area and among so many diverse nationalities that have fought so often and so long in the past, then we must at least consider the possibility that by a similar or parallel process it may become, or perhaps is already becoming, unthinkable in other parts of the world or in the world as a whole.

The purpose here is neither to proclaim this possibility as fact or prove that it is or is not the case. The objective rather is to substantiate the need for a theoretical understanding of the place and role of war and peace in human history, so that we may not only determine the probability of eliminating war, but more importantly understand the process by which peace has and may continue to grow in predominance over war and possibly lead at some point in future to the permanent cessation and elimination of armed conflicts.

II.2Revolutionary and Evolutionary Change Processes

The attempt to evolve a theory of peace necessitates an inquiry into the role and place of war in human history. More specifically, we need to examine the role of war in both the creative and destructive processes by which one civilization or period of time has risen to replace another. For in retrospect it is evident that war has often served to destroy retrograde institutions and practices that resisted the advance of civilization. Rome ‘civilized’ Europe by conquering warring tribes and establishing the first pan-European system of law, justice, administration, and eventually religion, which accorded protection, rights, safeguards and a common culture to unite people of myriad origin. The American Revolution established the independence of what was to become, until 1947, the world’s largest liberal democracy. World War II resulted not only in the defeat of fascism and creation of the foundation for the United Nations but also the end of colonial imperialism, leading to the liberation of hundreds of millions of people from foreign domination.

On closer examination, we find that during certain periods and under certain historical conditions, war has indeed played a vital role in social change, including changes that we view in retrospect as most positive and desirable. But violent revolutionary change is not the only means by which society progresses. In fact, changes that have been brought about by violence in some places or instances have been effected by non-violent means in others. Indian Independence in 1947, which resulted in freedom and democracy for more than 300 million people, is a striking instance of a non-violent process of change that was quickly followed by the peaceful attainment of independence by dozens of other erstwhile colonial nations around the world. Early in the 19th Century, England avoided the violent revolution that wracked and wrought such havoc on the people’s and institutions of France. Instead, English society chose to extend to the general population by a slower, peaceful process the very same ideals of liberty and equality that were the motive for war in Revolutionary France.

Human progress may be described as the progressive displacement and replacement of violent means of effecting change with peaceful evolutionary processes. Duelling with swords and pistols as a means of settling disputes has long since been replaced by legal battles in the courtroom. The response of Western Europe and America early in the 20th Century to the spread of violent communist and socialist doctrines among the working classes, which threatened to sunder the very fabric of modern society, is a dramatic instance of a peaceful revolution. In this case liberal democracy stole the thunder from socialism by adopting and incorporating the essence of its objectives through political, legal and social measures such as the New Deal in America and social democracy in Western Europe.

If conflict and violent revolutions are not inevitable for social change and humankind is indeed capable of evolutionary change, it is legitimate to investigate the hypothesis that man can consciously choose between violent and non-violent change.

II.3War, Peace and Political Organisation

Aggression and compassion, the urge to dominate and the will to nurture, may be fundamental attributes of human nature, but war and peace are not merely states of mind or basic propensities of human consciousness. Otherwise, there would be no possibility of eradicating war and no obvious explanation for the decreasing place of violence as an instrument of public policy among nation states. Rather we must look to the structure and character of society, not just the character of individual human beings, to discover the factors that foster violence and those that promote peaceful settlement of disputes and distribution of rights.

Significant research has already been conducted on the relationship between the propensity for war and the nature of domestic political institutions. One striking observation has been that liberal democracies do not go to war with one another. We quote below from the report of the International Commission on Peace and Food.

This shift to multi-party democracy, when coupled with a free press and an independent judiciary, vastly reduces the threat of large-scale wars similar to those that have twice shaken the world in this century. Three factors are at play in most conflict situations: the absence of developed democratic institutions, the absence or abuse of fundamental human rights, and the inability to make those choices in the management of public policy on which good governance depends. Authoritarian governments find justification for their existence in the presence of external threats to national security, in times of war and during periods of imperialist expansionism. They have a vested interest in maintaining a state of tension or initiating conflicts. In contrast, empirical evidence shows that liberal democracies do not go to war against one another.

A study by Dean V. Babst of 116 major wars from 1789 to 1941 revealed that ‘no wars have been fought between independent nations with elective governments’ (refer also to Chapter 2).

This quote indicates that a theory of peace must also examine the underlying relationship between political institutions and change in society to identify the essential factors that foster peaceful evolutionary processes.

II.4Competitive vs. Cooperative Security

The linkage between democracy and peace points to the fundamental role of social institutions in building a world progressing by means of peaceful change. The author will argue that liberal democracy within nations is a product of the transition to the mental stage of development. It has served to virtually eliminate incidence of armed conflict between nations governed by similar political institutions. Yet the rise of liberal democracies has not entirely eliminated the threat or possibility of war. Democratic means of distributing rights and powers and settling disputes are still largely confined to the internal governance of nations. The current system of international governance remains far from democratic and equitable. The international security paradigm by which nations safeguard their sovereignty is a product of this system.

In military and political terms, the present international system may be referred to as a competitive security system in which each nation is responsible for its own defence. From the International Commission on Peace and Food - ICPF:

The competitive security paradigm is a state-centred, egocentric approach in which the security of each nation is perceived in terms of its military superiority over potential adversaries. The push of each nation for unlimited security through military power is inherently destabilizing, since it inevitably increases the level of insecurity of other sovereign states. In practice, the effort of nations to arm themselves against perceived external threats generates a sense of insecurity among other nations and compels them in turn to increase military preparedness, thus initiating a vicious spiral, as it did during the Cold War.

If competitive security is ‘inherently destabilizing’ then a state of global peace requires an alternative. The ICPF-report proposes the creation of a cooperative security system at the international level.

What is needed is a quantum shift from the competitive security paradigm to a cooperative security system in which countries mutually and collectively agree to refrain from acts of aggression and to protect each other from such acts by any nation. This principle served to protect the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries in the past, but on an exclusive basis which promoted a polarization of alliances into military blocs and, most importantly, left more than one hundred countries outside the security orbit and vulnerable to proxy wars. It should now be restructured on a global basis as a collective security system that offers protection to all nations from external aggression.

If, indeed, war within Europe has become “unthinkable” as Rob de Wijk observed, it is most likely the result of the evolution of precisely such a system of relationships among the nation-states of the European Union.

A theory striving to identify the conditions conducive to lasting peace between nation-states would have to examine the role of international security systems. A useful application of the theory would be to consider the forms which a truly cooperative international security system might take. One possible concept, a world peace army, has already been put forth by the author and advocated by ICPF in its report to the United Nations. It calls for the creation of a cooperative system open to all democratic nations willing to renounce war as an instrument of public policy and committed to defending each other against any acts of aggression from member or non-member states. While very similar in nature to the NATO system, it differs by being inclusive, rather than exclusive. NATO offers a high level of security to those that are admitted, but little or no security benefit to those that are prevented from joining. A truly cooperative system must be open to all nations.

II.5Peace & the Evolution of Social Consciousness

In the author’s view a theory of peace must investigate the role of revolution and evolution in human development and identify the factors or circumstances that make possible or promote the replacement of violent with peaceful change processes. In addition, it must consider whether there is any underlying evolutionary process that will or already is compelling a sublimation of the urge for violent change into peaceful political and social processes. One hypothesis that the author proposes to examine is that the shift from violent, revolutionary processes of social change to peaceful evolutionary change is the result of a progression of human consciousness from a physical to a mental stage of development.

Society advances through three overlapping stages of development involving changes in the relative roles of three fundamental components of individual and collective human consciousness. These three components are termed physical, vital and mental. All three components co-exist and play a role in all stages of development. The intensity of each and their relative predominance create a series of overlapping stages, rather than clearly demarcated steps. Different societies move through these stages at different times, at different rates and with variations in the relative mix of the three components. Yet despite these differences, three distinct stages can be discerned in the development of every society and in the overall development of the human community.

The physical, which is the first of these three stages, is characterized by inertia and resistance to change, a determination to preserve the status quo at all costs. Social institutions are conservative or reactionary. Power and privilege are hereditary. Aristocracy, feudalism and military conquest are archetypal institutions of the physical stage. The pace of change is very slow. Violence is a common attribute of this phase of development because it is only by the physical destruction of what is that new ideas, institutions and practices are admitted by society. Being physical in nature, these institutions were characterized by durability and inflexible rigidity. Progress to a higher stage required the dissolution of the previous physical forms, which had become fixed and ossified. Thus, war and destruction become necessary. This is the rationale for war.

In the vital stage life becomes more dynamic and flexible. It is characterized by a spirit of adventure and experimentation motivated by self-interest. Social institutions permit change that is driven by social power. Physical inheritance of power gradually gives way before the rise of money power. The power of the aristocracy shifts to the bourgeois class. Trade and competition gradually replace conquest as the primary means of expansion. Colonialism spurred by economic imperialism is a typical institution of the vital phase. It is noteworthy that the British came to India as traders for commercial gain not military conquerors and eventually absorbed India into its Empire for economic rather than military advantages. The competitiveness of nation-states reaches its acme during the vital stage leading to a competitive security paradigm based on military and political domination of the stronger over the weaker.

In the mental stage ideas, principles and ideals gradually become a powerful determinant of social change. Political freedom, social equality, economic opportunity, fairness, the rights of labour, women, minorities, smaller nations, etc. drive the process of change. The rise of liberal democracy in Western Europe and North America leading to universal suffrage, social welfare, universal education, etc. are expressions of this advancing transition within nations; while at the same time the same nations continued to exhibit the characteristics of the physical and vital stage in their external relations with one another, leading to two world wars, a cold war and intense economic competition through international trade. The creation of liberal democracies went far in eliminating the violence within nations and establishing nation states as islands of peace in a dangerous world. The further extension of this stage to the international sphere prompted the founding of the United Nations, cooperative security alliances such as NATO and, most recently, the European Union, which is an archetypal representative of institutions at this stage. The emergence of military alliances prior to political unity is a logical progression that needs to be examined and documented as part of the theory.

In the mental stage the physical resort to violence and even the competitive principle gradually give way to universal principles of fairness and justice. Except under conditions which are increasingly difficult to meet, war ceases to be viewed as a legitimate instrument of public policy. Disputes are settled according to law rather than physical strength or social influence. Physical conflict is replaced by arbitration and negotiation according to increasingly accepted universal principles. Violent change is replaced by peaceful conscious processes for effecting the transition to a more equitable, harmonious society. Fact, reason, and fairness become powerful arbiters of human affairs. Associations of nations for economic cooperation and cooperative security are institutions characteristic of the mental stage.

II.6Consciousness and Social Organization

The progression through these three stages corresponds to distinctive periods characterized by the emergence of new political and social organizations and changing relationships among people and countries. The chart below depicts these stages in the evolution of Western Europe. The dates given can only be indicative since the periods substantially overlap and the stages occur at different times in different places.





Social Units


Up to 500 BC


Warring tribes and massive migrations such as the Celts. Continuous, unorganized physical conflict before emergence of national identities, cities and other social institutions


500 BC to 500 AD

Roman Empire

Relative peace within the empire imposed military rule and political organization


500 to 1500 AD


Catholic Church and feudalism create relatively stable social environment for growth of city-states, crafts, castes and classes.


1500 to

1700 AD

Reformation & Monarchy


Emergence of larger kingdoms from the feudal fiefdoms and city-states


1700 to 1900 AD


Commercialism, colonialism and imperialism. Larger stable social units evolve for economic purposes.


1750 to 1950


Political ideas lead to revolution and the break-down of the empires and emergence of modern nation-states based on competitive security


1850 to 1950

Technological & Industrial

Application of mind to production results in emergence of societies increasingly organized around economic activities and economic organizations


1900 to 2000


Social ideas lead to emergence of stable, prosperous nations with social organizations for protection and development of citizenry




Progressive emergence of trans-national institutions for collective security among nations.




The progressive emergence of inclusive international organizations for cooperative security and prosperity such as the European Union.


II.7Grades or Levels of Peace

While war and peace are general terms that may be applied to international conflicts between nations or to civil wars within and among people inhabiting the same national territory as well as to wars between or among terrorist or criminal elements and the state, for the purposes of this discussion and proposal, the attention confines to wars between nation states.

Peace is a relatively nebulous concept which is difficult to define operationally. A basic operational definition of peace would be ‘absence of physical conflict’. Therefore, this discussion began by defining the field of inquiry in terms of war or the absence of peace. However, a definition of peace as the absence of conflict will not suffice to describe or fully explain the phenomenon of peace. This definition by exception does not sufficiently discriminate between different levels and gradations of peace. A complete conception would have to be based on a graded scale ranging from physical violence at one end to a sustainable culture of peace at the other. The graph below depicts one representation of this gradation.


A different approach would be to focus on the psychological state of people subject to a conflict. This scale starts with physical peace indicating a situation where there is no direct threat to (re)occurrence of physical conflict between parties. ‘Normal life’ (social, economic) can be lived, but there is always a clear and present danger of conflict recurring. The next level is social peace, which is followed by psychological and mental peace. Only in the latter stage there is a situation where conflict is not even on the minds of people and development at all levels of society, including the spiritual level, can be fully expressed.

A comprehensive conception of peace would have to be based on a continuum of states ranging from absence of physical strife at one end to an established, unshakeable culture of peace at the other.

The complete spectrum might be described in ascending series of stages, each corresponding to a predominant psychological attitude (see next table):


Social Stage

Psychological Attitude

War, violence, physical strife

Fear and hostility

Temporary cessation of strife

Fear, permanent tension

Permanent prevention of strife by means of force, internal or external.

Fear, unsure of future developments, dependence

Permanent prevention of strife by means of threat of force, internal or external.


Development of constructive, beneficial economic and social activities in the absence of violence or the threat of violence.

Increased confidence, but against a background of suspicion

Sublimation of the urge for physical conflict into social and economic competition.

Increased confidence

Strong positive bonds between and within social groups resulting from beneficial social and economic interchange.

Enough confidence for entrepreneurship and future planning

Strong positive bonds created by a sense of common identity, such as among members of the same nation-state.

Security, confidence

Legal and institutional measures to preserve peace and avoid conflict*.

Room for idealism, trust

Emergence of private morale sentiment and public conscience in favour of permanent peace

Culture of peace becomes a realistic concept

Emergence of ideals prohibiting the use of violence and resort to war.

Fully confident in future developments

Establishment of a settled culture of peace.

Conflict is unthinkable or ‘unshakeable culture of peace’


*The emergence of strong legal and institutional safeguards for peace are illustrated by efforts in the 20th Century to prohibit the use of certain classes of weapons, such as the international conventions banning the use of chemical and biological weapons and the 1995 case before the International Court of Justice to outlaw nuclear weapons.

A progression up the hierarchy from violence to peace, we will argue, will correspond with a declining possibility and probability of war. One stage in this progression would involve a definitive change in public opinion regarding the desirability and acceptability of war. While it may be difficult for many to conceive that historically the public - even in democratic nations - has favoured or encouraged resort to armed conflict, this has in fact been the case until recent times. Prior to the commencement of World War I there was strong public sentiment in Great Britain favouring war with Germany, “to bash the Kaiser” as one report described it.

By examining the relationship between public perception, public opinion and public conscience and the onset of hostilities, we should find evidence for this progression. An exploration of the impact of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US or support among America’s large Irish Catholic population for the on-going hostilities in North Ireland may reveal that ‘9-11’ was a significant reason for the unilateral renunciation of violence by the Irish Republican Army in the summer of 2005. A similar relationship may have influenced the renunciation of violence by the ETA in Basque.

An important part of the research must be the examination of the relationship between gradations of peace and the stages of human evolution. We hypothesize that a graded relationship does in fact exist that can be depicted as follows:



Motive force


Physical stage


Conflict & conquest

Vital stage



Mental stage

Ideas, knowledge

Compromise & cooperation

Higher mental stage

Ideals, values

Harmony & Reconciliation


The theory of peace will consider the steps and means by which society advances through subsequent stages to arrive at the point at which war becomes “unthinkable”, as it has among the nations of Western Europe today.

II.8Peace & Development

The progressive containment of violence is only one significant attribute of the advance of civilization since ancient times. Alongside it there have been parallel advances in political, economic, and social development. As can be found in the field of Human Science, the progress in each of these fields is, in fact, related to and dependent on progress in the other fields as well. Therefore, the research needs also to examine the impact of political, economic and social development on the advance of a culture of peace.

The essential linkage between peace and human development was clearly brought out in the report of the International Commission on Peace & Food cited below:

The main prerequisite and condition for the fulfilment of the world’s many different potentials is peace. As democracy supports peaceful relations between states, economic prosperity and fuller development of people, peace makes possible the development of stable political institutions, more productive economic activity and a more civilized and enlightened social life. ... A comprehensive perspective and integrated approach to these inter-related issues can lead to a major breakthrough on multiple fronts.

It will be relevant to the research to consider the mutuality between peace and development i.e. both the contribution of peace to human development as well as the contribution of human development to the establishment and maintenance of a lasting peace.

A theory of peace has great relevance to the field of economic development and business. The impact of peace on the development and prosperity of modern nation states is evident. There is also significant evidence that development and economic incentives can constitute a powerful lever for the establishment and maintenance of peace. President Nixon’s surprise visit to China at the height of the Cold War confrontation between democracy and communism in 1972, the first visit of a sitting US President, can be seen in retrospect as the take-off point for the establishment of the strong economic ties between China and USA that exist today. Despite the fact that both countries continue to embrace diametrically opposite ideological doctrines, war between these erstwhile enemies has become unlikely, although not yet unthinkable, in view of the enormous economic interdependence that has arisen between them.

The progressive elimination of violence in North Ireland over the past 15 years culminating in the renunciation of violence by the IRA illustrates the importance of this interrelationship. The incidence of violence has already come down close to zero from peak levels in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The immediate and direct causes of the violence are religious, political and social differences that date back for centuries. But the immediate, if indirect, reason for the cessation of violence may well be contributed to the rapid economic advancement of the Republic of Ireland. Violence in the North and prosperity in the South may not, at first, appear related, but a careful inquiry reveals a close linkage between the issues. Ireland has long been considered the economic basket case of Europe. Perhaps no other country in the world has ‘exported’ a larger percentage of its population to other nations. The USA alone has a population of Irish Americans ten times greater than the population of Ireland. In contrast, North Ireland always enjoyed a relatively higher standard of living under British rule that made it the first and most attractive destination for emigrating Irish Catholics. In recent decades, a combination of immigration from the South and higher birth rates among Catholics in the North have threatened the majority position of North Ireland Protestants, intensified Catholic demands for union with the Republic, and heightened tensions between the two communities in the North. At the same time, Catholics in the South have always actively supported reunification with the North and terrorism in the North as a possible solution to their own economic quagmire. Thus, Ireland’s impoverishment was always a significant contributor to violence in North Ireland.

This situation prevailed for generations, until the economic take-off of the Republic during the past 15 years, when Irish living standards rose from 85% to 110% of the levels prevailing in the UK. Ireland’s economic achievements were the result of its entry into the European Union, a very aggressive program to raise educational standards, and liberal economic policies. Until 2000, UK was the single largest destination for large scale immigration from the South. Since then, the tables have reversed, and immigration from UK to the Republic is three times higher than movement in the other direction. During this period employment opportunities in the Republic have doubled. This rapid economic development has had both direct and indirect impacts on violence in the North. Rising levels of education and rising standards of living in the South have channelled domestic energies from political protest into economic activity. The shortage of skilled workers in the South has opened up opportunities for educated youth from North Ireland, providing them an attractive alternative to violence. The Irish Republic has adopted more moderate and peaceful policies required to attract foreign investment and open up foreign markets. The reversal of immigration trends has reduced demographic pressures on the Protestant majority in the North. These and related factors have been sufficient to reduce tensions and receptivity for violence in both societies below threshold levels, culminating in the recent peace offerings. It is noteworthy that neither the religious nor the political differences behind violence in the North have been eliminated, but the supportive  environment for violence has been undermined, making it increasingly difficult for protests to express as terrorists acts.

We will argue that what happened in Ireland occurred 'by itself', unconsciously. To possess the knowledge to induce it consciously is to take civilization a step forward. In Ireland prosperity was unconsciously developed and violence ousted from the other end. A theory of peace that uncovers the underlying processes would validate the wisdom of a reverse process, i.e. to consciously develop and establish peace as a basis for growing and lasting prosperity.

II.9Peace and business

The observations regarding Ireland point to the more general issue of the role of business in a theory of peace. International business requires a highly developed myriad of social relations, from a hierarchical boss - employee relation to a WTO-like institution. A central tenet of the hypothesis is that conducive conditions for lasting peace are created by the evolution of stable social organisation – social organisation within the nation-state promotes peace within its borders and social organisation at the regional and global level promotes peace internationally. Multiple papers have been written on the positive relation between international organizations and peace as documented in Chapter VI. We will add to this interpretation the dimension of social organizations at all levels of human interrelations. Internationally, the emerging social organisation may include all fields of human activity -- military political, legal, judicial, economic, educational and scientific, and even sports. These organizational linkages may be formal or informal -- the direct result of government action, such as the Olympics or the Global Weather Watch, or the result of initiative by non-government organisations – religious institutions, scientific bodies or business organizations. Together they constitute a subtle web of relationships between peoples, organizations and nation-states.

Some of the earliest and most advanced forms of social organisation internationally have been institutions to support international trade and finance such as banking, shipping and telecommunications. Today the process of globalization is being driven and lead by commercial organizations and economic factors. Military alliances exist between some nations and within some regions, but not at the global level. The UN is the closest the world has come to evolving a global political organisation but it has yet to emerge as an effective global institution. Whereas in the field of business, global organisation is very well developed. Truly global arrangements are in place for sourcing of materials and marketing of finished products, for recruitment of labour and outsourcing of work, for transfers and investment of money, for transfers of technology. Internationally intellectual property rights are safeguarded by legal norms which are very widely accepted even if they are not uniformly enforced. Generalized accounting practices are being adopted globally. Similar systems of business management, strategic planning, advertising, marketing, production, information management, recruitment, training, compensation are utilized throughout the world. In this sense, business is a field in which the emergence of a truly global social organisation is most advanced.

Based on the hypothesis that social organisation is a driving force for peace, we would then expect to find that the rapid development of the global organizational of business is playing a significant role in creating conducive conditions for peace between nations. Empirically, there is much anecdotal evidence to support this view.

At the same time it is evident that business has also played an important role in the militarization of nations, equipping them with the capacity and, in some cases, the motive for aggression. But these factors arise most directly from the benefits that accrue to the military-industrial complex within nations, not from the emergence of the global organisation of business referred to here. In any case, the research will need to examine both the positive and negative impact that business has on peace. Furthermore, while defence industries may derive direct benefits from war and militarization, the entire spectrum of global businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, retail and service sectors contribute in varying measures to the formation of the global social organisation that benefits from and depends for its stability on maintenance of peace.

II.10The Emerging Individual

The hypothesis is that peace is a natural product of the social evolution of the collective from smaller and exclusive to larger and inclusive units of social organization. As society has evolved more complex, integrated and stable organizations, the areas of peace and stability have widened from the local to the international level. At the same time, the basic unit of society – the individual – has also been evolving in his consciousness and in the organisation of his personality.

During the physical and vital stages of social evolution, the development of the collective has gone hand-in-hand with the subordination of the individual to the needs of the collective. Society has imposed conformity and uniformity on its members in order to ensure a certain level of stability and cohesiveness. Religion, caste, and class are powerful institutions to confine individuals within predictable limits. This trend has begun to change as societies move into the mental phase. While basic education is primarily a force for socialization, the development of critical thinking, access to information and proclamation of freedom and equality have gradually undermined the monopoly of the collective, leading to the emergence of greater individual variation in thought, word and deed. The average individual citizen today is not only more educated, informed and productive than his predecessors, he is also more organized as an individual with his own distinct viewpoints and value systems.

In other words, the progression of society from local to national and international levels of organisation corresponds with a progressive development of the members of society from collective clones into distinct individuals with their own individual structures of organization. Character is a socially-inherited expression of collective values and traits. Personality is a uniquely individual expression of the distinctive organisation of a single person. We may discover that the ultimate formula for peace in the world is the full development of individuality within a highly integrated social organization.


This proposal is about conducting transdisciplinary research on the subject of peace between nations drawing on relevant perspectives and experiences from social theory, international affairs, development economics and business management.

The study will focus on the impact of social organization, the distribution of social power and the development of social consciousness on the prospects for abolishing war between nation-states. It will examine the evolution of these three factors to assess their impact on international affairs. It will also examine the impact of the same three factors on the development of international business and explore the linkages and interrelationships between the globalization of business and the prospects for world peace.

A research-timeline in Appendix B provides an approximation of the time required for each major phase of the research.

III.1Research Objectives

The research project will seek to achieve three specific objectives:

  1. To demonstrate that an evolutionary Theory of Peace can be formulated

  2. To demonstrate that 'evolutionary' in this context means that permanent peace will eventually become inevitable

  3. To demonstrate that an increasing knowledge of the processes which drive peace can consciously accelerate the movement toward global, sustainable peace

III.2Central Hypothesis

The hypothesis starts with the assumption that peace is a function of social consciousness, social organisation and the democratization of social power and that advances in social consciousness, organisation and power point to the possibility of achieving a permanent condition of peace between nation-states. We will argue that the combination of these three evolutionary movements is creating conditions conducive to the emergence of a global culture of peace and a world without war between nation states.

Thus the central hypothesis as already stated in the Introduction to this proposal:

Peace is fundamentally a function of social consciousness, social organisation and the democratization of social power and advances related to these three factors point to the possibility of achieving a permanent condition of peace between nation-states.

  • As a corollary to this central thesis, we postulate that the evolution of the European Union to a trans-national social organisation and its current state of peace and security in the region may serve as a model for promoting permanent peace at the global level.

III.3The Three Main Factors Explained

Humanity has come to believe that armed conflict is inevitable and that the urge to physical conflict is an invariable part of human nature. In the study the author will examine three main factors in human social development that indicate the contrary may be true, i.e. that human nature is naturally evolving towards a Culture of Peace.

1. Evolution of Social Organisation

The evolutionary progression of society from smaller to larger units of organisation corresponds to an increasing capacity to maintain peaceful relations within the boundaries of that organization, be it a family, village, feudal fiefdom, kingdom, nation-state, empire or the entire international community. Peace then, is a natural product of the progression from smaller to larger units of social organization. This organizational progression can be regarded as part of the more general evolution of society that has resulted in the emergence of modern liberal democracies, international institutions and highly developed economies.

The evolution of the modern nation-state system marks a stage in which organized violent conflict within national borders has been almost entirely eliminated for the first time in history. At the same time, the organisation of the nation-state system has prompted unprecedented violence between states, because it has not yet been able to evolve an organisation at the international level with the same integrity and coherence as it has at the national.

For this reason the evolution of the European Union is of immense significance to the future of global peace and security. The EU is an enormously complex organisation based on post-modern principles that has created conditions of peace between erstwhile enemy nations and a Culture of Peace spanning an entire continent. For the first time, nations have at least partially succeeded in overcoming the obstacle of national sovereignty in forging peaceful relations on an apparently permanent basis.

We state that the future evolution of global peace depends partially on the evolution of organisation at the global level. While up to now most attention and effort has focused on global political organization, the thesis will examine the role of other prominent forms of organization, both formal and informal, of which economy and business are the most advanced.

2. Evolution of Social Power

The progressive emergence of peace is also associated with the evolution from a concentration of power in centralized structures to a much wider distribution of power within society. In the early stages of social evolution, we observe a tendency for concentration of power in each larger unit of society that emerges: from the authority of the head of family or clan to the authority of the priest, the military ruler, the king and the emperor. The centralization of power in these units, which is backed by force or the threat of force, has played an essential role in establishing peace and stability within ever larger social units.

This evolution finally led to the emergence of sovereign nation-states whose primary objective was to establish a central authority capable of maintaining peace and security within national borders. Ironically, the nation-state system, through the concentration of power and resources, resulted in more powerful, centralized structures capable of waging war on a much larger scale over much longer distances and for periods of time. An organisation intended to ensure peace became the principle instrument and occasion for war.

However, even as the nation-state was still in the process of gathering power, a series of revolutionary social changes were occurring which would eventually undermine the war-making capabilities of national governments by redistributing power from the rulers to the people. These movements included the Reformation which reduced the power of the Church, universalisation of education which increased the common man’s knowledge and awareness of his rights, democratization which made governments responsible to and dependent on the will of the governed, the advent of the commercial and industrial ages which shifted power from the traditional landed aristocracy to a new moneyed class, the rise of the scientific community and academia as autonomous centres of intellectual authority, universal suffrage for women and minorities, the rise of modern corporations, extension of social welfare to the common man, development of the media and low cost communication networks accessible to all, the growing importance of non-governmental organizations and, most recently, the emergence of the Internet.

All these movements have one thing in common. They all increase the responsibility and accountability of centralized power structures while at the same time redistributing various types of power away from the arbitrary action of national governments.

At the same time these social changes also help bring about a relative shift in the emphasis from physical force to social vitality. No longer is military power the sole arbiter of international affairs. Economic strength and national vibrancy have become far more important determinants of international relations. To a significant extent there has been a shift from Power of Might to power that is less physical and static and more vital and dynamic, power based on relationship and productive activity. We term this the Power of Life.

With the end of the balance of power between nation-states that dominated the industrialized world for three centuries, the decentralisation of power set in. The first sign of a power-shift from central bodies to the individual was the distribution of voting-right to the common people in the early 20th century. A paradigm shift enforced by the Cold War eventually led to power shifts from national to trans-national bodies where (parts of) absolute sovereignty of the nation-state was voluntarily transferred. Foreseeable next stages are groups of trans-national bodies followed by a trans-international body where nation-states no longer exist, all based on voluntary cooperation and to mutual benefit. This trend may be leading to a universal condition in which centralized power is converted into sovereign rights and powers, distributed to every individual human being.

In present day European Union, power has taken on a new identity. A paradigm shift enforced by the Cold War led to power shifts from national to trans-national bodies where some parts of the sovereignty of the nation-state have been voluntarily transferred. From a period where small elite groups of statesmen and military leaders divided the world and determined national borders, we have come to a stage where national central power is diluted to a level where governments no longer have a monopoly on law-making and there are possibilities for the individual – in countries with referenda – to initiate legal change.

Conflicts – even territorial disputes that still exist today – are approached with reference to national and international law, common norms, and founded on values and morality. Lawsuits, negotiation, mediation and reconciliation are present day methods of conflict resolution. This stage marks a further transition from the Power of Life to a more mental approach through ideals and values, which are the domain of the mind and can therefore be called Power of Mind.

One expression of the increase of power at the individual level are cases of accumulation of individual power through wealth exceeding that of certain national governments. “The world’s three richest people have more money than the poorest 48 nations combined”. The same is true for a number of multinational companies. The research will have to address this phenomenon of a seeming re-concentration of power through the accumulation of wealth.

The shift in power described here has profound implications for global peace. War between nations depends on the capacity of national governments to mobilize internal support and external coalitions to pursue the path of aggression. Citizens of democratic nations today are better informed and protected, more empowered and assertive, less passive and submissive than ever before. National governments are more dependent than ever before on the cooperation or at least the tacit consent of other governments. The study will examine the implications for global peace of this power shift from the collective to the individual.

3. Evolution of Social Consciousness

The emergence of a global culture of peace is also influenced by a third movement parallel to the evolution of organisation and the evolution of power. It can best be characterized as the evolution of human consciousness from a predominantly physical to an increasingly mental stage of development. Early human society was the life of gatherers and hunters, whose survival was based almost exclusively on what was produced by their physical environment. Over time human interactions and human interrelations themselves generated new fields of activity and sustenance – crafts, trade, education, governance, etc. Society itself became vitally productive, through the evolution of language, family life, cities, vocational skills and social systems that defined relationships and organize activities. More recently, the field of production has evolved further from primary reliance on physical resources and human interchange to an increasing reliance on the creative powers of the human mind to devise new fields of activity and more effective ways of functioning. Ideas, inventions, and values have become more productive. Technology, education, social organizations, and the Internet are products of this shift. In everyday life the physical environment and human relations remain essential fields and determining factors, but the mental consciousness is increasingly exercising power over them through ideas and values that elevate them to higher levels of harmony and integration.


We will argue that the evolution from physical to mental results in a decreasing emphasis on physical violence and force as the means for protection, settlement of differences or enhancement of power. During the vital stage, emphasis shifts more from confrontation to competition and from destructive violence to mutually beneficial relationships. The mental stage brings with it the establishment of a legal and institutional framework for settlement of differences. At this stage, cooperation supersedes confrontation and competition as the principle basis for human relationships at all levels.

IV.Research Methodology


This chapter outlines the way the research is proposed to be executed. A graphic overview of the research is presented in this chapter, followed by details on the various phases.

IV.1Analytical Framework

We start from the assumption that society is an integrated whole, a living organism, and that all aspects are interrelated and intertwined with a complex social fabric consisting of ideas, cultural values, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, aspirations, customs and habits. As a result changes in any field of society impact on and are related to corresponding changes in other fields. In other words, intellectual, political, economic, social and technological development are various aspects and expressions of a single process. The evolution of universal education, liberal democracy, technological advancement and economic prosperity are some expressions of this process. The propensity and capacity for peaceful relationships is also an expression of this process which is made increasingly likely as society makes the transition into the mental stage of development.

For this reason, we conclude that the search for a valid theory of peace must originate from a coherent and cohesive perspective of the whole process of social evolution and be sought in a hypotheses which fully takes into account the integrity of the whole, as opposed to approaching the subject from the perspective of one or more of its separate parts. Methodologically this leads us to adopt a deductive analytical framework to test the validity of the thesis.

IV.2Research Methodology

On the next page an outline of the research methodology is presented graphically.


IV.3Research Topics

For the purposes of research, the thesis has been broken down into several topics, depicting the line of thought from the evolution of social consciousness to commercial and economic integration.

Society is evolving in consciousness through three stages – physical, vital and mental.

The evolution of social consciousness expresses through an increasing efficient complex and integrated social organization.

As the social organisation evolves it acquires increasing power and distributes that power more widely in society.

The evolution of commercial and economic organisation is one of the principle fields through which society expresses the evolving social consciousness and distribution of social power.

At the national level, this process of evolution has already been completed in the liberal democratic nation-states of Western Europe and elsewhere resulting in domestic zones of permanent peace within national boundaries.

The propensity of nation-states to go to war depends not merely on their internal development but on the development of the international social framework of which they form a part.

At the regional level, this process of evolution is very advanced within the European Union where the social organisation transcends the boundaries and limits of the nation-state, resulting in a regional zone of peace that has virtually eliminated the possibility of war between its members.

The evolution of commercial and economic organisation of society has been one of the principle fields through which the EU has forged a unifying social consciousness, organisation and distribution of social power.

At the global level, the process of evolution in consciousness, social organisation and social power is still in the early stages of development in which nation-states have not yet been fully integrated within a larger cohesive organizational framework with widely distributed social power.

Globalization of commercial and economic organisation is one of the most significant fields through the international community is forging a integrated social framework for permanent peace and security.

Commercial and economic integration can be consciously utilized as an effective means to promote peace and security in regions or between nations still subject to violent conflict.

IV.4Literature Research

During the research, two phases of Literature Research are distinguished. The first is a research of existing sources on all related subjects (see list below). Analysis and synthesis of the material will provide topics for the following phases. It is expected that on certain topics additional, and perhaps more detailed research will be required. That then is the second phase of the Literature Research (see also § IV.7).

The preliminary list of existing sources to be researched was drawn from the following Literature Research keywords which in turn resulted from the Research Postulates above.

    • Peace, Security

      • -Sustainable, lasting, social peace

      • -Theories of ~

    • Social & Human Consciousness

    • Physical, Vital, Mental in relation to social consciousness

    • Organization, Social Organization

    • Power, Democratization of Power, Social Power

    • Theory (of Peace)

    • Social Development

    • Evolution

    • War, conflict & theories of ~

    • Nation, Nation State

    • Modern, Pre-modern and Post-modern nation states

    • Business community, Economics, Business, Economy

    • Globalization

    • Europe, European Union, European region

    • Local, Regional, Global

    • Democracy, Liberal Democracy

    • North Ireland conflict

    • USA – China relations

    • India – Pakistan conflict

    • Arab – Israel conflict

The sources given are only illustrative of the type of research material we propose to examine. Where possible, we will focus on literature of the last decade apart of course from some obligatory 'classics'.

Theories of war

  • No Time to Kill, Bruce Roth (2005)

  • On War, Carl Von Clausewitz, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (1976, rev.1984)

  • A Study of War by Q. Wright (1942)

  • Man, the State and War, K. N. Waltz (1959)

  • Origins of Major War, Dale C. Copeland (2000)

  • Causes of War & Conditions of Peace, J. C. Garnett

  • Strategy in the Contemporary World, J. Baylis, J. Wirtz, E. Cohen & C. S. Gray (2002)

  • The Wages of War, J. D. Singer (1972)

  • Correlates of War, J. D. Singer project at University of Michigan

  • Accounting for International War, J. D. Singer in Journal of Peace Research (1981) 18, 1-18.

  • Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram (1974)

  • Problematics of Military Power: Government, Discipline and the Subject of Violence, Michael Drake (2002)

Theories of peace

Additional to what has been mentioned in Chapter VI

  • Ways of War & Peace by M. Doyle

  • Swords into Plowshares by Inis Claude (1964)

  • A Working Peace System by David Mitrany (1946)

  • Peacemaking and the Consultant’s Role by C. R. Mitchell (1981)

  • Power and the Pursuit of Peace by F. H. Hinsley (1963)

  • Making Peace by A. Curle (1971)

  • Origins of the First World War by J. Joll (1984)

  • Origins of the Second World War by P. Finney

  • World Since 1945 by P M. H. Bell (2001)

  • Decolonization by R. Betts (1998)

  • End of the Cold War by M. Hogan (1992)

Competitive vs. cooperative security

  • Uncommon Opportunities, International Commission on Peace & Food

  • Common Responsibilities, Jasjit Singh, (2004)

  • New Agenda for Global Security: Cooperating for Peace and Beyond by S. Lawson (1995)


  • Three volume study of the nuclear disarmament movement by Lawrence S. Wittner: I = "One World or None"; II = "Resisting the Bomb"; III = "Toward Nuclear Abolition; A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971-Present"

  • The Human Right to Peace and other works, Douglas Roche


  • Sources of Social Power by N. Elias (2000)

  • Nations before Nationalism by J. Armstrong (1982)

  • Nations and Nationalism by E. Gellner (1983)

  • History of the English Speaking People, by Winston Churchill (1956)


  • Nationalism and the State by J. Breuilly (1982)

  • The State of the Nation by J. A. Hall (1998)

  • Nationalism and Modernism by A. Smith (1998)

  • Nations and States by H. Seton –Watson (1977)

Globalization & Global Governance

  • Globalization of World Politics by John Baylis & Steve Smith (2005)

  • Beyond Westphalia by Gene M. Lyons & Michael Mastanduno (1995)

  • Globalization & the Nation-State by R. Holton (1998)

  • Global Trends and Global Governance by Paul Kennedy (2002)

  • Ideal of Human Unity by Sri Aurobindo

  • Three Waves of Globalization – A History of Developing Global Consciousness by R. Robertson (2003)

  • Democracy & The Global Order by D. Held (1995)

  • A New World Order by A. M. Slaughter (2004)

  • Global Governance and the New Wars by M. Duffield (2001)

  • Global Transformations: Politics, Economics & Culture by D. Held & A. McGrew

  • International Law and International Relations by Craig J. Barker (2000)

  • Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government by Paul Kennedy

  • International Organizations by Clive Archer (1992)

  • “Conscience of the World: Influence of Non-Governmental Organizations in UN System by P. Willetts (1996)


  • Liberalism and democracy -- Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakarai (2003)

  • On Liberal Peace by J. MacMillan

Globalization of business

  • The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman (2006, 2nd edition)

  • Borderless World, K. Ohmae (1990)

  • Business 2010, Frederick Harmon (2005)

  • Global Political Economy, R. O’Brien & M. Williams (2004)

  • Global Transformations, D. Held (1999)

  • Political Economy and the Changing Global Order, R. Stubbs & G. R. D. Underhill (2000)

  • Uncentralized organizations, Harlan Cleveland

Globalization of industries

  • Financial services – Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock – story of Visa International plus current periodicals

  • Cell phones – current periodicals

  • Automotive industry – current periodicals

  • Computer industry – current periodicals

Social integration of companies

  • The Vital Difference by Frederick Harmon and Garry Jacobs

  • Internet as a global organisation for business

  • Internet Galaxy by M. Castells (2001)

  • Rise of the Network Society by M. Castells (2004)

  • Global Internet Economy by B. Kogut (2003)

Process of Social Development

  • Uncommon Opportunities, International Commission on Peace & Food (1994)

  • Human Choice by Harlan Cleveland and Garry Jacobs (1999)

  • Research papers on theory of social development by The Mother’s Service Society, India

Social history of Europe - subjects

  • Evolution from feudalism to democracy

    • Renaissance, Reformation & Enlightenment

    • Birth of modern science

    • Education

    • Universal suffrage

    • Rise of the individual

  • Peace & Security in Europe

    • History of war & peace in modern Europe

    • NATO

    • European defence strategy in the 21st Century

Origin & evolution of the European Union

  • The Constitution of Europe by J. H. Weiler (1999)

  • Europe’s Experimental Union by B. Laffan, R. O’Donnell, M. Smith (1999)

  • European Integration Theory by A. Wiener & T. Diez (2004)

  • Response of Eastern Europe to emergence of the European Union

IV.5National - Regional - Global

The research is built up from national to regional to global level, following the logical progression from small to large through time.

Where necessary, the provisional operational definitions presented in this proposal will be worked out in more detail.

National level

  • Document the evolution of the physical, vital and mental stages of development in Europe by historical research on the general characteristics associated with each stage and their linkages with the development of main social issues such as education, democracy, the nation-state, rule of law, distribution of power and evolution of social organization.

  • Document the evolution of social organizations in Europe by historical research, particularly those organizations related to war and peace, rule of law, exercise and distribution of power, feudalism, monarchy, commerce, economy, the nation-state, empire and the post-modern state.

  • Examine the relationship between the evolution of the nation-state, the propensity for war and the maintenance of internal law and order within the state.

  • Document the evolution of social power and its distribution in Europe by historical research, particularly with relation to the evolution of social consciousness, war and peace, rule of law, evolution of social organizations, feudalism, monarchy, the nation-state, empire and the post-modern state, business and economics.

  • Examine social development theories regarding the process of evolving consciousness, creation and evolution of social organizations, and distribution of social power and their relationships with one another and with social peace and stability.

  • Examine evidence regarding the thesis that liberal democracies do not go to war with one another.


Regional Level

  • Examine the evolution of the European Union in terms of social consciousness, organisation and distribution of social power.

  • Examine the role of business and economy in the evolution of the EU.

  • Examine evidence regarding the propensity for war and peace within and outside the EU.


Global Level

  • Examine the evolution of the global community in terms of social consciousness, organisation and distribution of social power.

  • Examine the role of business and economy in the evolution of the global community.

  • Examine evidence regarding the trends and tendencies toward war avoidance and lasting peace at the global level.

IV.6Integrated scale of Peace & Security

According to the hypothesis, Peace is a function of three variables: consciousness, power and organization. The relative development of each nation state on all three variables could be plotted in a 3-dimensional scale defined by three axes, as shown in the graph below.


The resulting points within the graph will give an indication of the relative position of each nation on a ‘scale of peace & security’. The virtual ‘end’ of the scale indicates a situation of permanent peace & security. A nation that scores relatively low on all three variables (‘nation 1’ in the example) will show an overall low score, i.e. a position far removed from the ultimate state, in other words prone to violent conflict. Not only nations, also regions and even the global community can be plotted on this scale.

Note that the origin of the scale is not shown, since it is indefinable. It would indicate a world without social consciousness, -organisation and –power, i.e. prior to human existence. For this research, the scale will start at a not further defined point, roughly at the beginning of early family life.

This part of the research will be executed as follows:

  • Develop an integrated scale of peace & security assessing the relative development of a nation on the three parameters of social consciousness, social organisation and social power and assign quantitative values to the scale.

  • Identify three groups of nations that fall within the categories referred to by Robert Cooper as pre-modern, modern and post-modern.

  • Rank the countries in terms of the scores on the three variables, resulting in a position on the scale of peace & security.

  • Correlate these scores with the opinions of independent experts on the long term peace and stability of countries in each of these three groups.

  • The same will be done at the Regional and the Global level by assessing and plotting the status of the European Union and that of the global community.

IV.7Additional Literature Research

Based on the execution of the first part of the Literature Research, we may expect to find topics that will require additional and perhaps more detailed research. Additionally, the development of the Field Research and of the cases to be studied may require additional examination of existing literature. The execution of this part of the literature research will not principally differ from the first part.

IV.8Field Research: experts interviews

A tentative list of experts has been identified for personal consultations during all phases of the research.

Peace & Security

  • Peace & security in Europe – prof. dr. Rob de Wijk, The Netherlands

  • Competitive vs Cooperative security – Jasjit Singh, Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies; former member of Pugwash International Executive Council and Director Indian Institute of Defence Studies & Analysis, New Delhi

  • Role of UN, NATO, Marshall Plan – Harlan Cleveland, former US Ambassador to NATO & US Asst Secretary of State for International Affairs

  • Jonathan Granoff, President global Security Institute, USA;

  • Senator Douglas Roche, Chairman of Middle Powers Initiative, Chairman of the Canadian Pugwash Group, formerly Canadian Ambassador to the UN for Disarmament;

  • Ivo Slaus, President of Croatian Pugwash; President of South East Europe division of the World Academy of Art & Science; member of the Club of Rome.

  • Lincoln Bloomfield – Professor, Political Science, MIT, emeritus; directed MIT’s arms control project, former Director of Global Issues in the National Security Council, USA.

Business, Global developments

  • Globalization of companies mergers & acquisitions – Fons Trompenaars, managing director of THT Trompenaars, Hampden-Turner

  • Global business trends – Fred Harmon, business consultant and author Business 2010, former President of American Management Association International and Management Centre Europe.

  • USA-China business – Tong Schraa Liu, partner and senior consultant at Trompenaars, Hampden-Turner

  • Globalization of money -- Garry Jacobs, business consultant and author; Chairman of the Committee on Peace & Development, World Academy of Art & Science; Executive Director of the International Centre for Peace & Development, USA; Vice President, the Mother’s Service Society, India.

  • Rising expectations, un-centralised organizations & China – Harlan Cleveland, former Assistant Secretary of State, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, author

  • Post modern state – Robert Cooper [possibly, not confirmed], British diplomat, political thinker and Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

  • Globalization – Walter T. Anderson, President of the World Academy of Art & Science, author and expert on globalization.

  • Internet as social organisation – Robert Macfarlane, business consultant and author.

  • Emerging global scenarios – Jon Peterson, President, Arlington Institute, USA.

  • International development issues – Robert J. Berg, senior advisor to the UN on development and education issues, Trustee of World Academy of Art & Science

IV.9Input through

As an alternative way of collecting evidence to support the Thesis we propose to open and run a section on under the title “Theory of Peace”. Parallel to the advance of the research we will add content and invite a broad range of contributors to comment. Their comments will sensitize the content to other viewpoints and allow us to acquire input from a wide variety of sources.

IV.10Confrontation, Analysis & Synthesis

When all material has been collected, the evidence will have to be analyzed and synthesized. All data from the various sources will be evaluated in order to either validate or invalidate (parts of) the thesis.

V.Applications of the Research

Peace – and its opposite, war – has a major impact not only on everyday life, but on global and timeless processes evolving from the very start of humanity. Hence, the relevance of a Theory of Peace may well be expected to be of significant magnitude to such varying fields as (the theory of) social development, current and future conflicts, business development, global security systems et cetera. This chapter provides current views on the possible application of results envisaged.

V.1Strategies for conflict avoidance and resolution

The relationship between peace and economic development points to a graded hierarchy of social needs akin to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of individual needs which can be depicted as a pyramid with the most basic physical needs for sustenance and physical security at the base

Maslow’s model posits that the higher needs can only come into force and exercise their power once the lower needs are met. But it may also be that the higher needs have the capacity to exercise sovereignty over the lower needs in some cases. This possibility is consistent with the fact that military conflicts have often been resolved or avoided in the past by resort to political processes, as the inevitable resort to a violent Freedom struggle in India was avoided by a peaceful transition of power. It is also consistent with instances in which economic incentives have been used as an incentive to stop or prevent physical conflicts, as employed by the USA in fashioning a lasting peace between Egypt and Israel that has withstood a quarter century of continuous hostility in the region. The example of North Ireland described earlier also suggests the possibility of this backward linkage from economics to politics.

This raises the possibility of formulating a gradation of strategies for resolving and preventing conflicts between and within nation states as follows:

  • Military conflicts may be resolved politically.

  • Political conflicts may be resolved economically.

  • Economic conflicts may be resolved socially, e.g. the economic tensions between working and middle class in the West were largely resolved by social welfare.

The conscious application of this hierarchical perspective may be utilized to formulate effective strategies to end or prevent armed conflict. It was in this context that the International Commission on Peace & Food stated in their report:

As a starting point, it can be demonstrated that with the right perspective, courage and commitment, practical immediate solutions are possible for any and all of the conflicts presently raging.

The author proposes to examine the potential relevance of such a model for the formulation of practical strategies to reduce or eliminate the threat of armed conflict in regions that have thus far resisted all efforts at peaceful resolution of differences, such as the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and the conflict between Arabs and Israelis over Palestine.

V.2Implications for Social Development Theory

The relationship of peace and social development underlies a more fundamental relationship between a theory of peace and a theory of social development. If war or revolution and peaceful evolutionary social change are two alternative means through which society effects change, it will be necessary for a full understanding of the phenomenon of peace to base it upon a comprehensive conception of society and social development. A theory of peace or a theory of development would need to stipulate the conditions under which peaceful evolutionary change can take place and those under which violent revolutionary change is most likely to occur.

Society may be conceived of as a set of formal and informal relationships between human beings and social institutions carrying on activities in cooperation and competition with one another. The process of social development describes the means by which these human beings effect changes in their relationships to each other and the world around them. According to pioneering work undertaken by the Mother’s Service Society of India in association with the World Academy of Science, the process of development may be conceived as the process of evolving organizational relationships of increasing complexity. The nature of that process has been described in the following terms:

In the broadest terms applicable to all societies and historical periods, development can be defined as an upward directional movement of society from lesser to greater levels of energy, efficiency, quality, productivity, complexity, comprehension, creativity, enjoyment and accomplishment. Although the term development is most commonly applied to economic advancement, the term applies equally to political, social and technological progress as well…The essential nature of the process is the progressive development of social organizations and institutions that harness and direct the social energies for higher levels of accomplishment. Society develops by organizing all the knowledge, human energies and material resources at its disposal to fulfil its aspirations.

This definition of development suggests a direct relationship between peaceful social evolution and social development, a relationship that is different from the changes that occur as a result of violent revolutionary change.

In this context, the progressive development of a unifying political, social and economic organisation in Europe since 1950 may well be an important reason for the end of the Cold War in 1989. The increasing level of cooperation and integration among the nations of the European Union made it apparent that these nations were committed to peaceful means of advancing their national interests and that the existence and success of their collective enterprise depended essentially on the ability of the EU to maintain peaceful relations both among its members and with its neighbours. This development helped to reduce the perception of threat within the Soviet Union and helped spur the process of rapprochement initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev. The end of the Cold War, dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the voluntary dissolution of the USSR from within, and the peaceful reunification of Germany followed in quick succession once the essential truth of this perception gained credence. The fact that for the first time in human history such monumental change in the relations within and among nations has been effected entirely by peaceful means holds great promise for the future. A theory of peace can extract valuable lessons from this experience relevant to the peaceful evolution of humanity in future.

We see, therefore, that peace, which is the precondition for evolutionary social change, is directly linked to the development of more complex productive social structures that is the essence of social development. Thus, a complete theory of peace would have to be founded upon or draw insights from a comprehensive theory of social development.

VI.Previous Research into Peace Theories

This chapter gives a brief overview of previous research on theories of peace (the research topic) and - inevitably - of war.


War and all of its aspects have been described in many forms by many authors from as many different viewpoints. This has resulted in explanations and theories on why wars occur, how they can be won and how they may be prevented. Peace-literature, however, is more often than not based on war-prevention and does not seem to explain the fundamental roots and theoretical basis for peace. Much of the literature eventually leads to lists of do’s and don’ts in (inter)national politics.


So far the author has not come across scientific literature that examines war and peace from the perspective of human science, i.e. as an expression of the evolution and development of human society from the earliest human societies onwards. The premise for initiating this research is that processes of change, war and peace cannot be adequately understood in isolation from the wider process of social change and, specifically, from the process of social development and social evolution. If society is evolving, then it is possible that war is a process associated with specific stages of social evolution and that the necessity and inevitability of war is dependent on the stage of development. If this is true, then discovering the relationship between war, peace and social development may reveal fundamental causes of war and measures required to achieve lasting peace.

In 'Theories of War' the authors often refer to a concept of how warfare is likely to evolve in the (near) future based on historical evidence. The word 'theory' is then used in the sense of a concept as 'in theory' versus 'in practice', not in the sense of a comprehensive theoretical explanation of the phenomenon. War is, thus, theoreticized by describing what to do in what circumstances.

In Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control, J. C. Wylie defines theory as “an idea, a scheme, a pattern of relationships designed to account for events that have already happened with the expectation that this pattern will allow us to predict or foresee what will come to pass when comparable events take place in the future.” [J. C. Wylie, Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control, Classics of Sea Power (1967; reprint, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1989), 96.]

What has become known as 'classical warfare' has existed for over 3.000 years and is well described in From Kadesh to Kandahar; Military Theory and the Future of War, (see § VI.11) by M. Evans, 2003: "War remains symbolized by a classical doctrine of 'encounter battles', collisions of rival states’ armed forces moving on land, in air, and at sea. This is a mode of classical warfare that can be traced back to the first properly recorded battle in history, in which the Egyptians defeated the Hittites in a chariot and infantry battle at Kadesh in 1285 B.C. The most recent model (at this writing) of armed conflict by encounter battle is the 1991 Gulf War, when Western and Iraqi forces employing missiles, tanks, and mechanized infantry clashed in the deserts of Kuwait." Only since the second World War and particularly since the 1990's a distinction between classical and non-classical warfare has emerged with the advent of nuclear weapons, a-symmetric strategies and RMA - “revolution in military affairs”.

In this preliminary Literature Research we will use the word ‘theory’ as it is used in Theories of War and Peace: writers look at expressions of human activity and try to explain them in such a way that common denominators will serve as predictors for future events.

VI.2Theories of War and Peace - Essays

The summary in this paragraph is based on “Theories of War and Peace: an international security reader”, edited by M.E. Brown … [et al], MIT press, 1998, Cambridge Massachusetts

Theories of War and Peace distinguishes four ‘prominent contemporary approaches to the causes of war’:

  1. realist theories

  2. the democratic peace theory

  3. hypotheses on the causes and prevention of wars of nationalism and ethnicity

  4. the relationship between international institutions and peace

Ad. 1 Realist theories

“… realism has the longest lineage and the greatest prominence among explanations of war” [preface xi]. Realists regard war as an inescapable activity of human societies, irrespective of their type or level of development. In this theory, actors make ‘realistic’ or rational decisions for war or peace “on the basis of changes in the distribution of capabilities in the international system”. A classical example is when Sparta went to war with Athens because the Spartans feared the growth of Athenian power.

John Mearsheimer, a fervent neo-realist, argues that war is always possible in the anarchical international system, because no sovereign power exists to prevent states from going to war. States start wars when the benefits of going to war are high and the costs and risks of doing so are low. These benefits and costs depend on two factors:

  1. the distribution of power among states (bi-polar or multi-polar), and

  2. the nature of the military power available to them.

According to Mearsheimer, both bi-polarity and overwhelming military power such as nuclear weapons promote peace or, in neo-realist terms, make war less likely.

Another realist, Stephen van Evera, does not consider the effects of the overall distribution of power or the polarity of the international system but looks at the offence-defence balance. “This balance is shaped by military factors, geography, domestic social and political factors, and the nature of diplomacy” [preface xv]. Van Evera argues that shifts in the offence-defence balance toward the offence have at least ten effects that make war more likely, e.g. self-defence becoming more difficult, states becoming more insecure, and states willingness to negotiate less readily and cooperatively. “These effects emerge whether the offensive advantage is real or only perceived.” Van Evera contends that his theory is not only robust, but also useful to prevent war. The ten variables namely can be manipulated by national policies. War could be limited or prevented if states adopt defensive military doctrines, limit offensive military capabilities through arms control and cooperate in defensive alliances such as NATO, making conquest harder and war less likely.

Charles Glaser argues that the logic of realist theory can explain international peace and cooperation and that both realists and their critics have been too pessimistic in their interpretations of realism. Like Van Evera, Glaser argues that international peace and cooperation are most likely when the offence-defence balance shifts in favour of defence. “This condition creates a mild security dilemma, which enables security-seeking states to pursue security for themselves without undermining it for others” [italics added]. Hence, war is not a necessary consequence of international anarchy which is a Realist assumption.

The realist theories share several common characteristics:

  • They assume that the causes of war are primarily external rather than dependent on the internal status and dynamics of the states involved.

  • They focus on strategy rather than social process.

  • They assume that the character of the state is static and do not take into account the impact of the evolution of the state or the international community.

  • They assume the nature of the international environment is a constant and that universal laws can be formulated based on this unchanging character.

Ad 2 Democratic peace theory

The democratic peace theory, liberal peace theory, or simply the democratic peace is a theory which holds that democracies—usually, liberal democracies—never or almost never go to war with one another.

Empirical evidence shows that mature, liberal democracies do not go to war with one another and this is called the democratic peace theory. The addition of the words ‘mature’ and ‘liberal’ is necessary in order to distinguish this theory from the statement that ‘democracies generally do not go to war with one another’. It has been pointed out that the war between Britain and America in 1812 or between Finland and the Western allies in World War II are examples of the contrary. Accordingly, Christopher Layne argues that Germany in 1914 was as democratic as Britain and France.

Michael Doyle in "Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs", Philosophy and Public Affairs (1983) 205, 207-208, applied the theory to what he called 'Liberal states' which he defined as "States with some form of representative democracy, a markept economy based on private property rights, and constitutional protections of civil and political rights."

Theories explaining this phenomena differ. “Normative explanations attribute the democratic peace to shared liberal and democratic norms that make it impossible for democracies to fight one another. Structural / institutional explanations hold that leaders in democracies are constrained from going to war by the power of legislatures and public opinion” [preface, xviii]

John Owen shows how liberal principles and democratic processes work together to make war between democracies virtually impossible. He integrates the normative and structural / institutional explanations. Liberalism strives for individual freedom and peace is a necessary condition for freedom. Liberal states trust other liberal states, whether actually liberal or perceived as such. Owen indicates that the War of 1812 only took place because America did at that time not perceive Britain as a liberal state.

Christopher Layne argues that the structural / institutional variant of the democratic peace theory only predicts that democracies are less likely to go to war than other states. The normative variant is stronger, but for the theory to hold, empirical evidence should show that war between democratic states has been prevented because of their democratic norms. Layne studied four cases where democracies came close to war, but found no evidence of war being avoided because the states shared democratic norms. Rather, the countries behaved in a manner predicted by realism, rationally calculating risks and gains. Layne argues that instead of looking at democratic dyads and establishing that wars have been absent, one should look at cases where war was possible and identify the reasons for it not materializing.

Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder also challenge the democratic peace theory, but mainly on the distinction between mature liberal democracies and democratizing states. The latter even become more likely to go to war in the first ten years of their transition from autocracy to democracy. Based on their findings, Mansfield and Snyder contend that promoting democratization may not be the best way to build peace. To reduce the risks involved in democratization processes they present several recommendations:

  • deposed autocratic leaders should be exiled so that they have few incentives to try to regain power.

  • former military and economic elites should benefit from the newly liberalized economies.

  • guarantees should be put in place for a free press and a pluralistic security debate, avoiding nationalist mythmaking.

The democratic peace theories share several common characteristics:

  • They assume that the propensity for war is related to the internal political system of states because this system influences their external relations with other states.

  • They view liberal democracy as a type of system rather than a stage in an evolutionary process.

  • They assume the nature of the international environment is a constant and that universal laws can be formulated based on this unchanging character.

Ad 3. Causes and prevention of wars of nationalism and ethnicity

According to Lynn-Jones there is no single theory of nationalism, ethnicity and war, but a wide range of determining factors. "Nationalism and ethnicity appear to be important causes of many internal and international conflicts in the 1990s", but the relationship between nationalism, ethnicity and war remains unclear [preface, xxiii].

Van Evera identifies four factors that, when present, pose a greater and more immediate risk of war. The underlying causes for these factors are divided into three categories:

  1. Structural factors -- geographic and demographic aspects of national groups, the level of intermingled populations of national groups, and whether political and communal boundaries can be defended easily

  2. Political-environmental factors -- how national groups have been treated by others, the level to which previous conflicts are remembered and the respect of minority rights.

  3. Perceptual factors -- the level to which national movements believe in and cling to mythical history claiming their rights and superiority over competing movements.

He concludes that by positively influencing the factors that can be manipulated by governmental policies, the risks of nationalistic conflict can be reduced.

David Lake and Donald Rothchild attribute ethnic conflict mainly to one factor: collective fears of the future that arise when states cannot arbitrate between ethnic groups or protect minority groups. Interestingly, Lake and Rothchild argue that an often heard hypothesis that ethnic wars are based on ancient hatreds or a sudden release of passions (e.g. after the Cold War or the sudden alleviation of autocratic power), is incomplete or wrong. Policies for maintaining ethnic peace by Lake and Rothchild are:

  • Domestic confidence building

  • Securing physical and cultural security

  • Increasing the interdependence of groups, e.g. By power sharing and elections

  • Respect for and between ethnic groups

  • Possibly external intervention, both benign and - eventually – coercive

These theories share several common characteristics:

  • They assume that the propensity for war is highly dependent on the political system and social relations within states.

  • They recognize the importance of strategic alliances between states but assume the essential nature of international relations is a constant and that universal laws can be formulated based on this unchanging character.

  • They recognize that the character and climate within a state can change, but they consider that change primarily as a question of national policy, rather than as an expression of an evolutionary process.

Ad 4, Relationship between international institutions and peace

"For at least two centuries, many proponents of peace have placed their faith in international institutions" [preface, xxvi]. Several authors have argued that international institutions can reduce the risk of war significantly or even lead to sustainable peace between nations. The 'Concert of Europe' was the first large-scale attempt (meetings between Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia between 1815 and 1822) to achieve peace through international organization.

Liberal-institutionalists mention three factors on how institutions can promote peace:

  1. They promote cooperation by preventing cheating and providing information.

  2. The adoption of new norms and ideas can eliminate war, even in an anarchic international system.

  3. War becomes unlikely if all participants join in a collective security system where all members pledge to defend any other member against aggression.

Robert Keohane and Lisa Martin cite recent studies that international institutions are important attributes to international security and conclude that "international institutions operating on the basis of reciprocity will be components of any lasting peace".

As Keohane and Martin, Charles Kupchan and Clifford Kupchan contend Mearsheimers' attack on the anti-realist theory of institutionalists. The Kupchans defend the concept of collective security by making three replies to Mearsheimer:

  1. A concert-based collective security system can promote peace by facilitating regulated, institutionalized balancing.

  2. Collective security is a mechanism that provides more effective balancing than in the realist approach.

  3. The realist theory does not take into account domestic politics and ideas.

John Gerard Ruggie also responds to Mearsheimer by arguing that U.S. policymakers after World War II deliberately created institutions that served peace and U.S. interests. "Realists like George Kennan argued against many of these institutionalist policies; fortunately for the United States, their advice was not taken" [preface, xxx].

John Mueller argues that war has become "sub rationally unthinkable" among modern Western states, because war is no longer politically or economically profitable for developed countries. Also, the horrors of World War I and II brought about a social re-evaluation of war, sufficient to render war obsolescent even if nuclear weapons had not been invented.

Carl Kaysen examined centuries of social, political and economic changes and concludes that, since the 19th century, the cost of waging war on all three dimensions has increased to unacceptable levels. In the twentieth century this was strengthened by the invention of nuclear arms.

Much has been written on the relationship between economic interdependence and war and peace. Dale Copeland presents a dynamic theory versus the static approach of the realists and liberals. Copeland argues that whether economic interdependence leads to war or to peace depends on the expectations of the future trading possibilities of the countries involved. Copeland fears that China and Japan may be countries that, if they expect their future trade to decline, may go to war. An open international trading system then is the best way to promote peace.

John Orme has identified three factors that increased the use of force as an instrument of policy in the early 21st century.

  1. The 'revolution of military affairs' making low casualty conflicts possible, performed at ever increasing distances with increasing precision, at least for the military advanced countries;

  2. The projected growth in world's population to 10 billion in 2040, causing - among other factors - domestic social and political upheavals;

  3. Scarcity of resources.

Orme concludes that "predictions of the imminent obsolescence of force appear to be premature".

Internationalist theories share several common characteristics:

  • They emphasis the importance of institutional mechanisms rather than human perceptions and attitudes.

  • They assume that the propensity for war is highly dependent on the international political system and international institutions rather than on the internal status and systems of nation states.

  • They recognize that the character of the international system can change, but they do not perceive such a change as an expression of an evolutionary process.

VI.3Sun Tzu On The Art Of War (~ 400 - 320 BC)

Sun Tzu was a military general and great strategist around 500 B.C. His writings are often referred to as the first serious 'theory' of war because he not only explains in great detail how to prepare and execute a battle, but also demonstrates the importance of a strong army and of offensive military strategy for the good of the country or empire.

An extract from 'the oldest military treatise in the world', translated from Chinese by Lionel Giles, M.A. (1910):

  • Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

  • It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

  • The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are:

    • The Moral Law;

    • Heaven;

    • Earth;

    • The Commander;

    • Method and discipline

Sun Tzu’s focus was on the preparedness and capacity of the state to wage war rather than on the causes for war between states or the conditions under which war as an instrument of policy might become obsolete.

VI.4Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

thomas hobbes

Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, scientist and political theorist, went far in his deterministic view of peoples' behaviour. According to Hobbes, all bodies, whether natural, mechanical, or human, act in the same deterministic way. 'A body endeavours to preserve its state and resist the causal power of other bodies' is a true natural law for Hobbes. After his interest in mathematics was triggered, Hobbes thought he could apply mathematical methods 'to cure the ills of a society on the verge of civil war'. Where Kant, 150 years later, promotes democratic rights, Hobbes warns against the dangers of democracy.

In one of his later works, his masterpiece the Leviathan (1651), he begins "with a clearly materialistic account of human nature and knowledge, a rigidly deterministic account of human volition, and a pessimistic vision of the consequently natural state of human beings in perpetual struggle against each other." In order to escape anarchy, according to Hobbes, individual powers should be surrendered to the central authority of an absolute sovereign. Otherwise 'an endless state of war' would be the outcome.

Realists sometimes refer to Hobbes for his deterministic view of human behaviour. In the Leviathan Hobbes considers that man has a warlike nature. The state of war is permanent, even if it doesn't always develop into an open conflict. Peace is inevitably artificial; when it lasts, it does not correspond to a state of nature, but on the contrary to a rational calculation, as the most efficient condition of the preservation of human life.

Hobbes placed far greater emphasis on the contribution of human nature, which other theories have tended to ignore. He too emphasizes the importance of the state, but in its capacity as a mechanism to control human aggressiveness not, like the democratic theorists, as a factor that determines the human propensity for aggression. He too adopts a static, non-evolutionary view of human character, the relations between people and the state, the relations between states and the international system.

VI.5Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)


In 1795 the East-Prussian philosopher Kant - apparently inspired by a satirical inscription on a Dutch innkeeper's sign with a burial ground - wrote an essay called "Perpetual Peace". Although it may not be considered to be a theory as such, the depth, insight and foresight into the role of nation states, of sovereigns, of international cooperation and of the rights of global citizens may is remarkable. The essay consists of six 'preliminary articles for perpetual peace among states' and three 'definitive articles for a perpetual peace'. The article-headings are listed here without their explanatory context.

Preliminary articles:

1. "No treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for a future war."

2. "No independent states, large or small, shall come under the dominion of another state by inheritance, exchange, purchase, or donation."

3. "Standing armies (miles perpetuus) shall in time be totally abolished."

4. "National debts shall not be contracted with a view to the external friction of states.”

5. "No state shall by force interfere with the constitution or government of another state."

6. "No state shall, during war, permit such acts of hostility which would make mutual confidence in the subsequent peace impossible: such are the employment of assassins (percussores), poisoners (venefici), breach of capitulation, and incitement to treason (perduellio) in the opposing state."

Definitive articles:

1. "The civil constitution of every state should be republican."

2. "The law of nations shall be founded on a federation of free states."

3. "The law of world citizenship shall be limited to conditions of universal hospitality."

Kant is regularly quoted in literature on war and peace. Kant could, with the contemporary division in schools of thought, be included in the institutionalist school, arguing that the institution of the state itself together with its constitution, (international) law, treaties and agreements will provide peace between nations.

In his book "Kant's Cosmopolitan Theory Of Law And Peace", Otfried Hoffe of the Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, states "Kant is widely acknowledged for his critique of theoretical reason, his universalistic ethics, and his aesthetics. Scholars, however, often ignore his achievements in the philosophy of law and government. At least four innovations that are still relevant can be attributed to Kant. He is the first thinker, and to date the only great thinker, to have elevated the concept of peace to the status of a foundational concept of philosophy. Kant links this concept to the political innovation of his time, a republic devoted to human rights. He extends the concept by adding to it the right of nations and cosmopolitan law."

Please refer to § VI.7 for a contemporary and very interesting quantitative analysis of this Kantian theory.

Kant’s approach combines the insights of democratic and international theories. While he does not posit an evolutionary direction to history, his view at least implicitly concedes the possibility that states can adopt and adhere to a code of international relations that makes war unnecessary. Like the institutionalists, Kant emphasizes the importance of the state system and policies rather than the nature or attitudes or consciousness of the citizenry.

VI.6Karl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831)

Karl von Clausewitz, a Prussian philosopher in the early nineteenth century, may well be the most referred to author by anyone studying the subject of war, based on his famous work On War, especially when with respect to his famous statement that 'war is the continuation of politics by other means'. Von Clausewitz described the classical type of warfare between nation states, based on the relations between people, government, and armed forces. Von Clausewitz considers peace to be only an interlude between periods of war because international relations are fundamentally conflicting, based on limited resources.

Von Clausewitz cautions about the limitations of theory: “Theory exists so that one need not start afresh each time sorting out the material and ploughing through it, but will find it ready to hand and in good order. It is meant to educate the mind of the future commander, or, more accurately, to guide him in his self-education, not to accompany him to the battlefield; just as a wise teacher guides and stimulates a young man’s intellectual development, but is careful not to lead him by the hand for the rest of his life” [Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), 141.]

According to Von Clausewitz war is fundamentally “an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will." Ibid, p75]

Von Clausewitz adopts a static, non-evolutionary view both of the state and the international system and assumes that war is a perpetual and inevitable adjunct of international relations. He disregards the relationship between the citizens of a nation and its government or the consciousness of the citizenry. He places confidence in strategy rather than in institutions.

VI.7Causes of Peace - Oneal and Russett

"Causes of Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885-1992", John R. Oneal, University of Alabama and Bruce Russett, Yale University, July 1, 2001

Oneal and Russett have in their research quantified the variables in Kant's theory of peace. These variables are democracy, (economic) interdependence, and joint memberships in intergovernmental organizations. The research was done by looking at the causal effects of all three variables on the possibility of military conflict between dyads - pairs of nation states - during the period 1885-1992.

Previously, research had been done on the effects of single Kantian-variables, but to fully test Kant's theory, the 'causal direction' between the three had to be established.

Oneal and Russett argue that when the economic interdependence between countries increases, institutions will logically follow to regulate and facilitate this. "Thus there is a logical sequence that links the freedom of citizens in democratic states to expanding commerce over a widening geographical area and to the growth of international institutions."

Oneal and Russett find that

  • "Trade does have a substantively important, causal effect in reducing militarized disputes between dyads".

  • "Democracy and joint membership in intergovernmental organizations ... have important pacific benefits".

Expressed in numbers:

  • "If both states in a dyad are democratic, the likelihood of a fatal dispute is 86 percent less than if at least one state is an autocracy ...

  • Increasing the strength of economic interdependence reduces the risk of fatal disputes by 32 percent ...

  • An increase in the number of shared international organisation memberships cuts the risk of a fatal dispute by 43 percent."

The authors argue that the three variables are mutually influential, because of their logical interdependence: democracies are more interdependent, they create international organizations and participate in them. The authors argue therefore, that one should consider the three variables in combination, rather than look at each of them separately. By increasing all three Kantian variables simultaneously, "the incidence of fatal disputes drops by 95 percent."

Interestingly, Oneal and Russett compare their findings on the institutionalist Kantian theory to realist theories that stress the effects of alliances and a military dominance of one nation over another ('preponderance of power'). "Surprisingly, alliances do not reduce the likelihood of interstate disputes, even fatal ones, when the influences of the Kantian influences and the history of dyadic conflict are held constant." The authors therefore conclude that peace in central Europe is better served by promoting democracy and increasing the number of and membership in international organisations, than by expanding NATO.

Finally, Oneal and Russett stress the importance of economic interdependence. They refer to previous research which substantiates the negative effects of violent conflict on commerce, but does not validate the positive effect of economic interdependence on peace. The authors have now, with this research, presented evidence of causal relations in both directions and state that free trade is a clear means of promoting peace.

This approach recognizes the importance of both internal and international political systems and institutions on peace as well as the practical impact of economic interdependence. It does not specifically consider the status of either the nation-state or the international system in an evolutionary perspective. Nor does it examine the impact of human attitudes and consciousness among the citizenry.

VI.8'Integrative Theory of Peace' - H. B. Danesh

"Towards an integrative theory of peace education" H. B. Danesh, Journal of Peace Education, Volume 3, Number 1, March 2006, pp. 55-78(24)

This research article proposes an 'integrative theory of peace" (ITP). ITP is based on the concept that peace is, at once, a psychological, social, political, ethical and spiritual state with its expressions in intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-group, international, and global areas of human life. The theory holds that all human states of being, including peace, are shaped by our worldview—our view of reality, human nature, purpose of life and human relationships.

VI.9'A Mini Theory Of Peace' - J. Galtung

Johan Galtung, January 4, 2007 on

According to Galtung, peace is a function of the relation between parties. He distinguishes three types of relations:

Negative, Disharmonious: what is bad for one is good for the other.

Indifferent: a non-relation, they do not care about the other.

Positive, Harmonious: what is bad-good for one is bad-good for the other.

Galtung describes two concepts of peace:

  1. Negative Peace, which is the absence of violence such as a cease-fire, and

  2. Positive Peace which is the presence of harmony, intended or not.

Negative peace can be established by Mediation to resolve incompatibility between the parties, and Conciliation, healing past traumas.

Galtung advocates Cooperation, Equity, Reciprocity, Integration, Holism and Inclusion on the way to a ´structural peace´. In the application of these values, he makes no distinction between the micro-level of friendship and good family ties, and the macro-level of the nation state, a community or a union of states, and also relationships between genders, races, generations and classes.

VI.10Understanding Conflict and War - R.J. Rummel

"UNDERSTANDING CONFLICT AND WAR", Vol. 5, 'The Just Peace', R.J. Rummel, Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, 1981.

Based on the often used opposing schools of thought of the realists versus the idealists, Rummel may be called an 'institutional idealist'. He is an Idealist in that he believes that structural peace is not utopian and institutional in that the key to achieving peace lies in the way national and international governance are shaped.

Rummel concludes from his previous volumes on this topic that 'violence of some sort is inherent in the social process but that intense collective violence and war are not.'

Similar to Galtung, Rummel distinguishes negative and positive peace. The first he defines "as an order (social contract) that is at the cost of one's interests, dignity or self-esteem; an order characterized by exploitation, repression, tyranny." The latter is "an order which will gratify many of one's central values, especially self-esteem, and in doing so provide happiness, satisfaction, and justice. This is not only peace from violence, but also peace of mind."

Rummel's conclusion of this 5th and final volume of the series, where he answers the question 'what should be done to create a universal and lasting peace?', is simply 'promote freedom'.

Rummel is clear on the age-old question of whether or not war is inevitable, the same question that is posed in Chapter 4 of this proposal. Violence as such may still be used as 'the ultimate means' of both conflict resolution and necessary social adaptation, but widespread, widely destructive collective violence such as violence within or between states, is certainly not inevitable. "Rather, the violence that is used and its intensity is a matter of society's structure and culture." In order to minimize the intensity of violence and to eliminate war, Rummel says, a free society should be promoted, both at the national and international levels. And, consequently, national government should be restricted and limited.

Rummel distinguishes two variants of the 'Positive Peace Principle' to arrive at a positive, or just peace. The principle can be described as achieving an optimum - read 'minimum' - level of government. At the national level, this means minimising the power of national government, while at the international level it means increasing the power of governance. To the latter Rummel adds "insofar as this means a UN-guaranteed right of all people to freedom of choice and liberation". What this optimum entails, Rummel describes in four 'Constitutional Principles'.

VI.11Military Theory and the Future of War, M. Evans

"From Kadesh To Kandahar; Military Theory and the Future of War", Michael Evans, Naval War College Review, Summer 2003, Vol. LVI, No. 3

Michael Evans provides an overview of several contemporary post-1990 military theories. Evans notes that John Mueller wrote the “obsolescence of major war” theory, which argued that war in the advanced West was as outmoded as slavery and duelling, and that Martin van Creveld declared the Gulf War a 'historical freak, a throwback to World War II rather than a vision of twenty-first-century war'. Dubbed as 'futurists', Alvin and Heidi Toffler provided the theory of ”third wave” high-technology information warfare, which became known as the “revolution in military affairs” or RMA. Precision strike, “dominant battle space knowledge,” and stealth platforms would shape future conflict.

In contrast, military writers like Robert Kaplan, Philip Cerny, and Ralph Peters proceeded to give us a vision of future war in which the form of social organisation involved was far more important than the level of technology employed. For Kaplan, the war of the future was the “coming anarchy” of a Hobbesian world of failed states; for Cerny it was the “neo-medievalism” of warlordism and violent disintegration; and for Peters it was a struggle by Western forces waged against a world of warrior cultures and paramilitaries from Mogadishu to Grozny. In 1996 Samuel P. Huntington published his seminal study of a coming “clash of civilizations” in which conflict between world cultures and “fault-line wars” would dominate the geopolitical future. And in 1999 the British analyst Mary Kaldor put forward a theory of “new wars” in which identity politics and the privatization of violence would challenge the new global order.

Having explained the major changes in international security relations since the end of the Cold War, Evans uses - similar to Robert Cooper - the notion of modern, pre-modern and post-modern to express changes in the complexity of the current situation, basically stating that no single theory of war will suffice.

"The changing character of conflict and war mirrored the bifurcation of the international security system in the 1990s. The various views expressed about the future of military conflict reflected the post–Cold War fragmentation of international security and the diffusion of contemporary war into a variety of different modes. War became at once modern (reflecting conventional warfare between states), post-modern (reflecting the West’s cosmopolitan political values of limited war, peace enforcement, and humanitarian military intervention), and pre-modern (reflecting a mix of sub state and trans state warfare based on the age-old politics of identity, extremism, and particularism)."


Appendix A: Provisional Operational Definitions

Operational definitions need to:

  1. Delimit a subject to attainable proportions,

  2. Fit the research’s purpose, and

  3. Provide clarity on the observable aspects of the subject (Verschuren & Doorewaard, 1998).

During the research all or several definitions may need fine-tuning, but as a starting point the topics below are defined along the lines of the three mentioned requirements. Where applicable, definitions were drawn from or based on Wikipedia,, using the items to define as keywords in the search.

  • Business community, Business

    • The total of commercial enterprises, their interrelations and the institutions related to them, together constituting a functioning trading community. Used as equivalents, generally preceded by a geographical area such as ‘regional’ or ‘global’ business community.

  • Consciousness: see Social Consciousness

  • Culture of Peace

    • A Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that has totally rejected violence as a means of solving conflicts (based on UN Resolutions A/RES/52/13 : Culture of Peace and A/RES/53/243, Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace).

Alternative - to be decided upon:

    • “A culture of peace is an integral approach to preventing violence and violent conflicts, and an alternative to the culture of war and violence based on education for peace, the promotion of sustainable economic and social development, respect for human rights, equality between women and men, democratic participation, tolerance, the free flow of information and disarmament.” [1998 UN resolution on the culture of peace]

  • Democracy, Liberal Democracy

    • Wikipedia: “a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities”

  • Democratization or Distribution of Social Power

    • The extent to which Social Power is distributed to the level of the individual citizen.

    • 'Power' and 'Social Power' are used as equivalents.

  • Economics, Economy

    • Wikipedia: “the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services”. Used as equivalents, generally preceded by a geographical area such as ‘regional’ or ‘global’ economics.

  • Europe

    • The European continent, the geographical area as shown in green in the picture below (Wikipedia).


  • European Union, EU

    • The political area as shown in blue in the picture below (Wikipedia), currently (January 2007) consisting of 27 member states.


  • Evolution

    • Used in the context of socio-cultural evolution: “the gradual development and change of society and culture over time” (Wikipedia).

  • Globalization

    • After Wikipedia: a process of increasing integration between social units around the world, including nation-states, organizations, households, and individuals. It is an umbrella term, covering economic, trade, social, technological, cultural and political aspects.

  • Human Consciousness: see Social Consciousness

  • Local, Regional, Global

    • Local: at the level of a nation state

    • Regional: a group of adjacent nation states

    • Global: the entire global community

  • Mental

    • One of the three main expressions of social consciousness distinguished in this context.

    • Aspect of the human consciousness pertaining to the mind. Legal systems, trade agreements, financial markets and science are some expressions of mental consciousness. ‘Mental’ conflicts are ‘fought’ in court where physical conflicts are fought on the battlefield.

  • Modern, Pre-modern and Post-modern

    • Here we use R. Coopers’ terminology (R. Cooper, 2004). It is European-centred, but we will use it in a global context. The terms can relate to both eras and nation states. In the post-1989 era, pre-modern, modern and post-modern nation states exist simultaneously. In other words, the current international system can be divided into these three categories.

    • Pre-modern: the period up to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia “when the modern European state system emerged”. Nations existed, but their sovereignty was not officially acknowledged by other nations or empires. The pre-modern world was the “pre-state, post-imperial chaos”. Non-state actors, “notably drug, crime or terrorist syndicates” operating from non-state bases are dubbed pre-modern.

    • Modern: the period between 1648 and 1989 when not only the Cold War ended “but also … the balance-of-power system in Europe.” During this era, at least until the Second World War, the nation’s sovereignty was absolute, but at the same time under constant threat. A balance of power was sought through constantly shifting alliances between regional powers. Areas in today’s world where the classical state remains intact is called ‘modern’. “The United Nations, as originally conceived, belongs to this universe.”

    • Post-modern: Cooper does not provide a clear-cut definition, but the following compilation of quotes provides a relatively unambiguous interpretation. Post-modern is an international system based on “a moral consciousness that applies to international relations as well as to domestic affairs” [p31]. “… the state system of the modern world is … collapsing, but unlike the pre-modern it is collapsing into greater order rather than disorder.” “The post-modern system does not rely on balance; nor does it emphasize sovereignty or the separation of domestic and foreign affairs. The European Union is a highly developed system for mutual interference in each other’s domestic affairs”. “The legitimate monopoly on force that is the essence of statehood is … subject to international – but self-imposed – constraints.” [p26, 27] Examples of post-modern institutions are the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe - OSCE, European Courts of Human Rights, International Monetary Fund - IMF, Organisation for Economic Development - OECD, Non-Proliferation Treaty - NPT, International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEA and the International Criminal Court - ICC.

  • Nation, Nation State, State

    • Wikipedia: “A nation-state is a specific form of state, which exists to provide a sovereign territory for a particular nation, and which derives its legitimacy from that function. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity. The term "nation-state" implies that they geographically coincide, and this distinguishes the nation-state from the other types of state, which historically preceded it.”

  • Organisation, Social ~

    • See Social Organisation

  • Peace (sustainable, lasting, social~), Security

    • Absence of violent, physical conflict between nation states. Peace is called sustainable if – by all intents and purposes – there is no current sign of threats to the state of peace at any level or on any subject. The countries within the European Union are examples, but so are e.g. Australia and New Zealand, the USA and Canada, Indonesia and The Philippines and the countries of the South American continent.

    • ‘Peace’, ‘Social peace’ and ‘Peace and security’ are used as equivalents, with the nuance of the latter being higher on the scale towards sustainable peace.

  • Physical

    • One of the three main expressions of social consciousness distinguished in this context.

    • Aspect of the human consciousness pertaining to that which is material. A ‘primitive’ people co-existing in close harmony with nature, living solely off natural resources acquired through hunting and local farming can be characterized as a mainly physical people.

  • Social Consciousness

    • The consciousness of the social collective which includes both the conscious and subconscious ideas, facts, opportunities and challenges of which society is collectively aware as well as the formed opinions, aspirations, attitudes, beliefs, values and sentiments that govern its feelings and behavior.

  • Social Development

    • Wikipedia “Social development is a process which results in the transformation of social structures in a manner which improves the capacity of the society to fulfil its aspirations. Society develops by consciousness and social consciousness develops by organization. The process that is subconscious in the society emerges as conscious knowledge in pioneering individuals. Development is a process, not a programme. Its power issues more from its subtle aspects than from material objects.”

  • Social Organisation

    • All recurring patterns of social interaction, formal and informal, institutionalized and non-institutionalized.

    • Wikipedia: “Social organisation or social institution, is a group of social positions, connected by social relations, performing a social role.”

    • Countless examples exist throughout all societies: United Nations, the World Trade Organization, The International Criminal Court, The monetary institution of the Euro-currency, Universities, the Internet, bi-lateral trade agreements, governments, science, social exchanges, sports, cultural expressions, et cetera.

  • Power, Social Power

    • The power to (potentially) change current societal circumstances. Governments have social power, and so do – to a lesser extent – voters. In military dictatorships social power is generally highly concentrated with a small military elite. ‘Power’ and ‘Social Power’ are used as equivalents.

  • Theory (of Peace)

    • Wikipedia: “In science, a theory is a proposed description, explanation, or model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation.” For this research we start with the assumption that the hypothesis will be proven to be valid, resulting in a proven theory until falsified by other means.

  • Vital

    • One of the three main expressions of social consciousness distinguished in this context.

    • Intense life energy and dynamism that arise from relationships between people and the social activities and interactions that arise from those relationships expressing as the urge for change, expansion, competition and domination. Pride, ego, jealousy and love are some characteristics of the vital aspect of human consciousness.

  • War, conflict

    • "Armed conflict between states or nations [...] prosecuted by force and having the purpose of compelling the defeated side to do the will of the victor." [Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from website:]


“The Breaking of Nations – Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century” – Robert Cooper, 2003 Atlantic Books.

One could argue that Peace is also a function of sports, education, science, art et cetera, but the addition of the word ‘fundamental’ implies that these factors follow from, i.e. are expressions of, the three variables that form the core of the hypothesis.

Quoted from Rob de Wijk, Director of the Clingendael Centre for Strategic Studies, at the meeting “Uncommon Opportunities: A Roadmap for Employment, Food & Global Security”“, New Delhi, Nov 2004

International Commission on Peace and Food, “Uncommon Opportunities – An Agenda for Peace and Equitable Development”, chapter 3

International Commission on Peace and Food, “Uncommon Opportunities – An Agenda for Peace and Equitable Development”, chapter 3

Ibidem, chapter 3

Ibidem, chapter 3

The term ‘vital’ is used in this context to connote the intense life energy and dynamism that arise from relationships between people and the social activities and interactions that arise from those relationships.

“Theory of Social Development”, by Garry Jacobs, Robert Macfarlane, N. Asokan, 1997, p.38

In his monumental History of the English Speaking People, Winston Churchill depicts how England gradually evolved from an island of warring tribes and invading hoards into a unified country after the fall of the Roman Empire. The urge of each successive conqueror to dominate over and suppress the previous ruling group prompted the vanquished to look for new invaders to ally with them to overthrow the present tyrant. It took centuries for the diverse peoples of England to realize that joining together to establish and maintain peace and defend their borders was preferable to a continuous succession of invasions, conquests and rebellions.

The city-states of ancient Greece and 18th Century Germany are typical of this stage in which increasing internal organisation of the social political units leads to increasing competitiveness and strife between them until such a time that the smaller units are absorbed into a larger, stable entity.

Naming any peaceful state of current society ‘sustainable’ is no guarantee that it will last; only history will tell if peace was sustainable. But when – as in the European Union today – there is no political or other intention for armed conflict, the rationale behind war has totally disappeared (no gain versus huge costs and destruction), popular support is absent and even the physical means are no longer under one nation’s control, one can safely call it sustainable.

Uncommon Opportunities: An Agenda for Peace & Equitable Development, Zed Books, 1994, which was presented to the UN Secretary General and all member states.

Following this argument through, the underlying cause of the conflict may well lie in inequality - expressed in differences in wealth - rather than in religion. Religion then, was 'only' the expression of the underlying root cause. If this is true, many other conflicts may be explained this way and resolving them should focus on equalizing (economic) opportunities rather than on the religious aspects.

Marketwatch, december 13, 2006 @

The ICPD, of which Robert van Harten is a director, has already attempted such a formulation for Kashmir. In 2000-2001 ICPD carried out exploratory talks with the Governments of India, Pakistan and Kashmir as well as the US State Department and found that a strategy based on this concept would be well-received by all the concerned parties.

“Theory of Social Development”, by Garry Jacobs, Robert Macfarlane, N. Asokan, 1997,


Juhani Pietarinen of the University of Turku, Finland