Positive Peace

The GHfP Institute’s research in the area of peace and peacefulness involves conceptual exploration about what constitutes peace, dialogue amongst interdisciplinary specialists, thinkers and practitioners, and grassroots peace-building projects in post-conflict societies.

In this process, we have developed ethically attuned understandings of positive peacefulness. In contrast to conventional definition of peace as absence of violence and war, a positive conception of peace seeks to focus on peacefulness itself, from individual inner experience to global political systems, and the conditions that make peace possible. For this reason, positive peace covers a wide range of different kinds of peacefulness: the spiritual, the relational and the structural. It focuses on the idea that these myriad themes can be explained in a unified manner that sheds new light on some old questions. It requires translating such understandings and insights in socio-economic political systemic terms, which can help envisage and design peaceful societies.

Currently, we are investigating questions such as: “What implications such understandings of peacefulness may have for questions concerning international organisations and socio-economic and political structures and systems?” More positively, “What systemic changes are necessary for humans to realise more fully our nature as peaceful beings?”

In addition, the GHfP Institute will be providing a Masters Programme on Peace Studies. In contrast to most peace programmes which tend to focus on analysing wars, conflicts and structural violence, our Masters Course provides opportunities for students to explore peacefulness from an interdisciplinary perspective, and connect genuine and lasting peace with human flourishing in harmony with the wellness of other beings in nature. There will be multiple pathways to investigate peacefulness, from personal experiences of peace, to community regeneration; from international peace, to ecological peace; from peace through healing intergenerational trauma and reconciling with past divide, to peace as educational transformation and empowering future generations.

More about our work on peace can be found in these two books: