Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace

The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace

Bibliographic Details

  • Title: The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Copyright: 2010
  • Description: Four-volume set
  • Author: Nigel Young (Editor)
  • Publication Date: February 18, 2010
  • SBN-10: 019533468X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195334685
  • Pages: 2848
  • Language: English

The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace Review

Kenneth Boulding, one of the founders of modern peace and conflict research has, in a 1963 essay asked the question: “Is peace researchable?” (Kenneth E. Boulding, Is Peace Research Able, in: Background, Vol 6, No. 4, (1963), pp. 70-77). The question was not rhetorical. Rather Boulding tried to make it clear to the realistic dominance of international relations that peace is more than the absence of war and that the road to peace, as well as being understood and explained to war with social science methods. Peace and war are thus not natural states, but states of social systems. The study of the conditions that lead to peace and secure it needs, so Boulding, a multi-disciplinary perspective and an appropriate methodology that would apply to develop it.

Since then a lot has happened in terms of peace research. Not only renowned research institutes and a variety of degree programs and PhD programs are world emerged and been as globally institutionalized as a profession, the Peace Research. Even the scientific knowledge about war and peace is on a stand that allows saying that we have very good knowledge about why wars break out, what needs to be done to prevent them and how peace can be obtained. And despite the recent wars and violent conflicts has – and this can be learned from the books to be discussed here – the number of wars and the number of war deaths declined since the end of World War II.

So it is logical that the knowledge of peace research is compiled systematized and bundled, not least in order to make decision-makers that clearly what 1751 was already in Diderot’s Encyclopédie under the entry to peace, namely that if the reason rules the nation, this will no longer behave like a wild beast (Volume IV, page 500).

This entry is found in the present Encyclopedia in the appendix, the central document of ideas and real history of peace gathered – including next to the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, for example, the Geneva Convention of 1949, the Nuclear Non -Proliferation Treaty of 1968, the CSCE Final Act 1975, the Earth Charter in 2000 and -. certainly not without controversy – the Declaration on the protection Responsibility of the International Community (responsibility to Protect), which was adopted at the World Summit of the United Nations 2005

Edited by Nigel J. Young four-volume Encyclopedia is to collect more than 2800 pages of what we know about peace, what is meant by peace in various disciplines and how peace research has developed institutionally. The aim was “to create to up-date, well- Documented, authoritative reference work – independent of outside political or religious left” (volume I, p XXV). This goal has certainly been achieved – more than that before us is a true heavyweight, but very readable and useful work that shows how you can design any useful Overviews of a research field between book covers also the wiki age. In more than 850 entries, the core issues of peace and conflict research are presented in a way that they also for those who are first time dealing with why conflicts arise and how violence can be prevented, are well understandable. If you read the entries on “Conflict Resolution” (by Dennis Sandole and Louis Kriesberg) to “Conflict vs.. Peace Studies” (by Hugh Miall) and “Conflict Transformation” (Ho -Won Jeong), we obtain an excellent introduction into what is today understood by peace and conflict research. This is due not least to the fact that the publisher – has managed to find just the central entries renowned colleagues, who have access to their own long-term research – with the entire editorial board. For example, Johan Galtung entries has written on violence and peace, the contribution to the Democratic Peace by Bruce Russett comes, the. Concerning peace treaties by Christine Bell With Louis Kries Berg, Herbert Kelman, William Zartman, Chadwick Alger HÃ¥kan Wiberg or researchers are those who have contributed significantly to it, to establish peace studies as an interdisciplinary field of research worldwide.

One of the clear strengths of the encyclopedia is in the cross-references between articles, making it possible to tap into a thematic context. The references at the end of each entry are also very helpful, as well as the detailed index at the end of the fourth volume. Individual articles are ideal for giving students an introduction to a topic. It is thus possible, for example, the various contributors to the term “Civil Society” – especially April Carter and David Last – a concise overview of the concept of civil society to give. As an example you can see here also that many posts trying to unify ideas and real historical perspectives. Civil society in the context of peace research both: a theoretical concept that allows you to think peace is not only the state fro and to reduce peace on the monopoly of power, and a social sphere, which ensures that conflicts without the government threat of coercive measures solved peacefully can be.

On entry through civil society is also clear that the encyclopedia is also in another respect, in the tradition of the “Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des Arts et des Métiers” Peace is not the Enlightenment and an adjoining liberal understanding according without the realization of rights conceivable other words, the more peace against the absence of violence is due primarily to the fact that fundamental human rights are secured respect, the Encyclopedia pervades a triad of peace, human rights and democracy, told this is evident in the introductory essay.. by Nils Petter Gleditsch, in which the heavily discussed in recent years, context of democracy and peaceful foreign policy is being taken. Overlooking the critical voices in this debate, looking at the liberal peace as an expression of a global dominance of the West, holds Gleditsch, that the rise of liberalism was associated with a reduction of violent conflict, while recognizing that there are signs that this triumph in the face of a relapse of some states in the autocracy, and given the economic power of non-democratic countries such as China could soon be over.
But the liberal triad of human rights, peace and democracy is not only targeting the foreign policy behavior of democracies, but also the fact that in countries where there is an independent civil society and in which fundamental rights are enforced, can be discharged conflicts between groups without the threat of violence. Only this implicit assumption justifies why so much space is given in the four volumes of protest and social movements. Of course, this is particularly true again for peace movements, which are devoted to many country-specific entries. But the landless movement, of course, the women’s movement, the Chinese student movement as transnational civil society and NGOs such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International to find articles. Protest movements and NGOs are here generally understood as collective actors that seek to enforce rights and thus make a contribution to peace. In addition, the Encyclopedia also places an emphasis on the importance of civil, non- violent conflict resolution – as with contributions to civil disobedience, civil society peace initiatives and NGOs in the conflict management field (such as International Alert) and very successful contributions to Civilian Peacekeeping of Timmon Wallis and to peacebuilding by Cristina Jayme Montiel and Manuel Fröhlich.

It is interesting to see occupy the largest space which conflicts in the encyclopedia. They can be undoubtedly key conflicts for the modern peace and conflict research call – not only in terms of their importance for the transformation of conflict events and the development of approaches to peace-keeping and retention, but also in terms of the political debate and the peace policy activism that was always a part of peace research. In addition to the East-West conflict and the two world wars, these are the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians and the neighboring Arab states, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Vietnam and the conflicts around the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The fact that its contributors almost invariably succeeded in taking a beneficial and necessary distance to the conflict process is not to be underestimated. Again, this is one of the great advantages of the encyclopedia.
The fact that the characteristic of the peace and conflict research balance between distance and engagement between research and policy is not always easy, shows the history of the “Center for Research on Conflict Resolution” of the University of Michigan. As David Singer shows in his written contribution from the internal perspective, in the mid- 1950s has launched a center to an excellent example of the need for interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of peace research. On the other hand, it failed not least because of their own political incompetence, as Singer points out. 1971 is at the instigation of conservative -oriented Political Science Department closed (Vol. I, pp. 253f.).

The relationship between policy and in particular the state and the Peace Research was and is still under debate about which one learns something in some posts. This applies not only to the U.S. peace research, but also how Wiberg shows, for the Scandinavian and the German peace research. Especially in this country the debate in the 1970s and 1980s about the self- understanding of peace and conflict research was very intense. See Thorsten Bonacker, Research or for research on peace? To self-understanding of peace and conflict research, in: Peter Schlotter / Simone Wisotzki (ed.), Peace and Conflict Research, Baden -Baden 2011, pp. 46-78. It was also argued about the question of how staatsnah and how institutionalized must be peace research. Background was among other things a by Ekkehart Krippendorff Krippendorff, The State as a Focus of Peace Research, in: Ghanshyam Pardesi (Eds.), Contemporary Peace Research, Brighton 1982, pp. 156-175. authored essay in which he denounced the lack of criticism of Western peace researchers towards their own governments and this is considered as an expression of interests based on research. The fact that it took until late in the Federal Republic in the 1990s, to the peace and conflict research has been institutionalized in the universities is also a result of this fear of appropriation. How deep this fear apparently some still sitting, can be read at the post by Martin Jung, who is unfortunately riddled with numerous suggestive formulations and little enlightening contributes to the discussion on the freedom of research and teaching. In flagrant ignorance of the principles of government, but also private research funding in Germany, the author seems to imply that the adoption of funding researchers and researchers in principle already corrupted. To certify the largest research institution in Germany, the Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research, they have lost their independence (Volume IV, page 107), testifies in every case of ideological prejudice rather than by expertise. In view of the renowned publication place this post is more than annoying.

The Encyclopedia eventually contains many scientific contributions, a number of articles that deal with the institutional field of peace research itself. Not bad, the volumes are not least because they contain information on the most important journals and institutions, even if you are there, as well as to other articles detects a dominance of Western perspective. In addition, also the characteristic mainly for the United States religious development context of peace research knocks down – mirrored in the numerous articles of peace potential of different religions or religiously inspired peace initiatives as well as to the multiple exposed importance of religious authorities such as the Dalai Lama, who by the way the preface of Encyclopedia wrote.

Overall, therefore, it is without question an ambitious project for its excellent execution you have to be grateful. That the selection of key documents with the entry to the keyword begins peace in the “Encyclopédie,” also highlights the concerns of editors and contributors, peace and conflict research to be understood as the Enlightenment project – with the hope that Kant in his assumption that moral progress mankind would ” sometimes interrupted, but never canceled” Immanuel Kant, on the Common Saying : that may be true in theory, but is not suitable for the practice, in: Kant works, ed. by Wilhelm Weischedel, Volume VI, writings on anthropology, philosophy of history, politics and education, Darmstadt 1983, pp. 127-172, here p 167 Is right.

Translation of Thorsten Bonacker. Review of Young, Nigel, The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. H-Soz-u-Kult, H-Net Reviews. November, 2011.

Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Review

“Finding peaceful solutions to the world’s increasingly complex problems will be a huge task, which must also be based upon knowledge, experience and research. I hope that this important new Encyclopedia will reach a global lay audience as well as policy makers and academic experts and encourage many thousands of readers to study further and work harder for the peace on which our whole future depends.” -From the Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

This innovative, multivolume encyclopedia charts the interdisciplinary field of Peace Studies, offering a comprehensive survey of the full range of historical, political, theoretical and philosophical issues relating to peace and conflict. All major figures are covered, as well as major events, organizations, theories, and much more. Each entry is signed by a leading scholar in the field, contains a bibliography for further reading, and is cross-referenced with other useful points of interest within the encyclopedia. In addition to A-to-Z entries, the Encyclopedia also includes a peace chronology, key documents and appendices.

Key subjects covered include: world leaders (Mahatma Gandhi, Margaret Mead, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lucretia Mott); major events (Cuban Missile Crisis, Dayton Accords, Good Friday Agreement, Lebanon Hostage Crisis); organizations (Greenpeace, League of Nations, United Nations, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross); theories (Civil Disobedience, Conscientious Objection, Feminism and Peace, Power and Nonviolence Theory, Eco-Pacifism, Gay Rights); and current events (Chemical and Biological Weapons, Human Rights, War Crimes, Terrorism).

RUSA 2011 Outstanding Reference Source
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Recipient, 2011
Conflict Research Society Book of the Year, 2010

Englewood Review

As followers of Christ, we are called to be peacemakers, and part of our education as disciples of Jesus is learning the things that make for peace. Thus, it has been exciting to see Peace Studies emerge as an academic discipline over the last three decades, and with the rise of Peace Studies come reference works that assist and propagate research. And now The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace (OIEP), published earlier this year by Oxford University Press, will undoubtedly reign supreme for many years as the key reference work for Peace Studies.

The four volumes of the OIEP represent a mammoth undertaking; its 850+ articles span over 2700 pages and were collected over a period of more than five years. The work begins with a brief foreword by the Dalai Lama who praises the work as a “scholarly but accessible reference work [which] will enable many of us to learn from the great ideals and struggles for peace over past centuries, and it will be a valuable resource for teachers of peace and for policy makers” (xix).

Also, included in the prefatory materials is a twenty page timeline of “Peace in History” – stretching from the Treaty of Kadesh, “the first recorded peace treaty” between The Egyptians and the Hittites in 1258 BCE, all the way through Barack Obama’s recognition as the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2009. Each entry in the encyclopedia is complete with a hefty list of works for further reading on that topic. The OIEP concludes with almost 100 pages of key documents on peace from the modern era (all but three of these documents were penned within the last 100 years), and a thorough index of key terms and people.

Editor Nigel Young observes in the encyclopedia’s introduction that this work intentionally includes “both `negative’ entries (on preventing or ending war or violent conflict) and `positive’ entries (on achieving a more cooperative, harmonious community).” Negative entries in the OIEP include topics such as “Arms Control and Disarmament,” “Conscientious Objection” and “Women Strike for Peace,” while positives entries include “Deep Ecology,” “Open Space Technology” and “Sustainable Development.” Young also notes that the editorial team has intentionally limited the number of biographical entries, as well as those on specific organizations – choosing instead to describe persons and organizations within more general entries (e.g., the civil rights movement). Thus, I found the index to be an invaluable tool in searching for references to specific individuals and organizations.

Although the OIEP takes a broad and pluralist approach, the Christian tradition of peace is well-represented here. There are, for instance, entries on all three of the major “peace church” traditions: Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and the Society of Friends (Quakers), as well as entries on individual Christian peace advocates like Dorothy Day, Lucretia Mott, Leo Tolstoy and Martin Luther King, Jr. One also finds several historical entries related to Christianity (e.g. a brief entry on “Early Christianity and Antimilitarism”), as well as superb introductory pieces on “Christian Ethics and Peace” and “The Christian Peace Testimony.” Although they did not merit their own entry, I was pleased to find a handful of references throughout to the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

The OIEP offers a powerful reminder that there are a host of ideological motivations for pursuing peace. Peacekeeping, for instance, is very different from peacemaking, and there are a host of political, social or religious narratives that undergird the pursuit of peace. Church communities shaped by the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, are very different than the idealistic vision of modern liberalism, through which peace is believed to be attainable through reason and rational behavior. Some forms of peace are more sustainable than others, and in our fallen world most, if not all, movements toward peace eventually get corrupted, but the stories of such movements live on long after they have died off or become irrelevant, and these stories serve to inspire new generations of peacemakers in ways that often expand the scope of the original peacemaking vision. As people who believe that God is at work restoring shalom to all parts of creation – human and otherwise – works like the OIEP can be understood as painting a broad picture of God’s work within human history toward the restoration of shalom.

Therefore, I highly recommend the OIEP, as an invaluable resource for church, school, university or seminary libraries; it is the sort of resource that not only reminds us of the manifold ways in which God is guiding humanity and all creation toward shalom, but it also energizes our imaginations toward faithfulness to our calling as peacemakers. Not only does it introduce a vast number of peace-related movements and ideologies, it also points us in the direction of other pertinent resources for us to seek out in order to assist our reflection on any given topic. The OIEP is the essential reference work in the area of peace studies, and as such it should be kept close at hand by those of us who seek to follow Jesus as peacemakers in a world that is still very much ensnared by the myth of redemptive violence and in which war, social, ecological and other sorts of conflict are still prevailing and defining forces.

Englewood Review of Books, 19 March 2010

Booklist Review

Ours is a divided world, and conflict management poses a persistent challenge at all levels-individual, institutional, organizational, societal, and global. Today, peace studies is without question a diverse and socially important field in its own right. Across the academic spectrum, undergraduates, graduates, and professors alike are interested in peace and conflict research and analysis as well as peace values and action. Government, nonprofit, and commercial organizations whose work involves peace or aggression seek information on international relations and diplomatic history. Global politics continues to take center stage in the news-in print, on the air, or online-and the general public is increasingly engaged with this set of issues. Today, the field of peace building is without question fully professionalized. Make no mistake-The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace fills a critical niche at a critical time. Weighing in at four volumes, the Encyclopedia is a scholarly, but accessible, comprehensive reference work that quickly distinguishes itself among related reference works in the social, life, and physical sciences. More than 850 A-Z entries signed by an impressive roster of contributors cover the full range of historical, political, theoretical, and philosophical issues relating to peace and conflict. Readers interested in major figures, events, organizations, theories, and more will not be disappointed. A bibliography for further reading accompanies each entry. Cross-references to other useful points of interest within the encyclopedia add value, as do a “Chronology of Peace in History” and appendixes (“Key Documents,” “Key Terms in Peace Research,” “Negotiation Terms,” and “Selected Key References” ). The closest competing work is the groundbreaking Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict (Academic, 2008), which has more than 190 multidisciplinary articles. Previous works, including the four-volume World Encyclopedia of Peace (Pergamon, 1986) or a work by the same title, the World Encyclopedia of Peace (Oceana, 2d ed., 1999), although comprehensive in their time, are no longer adequate resources for the twenty-first-century student, scholar, or general adult reader interested in peace issues. The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace is highly recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries. –Sarah Watstein

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