Johan Galtung a Pioneer of Peace Research

Peace is a word many use but have no depth understanding of. War is not possible when peace is present in the heart and mind. Until this becomes a number 1 priority we will watch the demise of human civilisation unable to make peace with the self. I am very clear about the confusion in those making decisions and with the ability to bankroll ideologies that do not advance our world into a place where we can coexist and live in peace together. There are those that speak of utopia, but this is not the removal of all adversaries or so-called enemies, it is the opposite. It means when you make peace with what you perceive as ‘the enemy’ or those ones challenging your vision of the world. Know thyself is the theme of this time. Until you do you will cycle in attracting more and more conflict as you are not at peace. So I send peace to those believing order out of chaos is the answer. It is your very chaos that will never be resolved by order. It can only be resolved by self knowledge. You have to look at you not the other to realise peace. All wars start from within.

Johan Galtung I learned about when I studied Peace Studies at La Trobe University. Conflict resolution is to learn how to listen deeply to others, to find middle ground and resolve conflicts on all sides. This has at its base fairness. For until you can learn to live together with the inherent diversity and belief systems, you cannot achieve the goal of utopia. It cannot be a forced peace, a perceptions management of peace, it has to be actual peace within you as the universe is interconnected on levels unimaginable to human beings. Nature is itself awareness. So peace has to be the real deal if you are to fulfil the dreams in the future.

Note: Black Lives Matter has been an intelligence operation it was not a real movement. The problem for peacemakers is that the approach to peace can be inverted by those who stir or create movements like Extinction Rebellion in order to create the chaos. The public are largely peaceful but conflict can be used to gain funding for intelligence agencies, police and others or to enforce control via restrictions, ID checks, framing those upset as ‘fixated’ and ‘alone’ if they repeatedly contact authorities rather than resolve their pain. Non violence is not just a word that says not violence. It is a state of being that has no desire to be violent towards another. This is because the one non-violent has resolved inner conflict and has learned to be fearless without weapons. This is a state of being whereby ‘you are me’. So as I hurt you I become hurt. This is a universal lore, some may call it karma, whatever the energy response nature responds equally as all are ONE. These ideas can be hard for the public to process as clearly there is a you and a me. Yet spiritually we are all connected. We know this as when someone thinks to call you, you pick up the phone and call them. They say I was just thinking of you. So energetically we all connect. So one must be mindful of what message we send mentally or via our emotions to others as this is sent out energetically. To learn to resolve all conflict is the key to peace as you start to realise the one seeing with anger and violence, has not resolved the fear driving thoughts of the ‘other’. We learn that it is all about changing ourselves and questioning for truth why we think or feel this way and is it true? To Know Thyself is The Way to real peace.

Remembering Johan Galtung: A pioneer in peace research A visionary
thinker and dedicated peace activist, Galtung has left an indelible mark on our understanding of conflict resolution.
– By Rajdeep Pathak*( 24 October 1930 – 17 February 2024 )

The world of peace research and conflict resolution mourns the loss of one of its most influential figures, Johan Galtung, who passed away on February 17, 2024. Johan Galtung, born in Oslo, Norway, in 1930, was not just a visionary thinker but also a prolific writer and dedicated peace activist whose legacy continues to reverberate within the field today. Growing up amidst the turmoil of World War II, Galtung’s experiences deeply influenced his worldview and spurred his lifelong dedication to understanding and resolving conflicts. He devoted his career to exploring innovative approaches to peacebuilding, drawing from diverse disciplines such as sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. Galtung’s pivotal contributions to peace research led to the establishment of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO) in 1959. PRIO served as a pioneering interdisciplinary hub, fostering collaborative research endeavours aimed at comprehensively understanding conflict origins and developing effective strategies for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

His leadership at PRIO facilitated the exchange of methodologies and ideas among scholars globally, nurturing a vibrant intellectual community dedicated to advancing peace. Initiatives like the Transcend Network for Peace, Development, and Environment exemplified Galtung’s commitment to fostering dialogue and cooperation among scholars, policymakers, and grassroots activists worldwide.

Throughout history, leaders and activists have emphasised the transformative power of collaborative efforts in promoting peace and non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance mobilised millions during India’s independence movement, showcasing the potential for collective action to bring about profound social and political change. Similarly, Nelson Mandela’s emphasis on reconciliation and collaboration across racial divides in South Africa led to initiatives like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, aimed at healing past wounds through dialogue and understanding. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s advocacy for the African philosophy of Ubuntu further emphasised the importance of recognising our shared humanity in promoting peace and justice.More recently, figures like Malala Yousafzai have championed education as a tool for peace, inspiring a global movement to ensure every child’s right to education and opportunity.

One of Galtung’s enduring contributions is his concept of “structural violence,” which highlights the underlying structural causes of violence such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination embedded within societal structures. This concept remains relevant today, as issues like racism and global economic disparities continue to fuel conflicts worldwide.

Galtung’s advocacy for non-violent conflict resolution continues to inspire peacebuilders and activists worldwide. His emphasis on dialogue, empathy, and cooperation offers practical tools for building sustainable
peace in today’s conflicted world.

Contemporary movements for social justice and human rights, such as Black Lives Matter, draw inspiration from Galtung’s ideas about the power of non-violent resistance and grassroots mobilisation to challenge systemic injustice. In reflecting on Galtung’s legacy, we must draw upon his teachings to develop innovative approaches that promote peace, justice, and human dignity for all.His profound impact on education and social transformation persists beyond his passing, serving as a guiding light for future endeavours in the pursuit of a more peaceful and just world. As Galtung himself said, “Peace is not a fixed state, but a process that requires constant attention and effort.” It is up to each of us to contribute to this ongoing work.