This year's academy focused on the question of how peace agreements come into being and what effects they have. In view of the many different challenges facing us at the present time, it is clear that there can be no single definition of `peace', either in theory or in practice: within the peace-research community, there is no consensus as to the object of enquiry; and when it comes to practical application, no empirical account of `peace' is possible. As well as attempting to get a better theoretical grasp of the issue and examining selected examples of peace-in-practice, the spring academy took a third step: having asked who the protagonists of peace are, it asked how peace is consolidated, and thus also what its effects are. For the first time, the academy took place in two locations, removing at the half-way stage from the Pfalzakademie in Lambrecht to the Federal Army Academy for Information and Communication in Strausberg. The two-week academy was rounded off with excursions to Zweibrücken, Poland, and Potsdam.
The lead-in to the theoretical part of the seminar--Thinking Peace--took the form of a discussion of various theoretical notions about how peace is to be achieved between states and within societies of heterogeneous composition. The relevance of classical theories of peace to the present-day situation, and the question of the extent to which Dieter Senghaas's `civilizatory hexagon' might serve as a model, were at the forefront of the talks and follow-up discussion in this section. Theoretical models proposed by Kant, Galtung, and Senghaas were studied. In his classic text Perpetual Peace, Kant had already contrasted causes of war with possible causes of peace, and later models introduced further elements towards an overall concept of peaceful relations. Galtung, for example, distinguishes between positive and negative peace; and Senghaas, with his civilizatory hexagon, describes peace as an ongoing process of civilization. Picking up on this, the meeting asked what impact the hexagon and its mechanisms of conflict resolution might have at the level of global politics. The ensuing discussion turned essentially around the question of whether the concept of the multi-dimensional hexagon could also make a contribution to civilization at the international level.
The concepts of peace previously examined were then put to practical application in a simulation using concrete examples. Seminar participants were asked to compile a list of required features for mediators and peacemakers in different conflict scenarios: one for a universally utilizable peacemaker and separate ones for peacemakers in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus. The first task here was to examine the various conflicts from the point of view of their structure, in order then to be able to draw up a list of the characteristics and skills that a peacemaker would have to bring to them. It became clear that skills such as the ability to listen, the ability to put oneself in a disputant's place, neutrality, emotional distance, deftness in negotiation, and the ability to compromise were requisites for all peacemakers, though in differing proportions. A major point of discussion was how mediators could win credibility and the trust of the parties to the conflict, and to what extent mediators and peacemakers should be empowered to bring military resources to bear in the settlement of conflicts.
During the presentation of the planned `Peace Museum 2000' in Stadt Schlaining, some lively discussion was sparked off by the question of how one goes about depicting peace and rendering it tangible. The starting-point for the scheme presented by Wolfgang Vogt is the observation that war, very obviously, can be depicted more clearly and tangibly than peace. The museum's approach--of making peace visible on both the grand and the humble scale, and of `enacting' it--is therefore crucial. Peace cannot, it is true, be depicted without addressing the issues of violence and conflict; but it is just this contradiction that will be illustrated, with varying emphases, on the circuit round the museum. At the start, the proportion of violence will be greater than that of peace, but the latter will then increase, and eventually predominate, as the end is approached. The idea is not to project a static notion of opposition, but to highlight elements that link the two phenomena. Again, the museum is meant not as a storehouse, but as a communication centre. The discussion following the presentation was marked by criticism and encouragement in equal measure.
The question of how a condition such as peace can be rendered vivid and tangible without falling into clichs remains a problem. It became clear that the work of the museum-makers in this area is still at a very early stage and that many of the illustrative exhibits are as yet no more than ideas. Participants made a practical contribution to the museum-project by compiling an `ABC of peace'. The resultant visual aid will be included in the museum-display as a symbol of the various facets of peace.
The transition from theory to the practical application of peace was made via an excursion to Zweibrücken. This former garrison-town has felt the `effects of peace' in that, following the end of the Cold War, the former military facilities maintained there by the Canadians, Americans, and French have been wound down or transferred. A region that previously lived with and from the military is being adapted to fit the civilian economy. For example, a technical college is being set up in the former barracks, and the airport is being privatized.
Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, whose thinking and action are guided by the quest for peace and for ways of putting peace into practice, were the subject of critical appreciation. Linking into the discussion about individuals who think and make peace, the analysis of the conflict in former Yugoslavia with representatives from politics, diplomacy, and academia formed one of the focal points of the second half of the seminar. Norbert Winterstein, a former member of the EU administration in Mostar and winner of the 1997 Hesse Peace Prize, gave a memorable account of his experiences as part of the team trying to re-establish civilian and governmental functions in Mostar. The EU peace mission in Mostar had a number of difficulties to confront, one of the major challenges undoubtedly being that of bringing about reconciliation between the cultures that collide with one another in this region. One crucial factor that had to be borne in mind when reconstructing and reuniting this city cleft in two by a demarcation-line was that before the war it had had properly functioning structures and a civilian life of multicultural stamp. The follow-up panel-discussion with American and Bosnian diplomats, and with Peter Schlotter representing the academic side, highlighted the kinds of efforts which the international community has made, and is still making, to ensure that the Dayton peace-accords are implemented.
As well as economic reconstruction, a number of distinct elements of the negotiating process were highlighted and assessed as to their effect. Amongst the elements needed to ensure lasting peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina is continued support for peace via long-term civil, political, economic, and military commitment from the international community, until, following a period of transition, new democratic forces are able to form a government. The final stage of the discussion was concerned with the normative question of whether the Dayton peace-accords constituted peace-by-diktat on the part of the international community and could only be enforced militarily. The second part of the academy closed with an examination of United Nations options for enforcing peace and international law.
Analysis of the effects of peace formed the focal point of the third part of the academy. Topics such as social consolidation after the conclusion of a peace, the use of military buildings and hardware after the end of the Cold War, and the durability of peace-agreements were at the forefront of the discussions. It became very clear that concluding a peace did not automatically mean that peace became a reality.
This round of the discussion opened with an examination of how peace is consolidated within societies, using the example of the truth commission in South Africa. The commission concentrates on working through past events and seeks to create as comprehensive a picture as possible of human rights. Preconditions for the consolidation of peace, once established, include a willingness to live together in a single state and to bring the truth--which is essentially already known--out into the open, in order to make peaceful co-existence possible on a lasting basis.
Another concrete example which the meeting considered in examining the issue of how peace is actually implemented once a peace treaty has been concluded was Cambodia. It was clear that the UN mission launched in 1992 had failed, for a variety of reasons, and had thus not been able to help consolidate the peace. Other examples of the effects of peace were: nuclear disarmament and the cross-border problems to which it gives rise; the development of German-Polish relations after 1989-90; the political significance of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
The theoretical aspect of the effects of peace was dealt with by Norbert Ropers in his talk about the consolidation of peace as a task for social actors. This showed that the consolidation phase aways harbours the danger of old lines of conflict splitting open again and leading to new conflicts. The concluding examination of eight practical areas of operation for those in positions of responsibility within society demonstrated that social actors can indeed act as a counterweight to the political (governmental) search for solutions.
An excursion into the realm of the practical was provided by the trip to Pozn[daggerdbl]n in Poland and the visit to the Institute of Western Studies, directed by Anna Wolff-Poweska. Colonel Pavel Seydak of the Polish General Staff described the challenges which Poland faces as a new member of NATO. This gave participants a chance to discuss the effects of peace in Poland with a practitioner on the ground. This same topic was the subject of one of the work-groups at the seminar. As well as discussing the effects of NATO's eastward expansion, this work-group had also focused on the social and internal political effects of the post-Cold War opening-up of Poland.
The final excursion to Potsdam, and the visit to the Cecilienhof palace, once again highlighted the significance of the spring academy's triple approach to the theme of peace, and the links between the three elements : the Potsdam conference of 1945, whose task was to work out the principles on which the future internal structure of defeated Hitlerite Germany should be based, devoted its attention to the effects of the the end of the Second World war; the preconditions for lasting peace had still to be created.
Contact: Dr Berthold Meyer, HSFK, Leimenrode 29, D-60322 Frankfurt/M., Tel.: +49 (69) 959104-0, Fax: +49 (69) 558481, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.hsfk.de
The conference was held for the fourth time in Marburg and was organized jointly by the Forum Friedenspsychologie Bewußt-Sein für den Frieden (FFP: Psychology of Peace Forum) and the Interdisziplinäre Arbeitsgruppe Friedens- und Abrüstungsforschung (IAFA: Interdisciplinary Work-Group on Research into Peace and Disarmament) at the Philipps University, Marburg. Gert Sommer, Jost Stellmacher, and Ulrich Wagner were responsible for organizing the conference, which was funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verhaltenstherapie (German Society of Behavioural Therapy), the Sektion Politische Psychologie im Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologen (Political Psychology Section of the Association of German Psychologists), the Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Gesprächspsychotherapie (Society for the Study of Non-directive Therapy), the University of Marburg, and the Ursula Kuhlmann Foundation.
The conference, important in itself, was particularly relevant given that 1998 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday lunchtime, thirty-eight talks were given on the theme of `Human Rights and Peace'.
The speakers represented a variety of disciplines--psychology, sociology, the political sciences, education, philosophy, and theology--and a number of major human-rights organizations: Amnesty International (in the person of Lothar Müller, spokesperson of the co-ordinating group on human-rights education), Food First--Informations- und Aktionsnetzwerk (in the person of Michael Windfuhr), Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Andreas Büro), medico international (Usche Merk), the human-rights section of the Diakonisches Werk (social service agency of the German Protestant Church), and the Forum Menschenrechte (Christiane Schulz).
The talks gave an intensive glimpse into the human-rights issue. During the discussions, the problems of the indivisibility and universality of human rights, of the importance of human rights in political work, of sanctions, and of the ways in which human rights might be enforced were the subject of particularly intensive debate. In addition, many of the contributions stressed the great importance of fundamental economic, social, and cultural rights. This gave added weight to an area that is usually badly neglected, particularly in the West. And because civil and political rights repeatedly appeared as a central feature in the various talks, the conference provided a particularly vivid demonstration of, amongst other things, the indivisibility of human rights. Given the mass of information and comment provided by the speakers at the conference, no more than an overview of the topics dealt with can be given here.
Following the opening of the conference by the vice-chancellor of the University, Professor Schiller, and the vice-dean of the department of psychology, Professor Schulze, Reinhard Kühnl spoke on the historical development of human rights since the French Revolution. Gert Sommer then gave an overview of the UN Charter and of the research being carried out by his work-group on knowledge of, and attitudes to, human rights. Human rights, so the findings showed, were only poorly known overall. Civil and political rights were considerably better known and were ranked higher than economic, social, and cultural rights such as the right to social security or to protection against unemployment.
In a concluding session on the Sunday, Barbara Müller talked about the
importance of the relational aspect in human-rights protection, using the
Balkan Peace Team as an example. Wilhelm Kempf, pursuing the theme of the
tenth conference, addressed the topic of journalism as something conducive to
war or to peace, and the important concomitant distinction between fostering
outrage at the enemy and fostering outrage at war. In the final contribution,
Hajo Schmidt analysed, amongst other things, Kant's deliberations on
Perpetual Peace and the question the work raises about the
*institution in which ultimate political authority resides.
A total of 85 people took part in the meeting. Given the importance of the topic and the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one would have hoped for a larger attendance. That said, the very manageable size of the group helped create a very productive and pleasant working atmosphere, with scope for intensive discussion of the talks and a stimulating exchange of ideas during the breaks and in the evenings. Our thanks go to the student helpers--most of all Jost Stellmacher--for the meticulous running of the conference office and the very successful organization of the break-periods.
Publication of a collection of the major conference-papers is planned.
Gert Sommer, Jost Stellmacher, and Ulrich Wagner
The first two conferences of the European Peace Research Association, in Florence in 1991 and and Budapest in 1993, were followed up, from 16 to 19 July 1998, by a third conference in the University of Twente, near the idyllic Dutch city of Enschede. Two previous attempts to organize a conference had failed through lack of funds. This year's conference--originally to have been held in conjunction with the University of Münster, which had to withdraw at short notice for organizational reasons-- was magnificently prepared by Jaap de Wilde (University of Twente) and had the overall theme of `The 350th Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia: From Prgamatic Solution to Global Structure'. About 100 academics from nineteen European countries, the USA, Canada, Israel, and New Zealand took part in the discussions about the importance of the Westphalian peace-agreements and its effects on the development, immediately after them, of the European nation-states and on the subsequent shaping of international relations and international law. Over fifty papers formed the basis for discussions in six separate work-groups: (1) the Westphalian system and its development; (2) the significance of war within the state system--from heroic warfare to mediation and peacekeeping; (3) the conquest of far-off countries and the South--from colonial empires, economic imperialism, and decolonization to `good governance'; (4) the importance of transnational relations, NGO actors, the global economy, and global challenges; (5) the globalization of the Westphalian system--sovereignty disputes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); (6) the development of diplomacy. At the EuPRA general meeting, which took place outside the main conference, Judit Bal^zs of Hungary was re-elected chairperson for a second period. Those elected to the executive were: Zlatko Isakovic (Yugoslavian Federation/Serbia), Pertti Joennieme (Finland), Wojciech Kostecki (Poland--for a second term), Rodolfo Ragionieri (Italy--for a second term), Alexander Sergounin (Russia), and Katarzyna Zukrowska (Poland). The new exectuive reappointed Karlheinz Koppe as secretary, until such time as another EuPRA member is found who is willing to take over the post. The chairperson thanked the outgoing members of the executive: HŒkan Wiberg (Denmark), Lev Voronkov (Russia/Austria), Riitta Wahlström (Finland), and Jaap de Wilde (Netherlands).
The executive and the general meeting conducted a detailed discussion about the financial situation, which is such that it is extremely difficult to raise the funds needed to hold general meetings. The evidence seems to indicate that it is easier to secure money for topic-related colloquia, as in the case of Twente. The members present at the meeting therefore decided that the EuPRA--as is indeed stipulated in its statutes--should regard itself primarily as the European section of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) and should help support the latter's activities. In future, the EuPRA general meeting will therefore take place, `piggy-back fashion', on the fringes of the IPRA general meeting. Regional conferences will be conducted on an exclusively topic-related basis, on the Enschede model--assuming enough funds are available. All IPRA members who are active in Europe are to be invited to become EuPRA members as well, as a way of promoting professional communication between peace researchers. For this reason, the EuPRA will continue its policy of not charging any membership-fee. Efforts will also be made to ensure that all EuPRA members receive AFBInfo. Information about EuPRA can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.copri.dk/ipra/IPRA.html
Contact: European Peace Research Association EuPRA, c/o Dr Karlheinz Koppe (Secretary), Wurzerstraße 136, D-53175 Bonn, Tel./Fax: +49 (228) 352603, e-mail: email@example.com
For the first time in its thirty-four-year history, the International Peace Research Association held its general conference on the African continent. The active participation of a number of African delegates showed that, by holding another meeting in a so-called `emerging country', it had moved a goodly step closer to its constitutionally declared goal of `diversity' (Art. 4 of the IPRA Statutes).
In his introductory talk, the director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, highlighted the importance of South Africa's recent history in terms of peace research. With its racially based conflict between the movement for liberation and the apartheid regime, the country, he said, not only offered a wealth of material for conflict research; it had also produced four winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, in the person of Chief Luthuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Frederik de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela. Vasu Gounden expressed the hope that the successful transformation in South Africa might serve as an example for scholars and activists throughout the world. IPRA chairperson Keven Clements (George Mason University) also stressed the significance of this first conference on African soil and called on participants, poised on the threshold of the twenty-first century, to develop `creative and non-violent models of conflict resolution'. IPRA deputy chairperson Diyanama Ywassa (Togo) concluded by pointing to the fact that the idea of peace was an integral element of all African cultures.
In his talk on `Conflicting Challenges at the Close of the 20th Century', Ambassador Francis Deng (Sudan) analysed the conflict-fraught past of the African continent. He identified the problem-areas of democratization, underdevelopment, the danger of armed conflict, and the human-rights situation as challenges for politicians and scholars. In multi-ethnic states, for example, old lines of conflict, he said, would reappear. The only conceivable solution, he thought, was the decentralization of political power.
Ambassador Deng was critical in his assessment of the peace efforts of the regional state-groupings ECOWAS (West Africa) and SADC (Southern Africa), which he accused, along with the United Nations, of setting the minority interests of influential members above the well-being of the group as a whole. He mentioned his unsuccessful attempt to set up an `African Leadership Forum' within the Organization of African Unity (OAU), as a way of initiating a kind of African Helsinki process. The challenge for peace research in Africa was to resolve the apparent contradiction between national interests and universal human rights.
In his talk on `Building Meaningful North-South Co-operation', Katsuya Kodama (Mie University) painted a gloomy picture. The expectations of a slow rapprochement between North and South had been disappointed, he said; instead, the divide between the two was growing ever deeper. The South African model of a truth commission to tackle the crimes of the apartheid regime could serve as a model for tackling the legacy of the colonial age. What was more, the Western states would use two yardsticks--as the differing reactions to the economic crisis in Asia and Africa showed. The greatest danger at the end of the twentieth century, he said, was multinational business--the conflict would be decided in the area of contention between human rights and the free market.
The second day of the conference began with a talk by M. V. Naidu (Brandon University) entitled `Globalization--Uniting or Dividing the World?'. In it, Mr Naidu considered the effects of the massive and indiscriminate industrialization of the world, which, he said, had led to the dehumanization of science and technology. One-sided preoccupation with power and profit would preclude human aspirations to health and happiness and would lead to `internal colonizatoin'. This trend, he said, reinforced by media imperialism, would ultimately result in racism and militarism. He described the widespread thesis that `What was good for the West was also good for the South' as the greatest deception of the twentieth century. Increased industrialization would at most merely lead to greater unemployment.
In contrast, Majid Tenranian (Toda Institute) explained that globalization was not a new process and had been going on for at least 2,500 years. As far as peace research was concerned, what was important was not to halt the process but to understand it. Mr Tenranian analysed two `mega-trends' in the international system: an emergent international security-system in which the USA held the balance between the powers; and the ideology of neoliberalism. He pointed to the world-wide danger which refugees--numbering between 27 million and 50 million--posed to global peace. On the credit side, he cited the success of global civil society, which had first made possible the breakthrough at the international land-mine conference in Ottawa. He mentioned `global governance' as a possible positive side-effect of the globalization of markets.
In his talk `Reforming International Institutions towards Meeting Human Needs', John Amoda addressed the congential defects of the United Nations: its founders, he said, had assumed that all the member-states were liberal democracies. In fact, the work of the UN in practice contrasted sharply with the Chater's aims. Because of this congential defect, the UN security system had been unable to cope with the conflict between the superpowers. Nowadays, the UN's main task lay in peacekeeping. Mr Amoda called on the United Nations to `Africanize' itself: Africa was, after all, the only continent in which the UN was still playing an important role.
Kam Chetty of the World Bank objected to his institution's being cast in a bad light: development questions were too complex to be solved with ideological slogans. He set out the World Bank's `new thinking', which, he said, was gaining more and more supporters within the institution itself. New projects, for example, now had to be supported by the local population. The bank's role was changing from that of a simple giver of credit to that of a mediator of knowledge. In regard to a reform of the UN, Mr Chetty pointed to the need to make the organization more independent of members' contributions. Serious thought must be given to introducing a Tobin-style global tax. And in future, more development-initiatives must emanate from those UN organizations in which--in contrast to the situation in the World Bank and the IMF--the principle of `one country, one vote' obtained.
The morning session on the third day of the conference was given over entirely to human rights. Ngande Mwanajiti pointed out that most African societies were very much geared to consensus and showed very little tolerance of divergent opinions. Hence, in most states in the continent, there were hardly any institutions for resolving conflicts peacefully. This made the universal validity of the UN Human Rights Charter all the more crucial. Ngamde Mwanajiti saw the new generation of African politicians, who backed the idea of collaboration with the international financial institutions and were much lauded in the West, as posing a threat--especially to fundamental social rights.
Carolyn Stephenson pointed to the continuing economic inequality between the sexes: poverty in Africa, she said, was female, very young/very old, jobless and landless, and living in an urban environment. There was a direct link between poverty and inequality between the sexes. Despite this, women's demands for greater political participation could no longer be suppressed, even in Africa. Greater female participation in political power would susbtantially reduce the likelihood of armed conflicts both within and between states.
Using the examples of Latin America and Indonesia, the American journalist Allan Nairn illustrated the interplay between the interests of capital and human-rights violations. All over the world, he said, human rights were becoming less and less important compared with the rights of investors--and both direct and indirect violence was increasing as a result. In Guatemala and Haiti, the CIA was backing paramilitary groups that were threatening the work of grass-roots movements. The World Bank and the IMF needed the support of the military in order to be able to enforce programmes of structural adjustment. All to often in the West, there was a convenient congruence between self-interest and morality.
Many of the participants used the lunch-break to attend the opening of an exhibition entitled `Gandhi, Luthuli, King, Mandela: A Legacy for the Future', which had been mounted in the documentation centre at the University of Durban-Westville. Leonard Suransky (University of Durban-Westville) explained that the exhibition was the first project realized by the Gandhi-Luthuli Peace Institute (GLPI). The motto of the institute is `Peace through Sarvadoya and Ubuntu' and the institute is funded by the university and the Gandhi and Luthuli estates. The university has fostered the Gandhian legacy since its foundation--it was, after all, in South Africa that Gandhi worked out the basic outline of his philosophy.
The plenary session in the afternoon addressed the conflict between `Military Security and Human Security'. Seiitsu Tachibana (Yamanashi Women's Junior College) made a link between `human security' and `human dignity'. He contested the assumption that the risk of a nuclear conflict had diminished since the end of the Cold War. And a peace dividend, he said, was still awaited.
Diyanama Ywassa described the dangerous spread of the international trade in arms, whilst Gavin Cawthra (University of Witwatersrand) described South Africa's disarmament efforts. The defence budget, for example, had been cut by 65 per cent, and South Africa was the only country that had voluntarily got rid of its nuclear capability. The government was also making efforts to apply the concept of `human security' in practice, but there was resistance to this inside the South African Defence Force. In the discussion that followed, however, it became clear that not all the participants viewed South Africa's role equally positively. It was remarked, for example, that South African arms-exports had trebled since Mandela had come to power.
The final day of the conference had as its theme `Resolution of Internal Conflicts: Reconciliation and Reconstruction of War-Torn Societies'. Kingsley Moghalu of the UN tribunal dealing with the genocide in Rwanda described the tribunals' work. He stressed the unique nature of the tribunal, which, in contrast to the war-crimes trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo, was dealing with an internal conflict. The legal review, he said, was intended first and foremost to serve the victims, not to defend a universal legal position. The tribunal, he said, was also in a position to provide psychological advice and legal assistance to victims, and also, to a limited extent, material aid. Mr Moghalu stressed that the tribunal was only empowered to arraign the main political instigators of the genocide.
John Daniels compared the Rwandan method of coming to terms with the past with the South African `truth and reconciliation commission' model. He warned against underestimating the extent of the violence in the apartheid state. In the province of KwaZulu alone, more than 11,000 people had died in political clashes between 1985 and 1994. The crucial difference between the South African and Rwandan models was the `truth for justice' trade-off. Although it was not yet clear whether the commission had contributed to reconciliation, the successes in establishing the truth were unmistakable. In the ensuing discussion, the cry was again raised for a truth commission for the North, to deal in particular with the crimes committed by the USA. A legal review of imperialism and slavery was also overdue, it was said; and the question of reparations ought not to be excluded.
Maria Villareal compared the two examples from Africa with the situation in her adopted homeland, Guatemala. Despite the formal return to democracy, both the upper and middle classes were hostile to any real change. Ms Villareal described Guatemala as a `anxious society'. After thirty-six years of armed conflict, the majority of Guatemalans had internalized violence. The only solution was a transformation of the military and the creation of a new police and judicial apparatus.
The final plenary dealt with the future of peace and conflict research. In his introductory talk, Kumar Rupesinghe (London) described the transformation that had occurred in peace studies since the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, he said, the goal was no longer simply to abolish war, but also to combat its causes. He described the creation of a `democratic peace' in Western Europe, which had given the continent the longest period of stability in its history, as a success. Zones of conflict were, he said, mostly areas in which the process of state formation had not yet been completed. In Africa, he saw an insidious process of recolonization at work, and the nature of warfare had, he said, changed. Other threats emanated from the world-wide trade in arms and from Mafia-like structures. The challenge for the future lay in the creation of `early-warning/early-action facilities'. As successful examples of global co-operation by civil society, he cited the positive outcome in the struggle against landmines and the way in which Amnesty International had become established as a moral authority in matters of human rights.
Janusz Symonides (UNESCO, Paris) also called for a developmenet perspective that took account of human rather than purely economic factors. Human-rights violations must no longer be played down as being a matter of cultural difference. The last speaker, Ramesh Thakur (United Nations University, Tokyo), situated peace research in relation to its hostile twin-sister `strategic studies'. Whereas the latter was concerned with national security, the preoccupation of the former was human security. This was also an area in which the two major theories of international relations--realism and liberalism--stood in opposition to one another.
The conference ended with an evening of poetry and song in memory of the peace researcher Paul Smoker (Antioch College, USA), who died in January 1998.
In addition to the plenary discussions described above, more than twenty commissions met outside the core conference. Details of these cannot be provided here.
In conclusion: it is clear that, even in its thirty-fourth year of existence, the IPRA is still searching for an identity. The tension between research and action has still not been overcome. Even within the research community, there are different views as to the core areas of concern. Thus, there was clear annoyance at the fact that `hard' topics such as the arms trade and disarmament had been pushed into the background in favour of `soft' topics such as peace literature. The IPRA must opt for a clearer research-profile, so that its members and concerns are not `filched' by other organizations such as the International Studies Association.
In the discussion that followed the addresses, regret was expressed at the fact that there had been a cooling of relations between the IPRA and peace-research institutes. Without the involvement of research institutes, the IPRA, it was said, had no future. Despite all protestations to the contrary, the organization continued to be dominated by researchers from the North. Diyanama Ywassa proposed expanding the IPRA executive in order to ensure better representation from the South. This was countered with the observation that, holding as it did twenty-one of the fifty-seven official posts, the South was already over-represented. Other targets of criticism were the poor publicity for the conference within South Africa and an alleged decline in academic standards, which one delegate said was the cause of the poor showing by research institutes.
Despite the sometimes vehement criticism, the IPRA executive was duly discharged. The meeting thanked the outgoing president, Kevin Clements--who was not applying for another term--for his work. Ursula Oswald Spring (National University of Mexico) was elected the new IPRA chairperson, and Bj¿rn M¿ller was re-elected secretary-general for a further term. Newly elected to the executive to serve as deputy chairpersons are Regine Mehl (Arbeitstelle Friedensforschung Bonn/Peace Research Unit Bonn) and Katsuya Kodama (Mie University). The meeting approved a scheme from the secretary-general aimed at bringing about closer co-operation between the IPRA and the Journal of Peace Research.
In conclusion, Kevin Clements reported on the work of the IPRA Foundation. This year's Senesh grant had been awarded to Jennifer Santiago of Manila; and the Kenneth Boulding Fund had contributed$US10,000 towards attendance at the conference by researchers from developing countries.
Wolf-Christian Paes (Stellenbosch/Bonn)
Contact: International Peace Research Association, c/o Dr Bj¿rn M¿ller, Secretary-General, Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, Fredericiagade 18, DK-1310 Copenhagen K, Tel.: +45/3345-5050 or +45/3345-5052, Fax: +45/3345-5060, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.copri.dk/ipra/ipra.html