-Book review by Dr.Claude Shema-Rutagengwa
50 Years, 100 Peace & Conflict Perspectives (Xlibris, 2008)
Review of book by peace discipline pioneer Pr. Johan Galtung
The world we live in today is facing multiple challenges, different kinds of disasters, but often the calamities made by human beings.
In other words, the conflict issues and wars made by ourselves as humane are more disastrous than any natural disaster. The reason is that natural catastrophe can be handled jointly by humane efforts, without anyone to blame, while conflicts – normally – born and caused from humane being hearts, and fueled by parties and mutual blaming, one side to another, are in a battle over interest.
Therefore, since peaceful conflict transformation is only the effective and positive way towards a peaceful world, it is very important to look back and get more ideas about how to transcend conflict today, tomorrow, and how to prevail any conflict escalation for a better world of next generation.
In so doing, the peace discipline pioneer Pr. Johan Galtung shared with us the pathways towards a better world in his book entitled “50 years, 100 Peace & conflict perspectives”.
According to his book, Pr. Johan Galtung has been active in mediation since 1958. That means that he has over 50 years of experience.
The book is structured more or less as a medical work, from Diagnosis, to Prognosis and Therapy. In other words, from problem analysis to remedy.
The perspectives go beyond the personal and individual (micro) cases up to continental (macro-mega) level.
Reading the book is like living one’s daily life because it reflects the real issues that we face day-by-day.
100 peace and conflicts perspectives do not come just as a simple idea or just a nice title for a book, but as a priceless job well done by Pr.Johan Galtung. It includes concrete peace activities, especially involvement in mediation and peace education matters.
When you read the book title, the first impression would be that the book reflects only on war and conflict. But this is not the case. Since peace is a cross-cutting issue, inter-disciplinary I mean, there is a large range of issues covered by the 50 years of experience in the field by Pr. Galtung, like social issues, development, environment, global politics, etc, because all of these are inter-linked to peace and humankind.
The book is a great work of Pr. Johan Galtung and his TRANSCEND Network (www.transcend.org/tup) , but much more, the book is our daily tool to analise and think about what should be done in field of peace, peaceful conflict transformation by peaceful means, and, of course, mediation and related fields.
To a Peaceful End!