The International Journal of Peace Studies after Ten Years

Article excerpt

What a pleasure it is to write an introduction to an issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies that celebrates the fact that it has survived, and prospered, for more than a decade. As I write the introduction to this issue in September 2006, I recall the concerns that I had when I was asked by Ho-Won Jeong to write an introduction to the first issue that would appear in January 1996 (Alger, 1996). In particular, an International journal of peace studies requires the development of a supportive international network of scholars from around the world.

Some of my concerns were quickly overcome. The journal was to be a project of the Global Political Economy Study Commission of the International Peace Research Association, and Jeong had already involved an array of outstanding peace research scholars from around the world. He had obtained articles for the first issue from John Burton (1996), Johan Galtung (1996), Birgit Brock-Utne (1996), and one from Paul Smoker and Linda Groff (1996). In addition, he had assembled an Editorial Board of peace research scholars from Belgium, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Obviously this peace studies journal had a remarkably appropriate founding structure. A discipline committed to developing knowledge that will facilitate the building of a peaceful world must develop dialogue among scholars from the entire world. People throughout the world are now linked through a variety of global communications, economic and climatic processes. At the same time, peacelessness has a diversity of root causes in different climates, economies, cultures, and political systems around the world. This means that building world peace requires dialogue among scholars living in environments in which there are a diversity of peace building agendas and perspectives. Thus, the Editor, the Managing Editor, the authors of the first issue and the Editorial Board, were from eleven countries around the world.

Since 1996 the IJPS has significantly extended its capacity to provide the basis for a global dialogue on peace issues. From its founding to Volume 11, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2006, articles have been published by scholars from twenty-nine countries around the world and the present Editorial Board is from thirteen countries. In addition, the Managing Editor, Formosa College and Grassroots Publishing are producing a high quality, and very attractive journal. These achievements led to the IJPS becoming the official journal of the International Peace Research Association in 2000.

It is a challenging task for the Editor of IJPS to acquire articles that reflect the global reach of IPRA. Since its founding in 1964 IPRA has had held twenty biannual conferences in nineteen countries that have reached across the world, including Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Oaxtepec (Mexico), Sussex (England), Bled (Slovenia), Malta, Durban (South Africa), Varanasi (India), Kyoto (Japan), Suwon (Korea), and Brisbane (Australia). IPRA has had Secretaries General from Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, UK, and the USA. Its present Council Members are from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Uganda, and USA. IPRA has five regional associations that reach around the world: Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA), Africa Peace Research and Education Association (AFPREA), European Peace Research Association (EUPRA), Latin American Peace Research Association (CLAIP) and Peace and Justice Association (North America).

At the same time, the diversity of sub-groups that have emerged in IPRA reflects the broadening agenda of peace research that the Editor and Editorial Board of this journal must attempt to cover. These are the twenty-one IPRA Commissions: Art and peace, Conflict resolution and peace-building, Eastern Europe, Ecology and peace, Forced migration, Gender and peace, Global political economy, Indigenous people's rights, Internal conflicts, International human rights, Nonviolence, Peace culture and communications, Peace education, peace history, Peace journalism, Peace movements, Peace theories, Reconciliation, Religion and peace, Security and disarmament, and Youth. …