A Multicultural View
of Peacemaking among
Marina Butovskaya, Peter Verbeek, Thomas Ljungberg, & Antonella Lunardini
Conflict and peace are integral aspects of the human experience; until recently, however, conflict has received more scholarly attention than peace. Much of the past emphasis on conflict has been motivated by the assumption that a better understanding of the causes of conflict and aggression will help us build a peaceful world. From this perspective peace can exist only in the absence of conflict, a view of peace commonly referred to as negative peace. During the past decades behavioral scientists have increasingly turned their attention to positive peace, that is, the relational processes that actively promote peace through, for instance, avoidance of aggressive confrontation (peacekeeping, or sociative peace; Gregor 1996) or through relational repair in the aftermath of conflict, violence, and aggression (peacemaking, or restorative peace; Gregor 1996). To illustrate this trend, there is a growing interest within anthropology in determining what makes peaceful societies peaceful (Howell & Willis 1989; Sponsel & Gregor 1994), and peace psychologists are turning their attention from psychological obstacles to peace (Wessells 1993) to psychological facilitation of peace (Staub 1996).
Ethologists have been among the most active investigators of sociative and restorative peace in nonhuman animals, in particular nonhuman primates. During the past two decades ethologists have identified behavioral strategies that forestall aggression, allow avoidance of confrontation, or promote restoration of relations in the aftermath of aggression (de Waal, Chapter 2; Judge, Chapter 7).
The field of child development mirrors other behavioral disciplines in its approach to conflict