Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Positive peace implies more than the absence of war. It suggests creating social relationships that contribute to mutual well-being and human flourishing. The concept goes beyond the negative definition of peace as the absence of war, which is upheld in international law. According to Johan Galtung, the Norwegian sociologist and father of peace studies, peace is not necessarily the opposite of war. Indeed, peace and war are not necessarily exclusive states. Galtung's innovation was to define negative peace as the absence of direct violence and positive peace as the absence of structural violence or, to put it positively, the presence of conditions in which people can realize their potential. This wider understanding of peace has been controversial but has fostered an enriched understanding of the relationship between building peace and ending war. A positive understanding of peace has been implicit in the term for peace in many cultures. The eirene ...