Skip to content

Tools for peacebuilding: Dieter Senghaas: The Civilisation of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation

April 26, 2013

 

Dieter Senghaas

Is There Any Future For Peace?

 

From the periodical of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria
‘zur debatte’, 7/2006, P. 21-23

 

Which are the conditions of a durable or lasting peace, of a peace that reliably counters the danger of a relapse into violent – in borderline cases military – clashes on interest- and identity conflicts? Immanuel Kant in 1795 named basic conditions for such a peace. They were the starting-point for Professor Dr. Dieter Senghaas’s evening lecture on 19 October 2006. He described social processes of change and the problem situations resulting from them. He dealt with the preconditions of peace, and also with currently disputed questions, such as policy of peace and global perspectives of peace. The paper is made accessible by “zur debatte”. 

In the year 1795 Immanuel Kant published his famous “philosophical sketch” Zum ewigen Frieden, usually in English translation published under the title On Perpetual Peace. The state of peace among men, so the Königsberg philosopher wrote, is no natural state. For the natural state among men is rather war; well, not necessarily the outbreak of hostilities, rather their everlasting threat. In view of this situation the state of peace was to be formally instituted – this is the famous formulation of Kant. To bring peace about begins within states and societies, continues between the states and at last on the level of the world-wide society or mankind as a whole. As is well known, it was to these three levels that Kant’s constructive considerations on the architecture of a – as we would name it today – lasting or enduring peace referred to; that is a peace where the relapse into violence or into wars does no longer exist, so that one can speak of a zone of stable peace, as we observe it today in the community of the EU-states.

Let me present some systematic observations to the first of the levels mentioned, i.e. to the conditions that make internal peace possible; but – although setting this main focus – I additionally aim at drawing some consequences for the two other levels, in particular for the level of mankind. That I thereby bring up for discussion only part of the complex and multi-dimensional peace problems, which are today far more complex than at Kant’s lifetime, goes without saying.

 

I.

The necessity to deal in peace studies once more with the conditions of domestic resp. social peace has to do with the profound changes which the western world has already undergone since the second half of the 18th century at the latest, but the other parts of the world above all in the past century, and especially in the past decades since the end of the Second World War. When Kant published his peace paper the world, also Europe was still to a large extent moulded by rural societies. This gradually changed in the 19th century. But only the bygone 20th century – though little is spoken about this – will go down in history as the century of deruralisation (‘Entbäuerlichung’) overcoming the rural character of the world. Today most people no longer live under conditions of a self-sufficient economy, but in nation-wide economies with dramatically increasing world-economical relations. Developing countries are not excluded from that trend, although clear gradations continue to exist, e.g. between the newly industrialized countries of Eastern Asia (NICs) on the one hand and Black Africa on the other hand.

Why is this apparently banal social-statistical circumstance of importance, even of importance for the peace problem? In contrast to rural communities in the traditional-rural framework these new socio-economic surroundings result in a tremendous extension of man’s intellectual and emotional horizon and radius of action. What is more, the urbanization accompanying the structural change condenses the communication; and for the first time in world history the mass of human beings can be organized politically. Moreover a simultaneous alphabetization on mass basis leads to a widespread mobilization of intelligence, that is to say, to a mental emancipation and to a revolution of abilities. Thus man’s general level of competence rises dramatically. A transformation takes place, a conversion: “from ignorance to awareness, to a connection with the world”, as some years ago a nun working among the poor of the Indian society aptly formulated (FAZ, 6 January 1998). So, in contrast to the traditional society the chance of social advancement and upward mobility is given. Furthermore the trend of life expectancies and life-styles likewise becomes world-wide comparable thanks to the in the meantime world-wide spreading media. Possibly today global demonstration effects via media are even more effective than the globalization of the economies.

Thus out of traditional ways of life societies arise which can be politicized and are in fact politicized. In them traditional identities become contested. “Truths” can no longer be defined beyond doubt. Conceptions of justice are multiplied, just as interests. In view of the many and diverse order-political definitions and projects the question what a “good society” is, has become a disputed issue. The “tranquillitas ordinis” (peace by order) about which – in the surroundings of a traditional society – once Augustine and correspondingly many other authors wrote, can no longer be nailed down. There arise – seen from their structure – conflict-laden, should the occasion arise violent-pregnant societies that – if they are not forced by dictatorship or despotism – can no longer be reduced to a common denominator. But under such new socio-economical and socio-cultural conditions also dictatorships and despotisms are sooner or later doomed to failure. For plurality is insurmountable. The politicization of identities, truths, interests and conceptions of justice is irreversible. The consequence of all this is that meanwhile the demand for political participation can be heard in any corner of the world.

If social, economic and cultural arguments present themselves as political, and political arguments as social, economic and cultural ones, we face fundamental politicization. And thus for some decades in many societies the question of coexistence in spite of a fundamental politicization has come to a head. The alternative to coexistence is – in extreme cases – civil war, as today’s political experience teaches us every day anew.

 

II.

But how does one escape civil war in societies that are thoroughly politically mobilized? How can peace be brought about under such conditions? The reorganization of the world just characterized happened first as consequence of the agrarian and industrial revolution since the middle of the 18th century in the western and northern part of Europe. For that reason here the problems just outlined – coexistence in spite of fundamental politicizing – became acute at the earliest. And here also some results of handling these problems can be observed most easily. Above all six conditions for a civilized, i.e. for a long time violence-free handling of inevitable conflicts must be stressed.

To be mentioned is first of all the legitimate power monopoly of the state, i.e. the protection of the legal public order. It is of fundamental importance for any modern peace order. Only the “disarmament of the citizens” forces them to settle their identity- and interest conflicts with arguments and not by force. Only under such conditions potential conflict parties are forced to an argumentative discussion, and thus to deliberative politics in the public area. The dramatic meaning of this matter becomes evident where the power monopoly breaks down and a rearmament of the citizens takes place, that is to say when feuds and warlords arise again, as it can be observed in the militant conflict spots in many places in the world.

But the power monopoly, secondly, requires control founded on the rule of law, if it is not simply to be the expression of arbitrariness. Without such control, which is the quintessence of the modern constitutional state, the power monopoly would be nothing else but a paraphrase for dictatorship, i.e. the rule of the strongest. The rule of law prescribes the rules of the political process of shaping public opinion and forming political demands as well as finding political decisions and enforcing laws. Apart from general principles as they are laid down in catalogues of fundamental rights, these rules are of fundamental importance, just because people in politicized societies usually do not agree on substantial points of controversy.

The third essential condition for internal peace is the control of emotions or the affect control, which arises out of many kinds of interdependences. Modern societies are differentiated in many different ways. In people’s various “role plays” there is a wide range of human loyalties. Varied role-specific demands, so conflict theory and everyday life experiences teach us, lead to a fragmentation of the conflicts and to a moderation of conflict behaviour, to a taming of the affects, because without the latter living together in complex societies would not at all be conceivable.

On the other hand however, just in view of an essential control of emotions, fourthly, democratic participation is necessary. For, where people cannot interfere in public affairs, be it for reasons of legal or other discriminations, a “Rechtsunruhe” (Sigmund Freud) (unrest about the legal public order) develops, at worst a build-up of conflicts, which in societies apt to politicize can become a place that produces violence. Hence democracy as the foundation of building up the legal public order – widely considered to be legitimate – is not a luxury in societies modernizing themselves but a necessary precondition for peaceful handling of conflicts.

But, fifth, such handling of conflicts in politicized societies will only last long, if there are constant endeavours towards social justice. Modern societies are predominantly oriented towards capitalist market economy; in dynamics inherent in this system continuously produces inequality. If this dynamic toward inequality is not constantly countered, explosive social cleavages develop in the societies. If there are not such continuous efforts for distributive justice, the disadvantaged people will question the credibility of the state founded on the rule of law, since its rules are no longer felt as reasonably fair. On the other hand such serious efforts to build up social justice and fairness supply the constructive handling of conflicts with material substance; by such efforts public institutions are backed with legitimacy.

If there are in public fair chances to articulate one’s identity and to balance different interests, it can be assumed, sixth, that such an arrangement of handling conflicts is reliably internalized, and thus the ability to handle conflicts by orientating oneself towards compromises – including the tolerance necessary for it – will become an obvious standard of political action. The power monopoly, the rule of law and democracy – brief and succinct: the democratic constitutional state – embodies itself in the political culture. The culture of constructive handling of conflicts thus becomes the emotional basis of the society. The material benefits (“social justice”) thereby prove to be an important bridge between the institutional structure and its positive emotional protection (“public sentiment”). Corresponding “ligatures”, to use a term of Ralf Dahrendorf, develop i.e. political-cultural connecting forces resp. socio-cultural depth connections.

 

III.

The political culture of constructive handling of conflicts does not stand at the beginning of the development of modern coexistence. It is rather a late product in the historical process. And – like the other five components – it had not been traced out in the traditional old-European culture. On the contrary: The development of each individual component can rather be interpreted as a result of reluctant behaviour. For historically regarded, disarmament over centuries as a rule was the result of victory and defeat in elimination fights: The stronger triumphed over the weaker, a higher instance over the subordinate. The rule of law had its origin in historically contested compromises wrested from the conflict parties – compromises that naturally were not loved. In fragile power situations they were often understood as no more than a temporary concession that could be revoked. To the control of emotions, i.e. the restraining of passions and emotions, applies: Self-determined life in reasonable small areas and relations was always preferred to integration into systems with inherent dynamism, i.e. into self-referential functional systems, as is said today, that develop a momentum of their own. At the latest since Freud one knows that the control of emotions is determined by the imperatives of the reality principle and not the pleasure principle, hence it does not come into being without a substantial measure of sublimation.

Besides, the struggle for the extension of participation took always place against strong defensive fronts, just as the quarrel over just distribution and fairness in a world of system-inherent inequality. Political sharing and distributive justice had to be wrested from the respective status quo powers. And finally a culture of constructive handling of conflicts came only into existence under lucky circumstances, in so far as the aforementioned components of the civilizing process individually became powerful realities in history, moreover strengthened each other mutually and at last established themselves also emotionally. Only under such extreme preconditions the civilizing of modern conflict, and thus the in principle violent-free settlement of conflicts in the surroundings of a fundamental politicizing became probable.

So the civilized settlement of conflicts under dynamic social conditions can only be understood as the historical result of many concrete conflicts, which in the European context took place in a certain order corresponding to the above explanation. The result is a construct of handling conflicts peacefully (“civilization hexagon”).

 

BOX 1: Civilization Hexagon

monopoly of force
 

rule of
law

 

democratic
participation

hexagon of civilisation  

interdependences
and affect control

 

social justice
and equity

constructive
conflict
management

 

It has constitutional, institutional and material dimensions but is also moulded by specific mentalities and is altogether – one must stress this emphatically – an artefact of the civilizing process. For it can be argued plausibly that the facts marking fundamental politicizing in emancipated mass societies, as for example the claim to absolute authority (monarchy, papacy), the concentration on particular interests, the underlining of one’s special identity, the claim to possessive individualism, lobbyist drives etc., suggest themselves and are, as it were, “natural” while on the other hand tolerance, sensitivity for rules, moderation, division of power, readiness to compromise, the sense for more than one’s own interests are rather “artificial”, that is the result of laborious collective learning processes. All these achievements of civilisation of broad effect were also in Europe won against the own old-European tradition moulded by the system of estates and against the as developing in the 19th century modern class society – and in conflict with both of them. Accordingly the democratic constitutional state of the present time is not the result of culture-genetic prefiguring. It is rather the expression of a series of innovations, and in the context of two and a half-thousand-year-old European history only the result of the most recent development.

 

IV.

What in Europe had to be learned laboriously and agonizingly by trial and error, on ways, detours and also wrong ways – tolerance as solution in view of a pluralization that was first felt to be a threat -, will in other parts of the world be repeated certainly not in detail but in principle. In view of the spreading fundamental politicization in consequence of the quoted world-wide observable change of traditional societies into socially mobile ones, one can also there less and less postpone to cope with the problem of coexistence. But as little as once in old Europe, these modern problems, the modern conflict, is as well not provided for in the traditional culture of the non-European cultural areas. Also their conception of themselves was on the whole oriented towards a “cosmos-centred” world-view. In it – particularly in the forms of high mythology – cosmos, society and men were understood as a unity. This was, as in all traditional societies, imagined as a well-established and well-formed hierarchy. Its architecture was thought to be static. In it also the actors’ roles and the rules of the game were fixated. The idea of cycles determined the historical conception of oneself, which in reality according to today’s understanding was not historical, for the cycle – similarly as the events in the yearly rhythm of nature or of the occurrences in the political area (rise, bloom and fall of the structures of empires) – time and again returned to the same starting point. The idea of a plurality of truths was inconceivable.

When under such premises especially the political community and power hierarchies appear as an organic unity, then conflicts are actually considered to be dysfunctional. As in old China, but not only there, they are understood as the “great unrest under the sky”, as starting point of an already existing or threatening chaos. Critical thinking is then understood as contribution to overcoming just this chaos, as chaos mastering strategy that aims at re-establishing the “cosmic order”. For the requirements of coming to terms with the modern coexistence problems such conceptions are no longer helpful. That is why by the force of circumstances also in the remaining world, just as in the Europe of the past 200 years, new up to-date perspectives of handling conflicts and with it new up to-date formulas and forms of internal peace are to emerge.

But in contrast to the western development the collective learning processes in the non-European world are not only determined by respective social and cultural changes there and then. They are also determined by the previous development within the West. This implies substantial additional problems. At present four types of reaction can be observed in the non-European world:

The first reaction can be called modernistic imitative. It accepts the challenge of the west as well as its experiences and “proposed solutions”. It understands the western world as model and fights against the burden of its own tradition, including the own traditional culture. In the first half of the last century there were such orientations in many places, also in China; they did not, at that time, exert historical influence in the culture and history of those countries. But today in two of the four developing countries of Eastern Asia, Korea and Taiwan, they are of decisive success. Here out of broadly effective successful young industrialized countries “newly democratizing countries” arise. In spite of all local colour their political culture in foreseeable time will hardly differ from that of western countries.

Where radical modernizing changes take place and the problems of coexistence become virulent, there also upholders of different orientations appear on the scene: the traditionalists, also reactionaries, generally however the conservatives. It is their intention to stop resp. turn back the wheel of history, in any case however to stop modernization. This type of reaction can be observed everywhere in the world, where western modern spirit and tradition meet each other. Mahatma Gandhi could be quoted here as an especially gentle example of this type of reaction, because his philosophy was orientated towards the village, anti-commercial and egalitarian. It planned small units and for that reason favoured a direct democracy, orientated towards consent in a reasonably small area.

Where radical changes take place there are also conceptions of modernity cut in half. Its advocates lean on the western know-how, but want to keep away all other mental influences. Japan since the 19th century successfully pursued such a project; in the 20th century the ‘really existing socialism’ remained without success. The so-called “Singapore school” – including the “Asian values” massively propagated by it – recently became prominent for such an orientation towards modernity cut in half, Islamic fundamentalism too. But the political problems of a society that becomes more and more complex and plural – be it in Singapore, in China, in the wide field of Islamic societies or in other places – are not brought any closer to a solution with the help of such an order-political program, least where one tries to go to work with theocratic remedies of Islamic provenance. By the latter efforts analytically fascinating parallels are demonstrated, but also the futility of the “theocratic counter-revolution” against modernity, as it could be seen also in Europe (especially in France) in the first half of the 19th century in reaction to the French Revolution. In this political view pluralism was and is seen as an immoral and community-destroying idea, as a sign of value and culture decay, as embodiment of moral blindness (“jahiliyya”). While unrestricted, religiously motivated rule was and is seen as up-to-date.

However when modernity and tradition meet and changes arise, socio-political innovations are necessary also in the non-European world. As little as they were predictable in Europe, so little can they be prognosticated within the non-European area. As far as the future history of conflicts is concerned the inner-European experience will be repeated: As soon as traditional cultures are confronted with social mobilization and therefore with phases of modernization, which means societies go through a structural and consequently also through a mental change, just these cultures with inexorable inevitability get into conflict with themselves. Politically the quoted typical reactions articulate and organize themselves simultaneously. A “clash within civilisation” develops. Out of it the collective learning processes for living together arise – or also problematic abortive developments.

It is not to be assumed that in the European western area such innovations of the modern age, regarding the handling of problems of coexistence, are completely exhausted. The thesis of the “end of history” was based on this assumption. On the contrary, in the coming decades four fifth of mankind as a rule will have to experiment against their will with the issue of how to find anew and at the respective place appropriate answers to the problems of social mobilization and fundamental politicization. It is unlikely that the answers that finally prove to be a success are found abstractly on the drawing-board. The solutions that finally prove to be able to take the weight of the arrangements for coexistence, and thus of internal peace, will come into existence as unintended consequences of political conflicts. Hence non-European societies will not be spared by the laborious, painful and manifold conflict experience of Europe on the way to the democratic constitutional state, its institutions and its ethos. The current and the foreseeable quarrels are comparable to the earlier European procedure, although their results could be different, above all if genuine innovations should really come into being. But just in the latter case the result would not reflect the depth dimension of the traditional culture but something new – contrary to its own tradition and yet dyed into it.

Pluralization as perceived threat and an institutionally secured as well as emotionally embodied tolerance as solution: That is, regarded world-wide, one of the greatest challenges of mankind in the 21st century, no less important than the looming world-wide environmental problems. A review on the 20th century makes clear the explosiveness of the problem. In it “alternatives” to tolerance were gone through in many different, barbarian gruesome ways: exclusion, ghetto, apartheid, expulsion, “ethnical cleansing”, genocide and above all civil war in many variants, wars and world wars.

In view of the fact that pluralization is irreversible the search for order-political normative, institutional, material and mental conditions of coexistence within societies remains right at the top on the agenda. Hence internal peace is not a problem of marginal importance but it has become a virulent and central problem of man’s existence – in view of the whole world more than ever before. For even in the last corner of the world the traditional orders, taken as matters of course, break away. That is why conflicts over orientation – in a mixture of power struggle and “Kulturkampf” (clash within civilisation) – are inevitable. These conflicts become aggravated in case of intensifying chronic crises of development, what at present can be observed all over the world. But wherever processes of development are to some extent successful, conflicts of this kind can be cushioned, moderated and turned constructive. For in this case those learning processes are made easier that help to develop the ability to cope with conflicts of any kind by means of constructive politics.

Different from many parts of the world in this country, Germany, and in our direct European neighbourhood a “clash within civilisation” that could shake the political order is not to be expected in the foreseeable future. But also our political order – socially integrated and today accepted to a large extent – is not under all conditions unaffected by crises. That’s why the civilization of the modern conflict depends on many conditions – so my observation at the beginning. Hence is remains a not ending challenge – an unavoidable political task without the accomplishment of which peace agreements beyond the individual states and societies remain fragile, not to mention the chances of success for lasting global governance.

 

Postscript:
A more comprehensive book-length discussion of the issues dealt with in this lecture will be available in summer 2007 under the title Dieter Senghaas: On Perpetual Peace. A Timely Assessment, Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books, 2007

 

Link to 'Public Con-Spiracy for-with-of the Poor'

http://www.con-spiration.de/texte/english/2007/senghaas-e.html

 

1
1. Introduction
2
2. A New World Order
2
3. Social and political transformation in the 20th Century
3
4. Conditions for the peaceful regulation of conflict
4
5. The reluctant development of a culture of constructive conflict management 5
6. Alternative responses to social and political transformations
7
7. Building an international culture of constructive conflict management
9
8. Peace policy
10
9. A global system for peace
10
10. Activities to promote a global system of peace
11
11. Reference and Further Reading
12
Dieter Senghaas
The Civilisation of Conflict:
Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding
Notion for Conflict Transformation
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
– Edited version
Aug
2004 (First launch
Mar
2001)

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
2
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
The Civilisation of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as
a
Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
Dieter Senghaas
1.
Introduction
How, and by what means, is peace constituted? In the first two decades of the twentieth
century, a leading pacifist, Alfred H. Fried, set this fundamental question at the heart of the pacifist
programme.
Causal pacifism
was the key term: „If we wish to eliminate an effect, we must first remove
its cause. And if we wish to set a new and desirable effect in its place, we mu
st substitute the cause
with
another which is capable of creating the desired effect“ (Fried 1918, 10). This sounds abstract in terms
of its methodology, but was posed as something quite specific: If war is the outcome of international
anarchy, which still prevails in relations between states, this anarchy itself must be abolished in order to
remove its effect, which is war. Moreover, in place of anarchy, a ‚social order‘ must be established
whose effect is to allow conflicts in general to be managed in a non-violent reliable manner. In other
words – in the political sense of the term – peace is created.
The doctrine of causal or cause/effect pacifism is therefore rooted in an attempt to think
systematically about the prerequisites and conditions for peace. In an analytical sense, then, it was
comparable with the current endeavours to develop a peace theory which is appropriate for the modern
age, including a programme of constructive conflict management that is compatible with this theory
(Senghaas 1995; Czempiel 1998).
Irrespective of whether or not this specific term was used by individual authors, causal
pacifism was a key academic and practical issue in the classical pacifism debate. It is one of the great
tragedies of the twentieth century that this concept declined in popularity among pacifist movements and
finally became a non-issue. In a twentieth century marked by violence, war, genocide and mutual threats
of destruction within the framework of deterrence, antimilitarism – for quite understandable reasons –
came to dominate the pacifist agenda and shape its thinking and action. Yet there remained what the
Slovenian peace researcher Vlasta Jalusic once described as an ‚empty hole‘: for while antimilitarism
seeks to dismantle the structures and mentalities which cause aggression, violence and war, causal
pacifism, by contrast, aims to create structures and mentalities that promote lasting peace. In short,
causal pacifism and comparable approaches could therefore also be described as ‚constructive pacifism‘
– a pacifism that is geared to the construction and architecture of peace.
2.
A New World Order
The classical doctrine of causal pacifism was intended – as formulated explicitly by
Alfred Fried in 1918 – to establish „a new world order“ (Fried 1918, 42): a new form of global
governance. This intention was not rooted in an eschatological goal but in manageable approaches
which were „inspired by a purposeful spirit of peace“ (Fried, ibid.). This new world order was
defined as the outcome of the „sociation of states“, a process which was already under way and
which would culminate in a
„contrat social“
, or social contract, between states. This would lead not

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
3
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
to the abolition of conflict but to what, in current terminology, is known as conflict transformation:
„the reshaping of international relations in a way which will imbue conflicts with a character which
frees them from violence and makes them entirely suitable for management by legal means“ (Fried
1918, 12). This conflict transformation – ‚transforming the nature of conflict‘ – is precisely what is
meant by ‚civilising conflict‘ in the current peace theory debate (Senghaas 1994b; Vogt 1996).
In the classical doctrine of causal pacifism, the civilised management of conflicts within
states (internal conflicts) was assumed to have been achieved to a greater or lesser extent – successful
‚sociation‘ having already taken place – but this premise can no longer be taken as given today. For
a glance around the world reveals that at present: there are virtually no wars any more between states
although the international community is still far from being a society of states. Instead, there are
numerous military intrastate conflicts, primarily civil wars in many different forms (Gantzel &
Schwinghammer 1995). Thus facilitating internal peace – and not only the new world order – once
again becomes a key analytical and practical focus for constructive peace analysis.
3.
Social and political transformation in the 20th Century
When researching the causes of peace and the conditions for internal peace, it is necessary
to consider the radical changes which took place first in Western countries but, in recent decades
more strikingly in non-Western countries. When the concept of causal pacifism was formulated at
the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, the world – especially the majority
of today‘s industrialised countries – was still largely agricultural in organisation. Although little has
been written about this subject, the last hundred years (1900-2000) will go down in history as the
century of the worldwide erosion of the traditional peasant economy (‚depeasantisation‘). Today,
most people no longer live in subsistence economies but in entirely commercialised or market
economies with an increasingly globalised frame of reference. The developing countries are no
exception to this economic transition despite obvious differences exemplified by countries in East
Asia and Central Africa.
In contrast to agricultural communities in a traditional rural framework, this new socio-
economic environment has greatly expanded people‘s horizons and scope for action. The urbanisation
associated with structural change also intensifies communications and – for the first time in history
– allows people to organise themselves politically on a broad basis. At the same time, mass literacy
has resulted in a broad-based and highly effective mobilisation of intelligence: in other words, it has
lead to intellectual emancipation and a skills revolution. People‘s level of competence has been
rising dramatically. Thus, a conversion is taking place: „from ignorance to self-consciousness, to an
interconnectedness with the world“, as a nun working with the underclasses of Indian society aptly
described it some time ago (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan. 6, 1999). In contrast to traditional
societies, this opens up opportunities for upward mobility. Moreover, the globalised media allows
expectations and lifestyles to be both globally compared and illustrated. Indeed, the globalisation of
such possibilities or demonstration effects in a graphic way
may well have a greater political impact
nowadays than the mere globalisation of the economies.
Thus traditional societies are evolving into politicisable and, in reality, politicised
societies, where traditional identities are challenged and questioned. ‚Truths‘ can no longer be
defined in absolute terms. Diverging notions of justice, and interests, proliferate. Given the plurality
of projects to reshape and redefine the political order, the question of what constitutes a ‚good
society‘ becomes a fundamental problem. The
tranquillitas ordinis
, the ‚tranquillity of the social

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
5
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
Conflict theory and real-life experience show that highly diverse social roles lead to a fragmentation
of conflict and thus to the moderation of conflict behaviour and affect control: Without affect
control, in complex environments such as modernising and modern societies, peaceful social
relations would be inconceivable.
On the other hand, fourth, democratic participation is essential, precisely due to the
indispensability of affect control. ‚Legal unrest‘ –
Rechtsunruhe
in the term of Sigmund Freud – will
result from situations where people are unable to become involved in public affairs, either for ethnic
or other forms of discrimination, and at worst a conflict will escalate and, in politicised societies,
can become a hotbed of violence. So democracy, as the basis for legal development, is not a luxury
but a necessary precondition for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Fifth, however, in politicised societies, this approach to conflict management will only
have permanence if there are continual efforts to ensure social justice. The great majority of modern
capitalist societies are run on market lines, and social inequality is ever present. Unless efforts are
continually made to counter this dynamic of inequality, such societies will develop deep social
fissures. Therefore if the credibility of the constitutional state is not to be called into question by
disadvantaged individuals or groups, on the grounds that the rules of the game are no longer fair,
there must be an ongoing effort to ensure distributive justice. By contrast, genuine efforts to achieve
social justice and fairness give substance to constructive conflict management, and also provide
legitimacy to public institutions.
If there are fair opportunities in the public arena to articulate identities and achieve a balance
bet
ween diverse interests, it may be assumed that this approach to conflict management has been
reliably internalized and that conflict management competence based on compromise – including the
necessary tolerance – has thus become an integral element of political action. The legitimate
monopoly of force, the rule of law and democracy – in short, the modern democratic constitutional
state – become anchored in political culture. The culture of constructive conflict management thus
becomes the emotional basis of the community. Material measures (‚social justice‘) emerge as an
important bridge between the institutional structure and its positive resonance in people‘s emotions
(‚public sentiment‘). What develops finally – to use Ralf Dahrendorf‘s phrase – are „ligatures“, in
other words, deeply rooted political and cultural bonds and socio-cultural allegiances.
5.
The reluctant development of a culture
of constructive conflict management
The political culture of constructive conflict management does not mark the beginning of
modern coexistence. On the contrary, it is a latecomer to the historical process. While similar to the
other five cornerstones identified above, in the past it had no place in Europe‘s traditional – i.e.
pre-modern – culture. On the contrary, the emergence of each individual cornerstone can be
described far more accurately as a ‚reluctant process‘ or a process
contre cœur
(Senghaas 1998;
2001): for historically, disarmament was invariably the outcome of defeat in warfare. The strong
triumphed over the weak; the superior over the inferior. The rule of law originated in historically
contentious compromises which were wrung out of the conflict parties and were naturally unpopular,
yet – in fragile power relationships – were viewed first and foremost as temporary concessions. As
far as affect control was concerned, self-determined life in clearly defined micro-contexts was
always viewed as preferable to integration into self-referential functional systems with their own
dynamics. After Sigmund Freud, at the latest, it has been recognised that affect control is governed

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
6
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
by the imperatives of the reality principle and not the pleasure principle: in other words, it cannot be
achieved without a substantial measure of affective sublimation.
The struggle for greater participation, too, always took place against entrenched opposition.
In a world where inequality is endemic, the same applies to the struggle for fairness and distributive
justice: Political participation and fair distribution had to be forced out of the power holders in every
case. Finally, a culture of constructive conflict management could only be established under a
fortunate combination of circumstances, i.e. when each cornerstone of civility, defined above,
became a historic and mutually reinforcing reality which was finally anchored in people‘s emotions.
Only under these extremely favourable conditions were the civilisation of conflict and thus the
fundamental principle of non-violent conflict management likely to take root in an environment
dominated by fundamental politicisation.
The process itself must therefore be viewed as the historical outcome of many conflicts
that, in the European context, took place progressively as described above. What emerges is a model
of conflict management, to be labelled the
civilisational hexagon
(Senghaas 1994b; Calließ 1997)
that has constitutional, institutional and material dimensions but is also characterised by specific
mentalities and, in sum – and this must be underlined – represents an artificial product of the
civilising process:
It can be plausibly argued that the conditions which characterise fundamental politicisation
in emancipated mass societies, such as absolutist claims, the fixation on particular interests, the
emphasis on specific identity, possessive individualism and lobbyist pressure are in some ways
‚natural‘, whereas tolerance, an awareness of the rules of the game, moderation, the separation of
powers, the willingness to compromise, and a sensitivity to more than just one‘s own interests tend
to be ‚artificial‘, i.e. the outcome of laborious collective learning processes. Especially in Europe,
all these broad-based civilisational achievements, were hard-won in the face of – and in conflict with
– the old indigenous European estates-dominated social traditions and, indeed, the modern class
society which emerged in the nineteenth century. Thus today‘s democratic constitutional state is not
the result of cultural or genetic predisposition. Rather, it is the outcome of a series of innovations
and, in two and a half millennia of European history, only manifested in its most recent development
within the last 150 years (Senghaas 1998; 2001).
Box 1: The Civilisational Hexagon
monopoly of force
independences
and affect control
social justice
and equity
constructive conflict management
rule of law
democratic
participation

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
7
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
6.
Alternative responses to social and political transformations
The lesson which Europe had to learn painfully and laboriously, by trial and error, by direct
as well as circuitous or even erroneous routes – namely tolerance as a solution in the face of pluralisation
which was initially perceived as a threat – will be repeated, in principle if not in detail, in other parts of
the world. Here, too, with the proliferation of fundamental politicisation due to the transition from
traditional to socially mobile societies, as described above, mastering the problems of coexistence is a
task that can no longer be postponed. Yet as with traditional Europe, there are no viable responses to
these modern problems within the conventional culture of traditional non-European communities. The
self-perception of these communities was generally cosmocentric: in classical mythology in particular,
the cosmos, society and the people within it were regarded as a single entity, forming a well-ordered,
well-organised hierarchy whose architecture was static. Within this structure, the actors‘ roles were pre-
ordained. Historical self-perception was cyclical in nature, and hence not truly historical in the modern
sense, for these cycles – like the rhythms of nature throughout the year or political life (the rise,
flowering and fall of imperial structures or empires) – constantly came back to the same starting point.
In general, the notion of a plurality of truths was inconceivable since there was only ‚The One Truth‘.
If under these premises, the institutions of community and government in particular are
seen as an organic unit, conflicts will be viewed as dysfunctional. As in ancient China and elsewhere,
conflicts were regarded as ‚the great disorder under Heaven‘ and hence the onset of existing or
impending chaos (
luan
). Counteractive thinking was then seen as a contribution to overcoming this
chaos, i.e. as a chaos management strategy whose purpose is to restore ‚cosmic order‘. These notions
are no longer helpful as a strategy to resolve modern problems of coexistence. For this reason, and
due to force of circumstance in the rest of the world as well, new perspectives on conflict management
and therefore new approaches and forms of internal peace must develop which are appropriate for
the modern era (Senghaas 1998; 2001).
Unlike development in the West, the collective learning processes in the non-European
world are not only determined by the radical social and cultural changes taking place locally. They
are also shaped by the developments under way in the West. In this context, four distinct responses
can be observed in the non-European world:
The first is a modernistic, imitative response, which accepts the West‘s challenge as well
as its experiences and ‚solutions‘. The West is regarded as a model in the struggles against what is
considered to be the burden of one‘s own tradition – including one‘s own traditional culture. In the
first half of the twentieth century, such responses could be observed in many places, including
China, but they failed to stand the test of time. Today, however, these responses are proving highly
successful in two of the four East Asian newly industrialising countries (NICs), namely Korea and
Taiwan. These young industrial countries are evolving into ‚newly democratising countries‘, whose
political culture – despite its entire local colour – will not differ fundamentally from those of Western
countries in the foreseeable future. When the upheavals of modernisation take place and the problems
of coexistence become acute, the guardians of tradition appear in various guises: as traditionalists,
as reactionaries, but in general as conservatives. They seek to turn back the tide of history and, in
particular, to stop the onward march of modernisation.
This second type of reaction can be observed all over the world, wherever Western
modernism collides with traditional ways of living. Gandhi could be cited as an example in this
context, for his philosophy of life was rural, anti-commercial and egalitarian. It favoured small units
and consensus-based direct democracy within a manageable framework. Today, similar concepts can
still be found in Central Africa in particular.

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
8
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
Third, wherever such upheavals occur, semi-modernists can be observed. They are
enthusiastic about Western know-how, but seek to shield their society from all other intellectual
influences. Japan has successfully pursued this course since the middle of the last century, whereas
really existing socialism was unsuccessful. More recently, the ‚Singapore School‘ has become a pre-
eminent example of semi-modernism. Another example is Islamic Fundamentalism. However, the
political problems of an increasingly complex and pluralising society – whether in Singapore, China,
in many Islamic societies, or elsewhere – cannot be resolved, or brought closer to a solution with
this type of prescriptive programme of governance, least of all in those places where there is a
reliance on theocratic approaches which are rooted in Islamic Fundamentalism. These latter
endeavours (as presently in Iran) have fascinating historical parallels, but also demonstrate the
futility of the ‚theocratic counter-revolution‘ against modernism, which could also be observed in
Europe – and especially in France itself – during the first half of the nineteenth century in reaction
to the French Revolution. In such a theocratic programme, pluralism was – and is – regarded as an
immoral concept which in practice destroys the fabric of society, breaks down traditional values and
culture, and represents the epitome of moral blindness (
jahiliyya
).
On the other hand they regarded
as entirely appropriate for the modern day the untrammelled religiously-motivated exercise of power.
Ultimately, however, whenever modernism and traditions collide and social upheavals
occur in the non-European world, innovations will be required. As with Europe, these changes in the
non-European regions cannot be predicted with certainty. Nonetheless, Europe‘s experience is likely
to be repeated in some places: As soon as traditional culture is confronted with modernising
tendencies and societies undergo a structural and therefore also a mental shift, these cultures – with
bitter inevitability – come into conflict with themselves. This triggers the necessary collective
learning processes – and may also prompt problematic and undesirable developments.
According to the theory of
The End of History
(Fukuyama 1922), all innovations of
modernism have already been realised exhaustively in the Western/European countries and non-
European countries have nothing more to offer in terms of dealing with the problems of coexistence.
Contrary to this theory, however, four-fifths of humanity again in the coming decades will be
compelled, generally against their will, to experiment with finding locally appropriate solutions to
the problems of social mobility and fundamental politicisation. The solutions that ultimately prove
their worth are unlikely to be invented as abstract concepts on the drawing board. What is more
likely in this context is a repetition of the European experience: the arrangements for coexistence
and sustainable conflict management – in other words, internal peace – which ultimately prove
viable on a long-term basis will have developed as the unintended outcome of political conflicts.
Thus the non-European states will not be spared a fate similar to Europe‘s laborious,
painful and conflict-ridden journey towards the democratic constitutional state, its institutions and
ethos. The process will be similar to the European experience, although its outcome may be different,
especially if genuine innovations are actually to take place. However, in this latter case, in particular,
the outcome would not reflect the profound dimensions of conventional culture, but new aspects –
against its own traditions.
Viewed on a global level, one of the great challenges for humanity in the twenty-first century
is to find the solution to pluralisation in patterns of tolerance – a tolerance that is safeguarded at the
institutional level and anchored in people‘s emotions. This challenge is no less weighty an issue than
the burgeoning environmental problems world-wide. A glance back to the twentieth century
demonstrates the urgency of this problem. During that century, many ‚alternatives‘ to tolerance were
tested in barbaric and brutal ways: exclusion, ghettoisation, apartheid, expulsion, ethnic cleansing or
genocide, and civil wars in many different forms (Heinsohn 1998; Dabag and Platt 1998).

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
9
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
In contrast to causal pacifism at the beginning of the twentieth century, the irreversible
nature of pluralisation therefore means that the quest for a legal, institutional, material and psychological
system of coexistence within societies remains at the top of the agenda. The need to reach internal
peace is therefore not a peripheral problem; today more than ever, it is an acute, life-threatening and
global problem. In every corner of the world, acceptance of traditional and conventional structures
is declining; as a result, conflicts of interests and orientation, power struggles and cultural clashes,
motivated by the search for new social and political structures, are unavoidable.
7.
Building an international culture
of constructive conflict management
What is a difficult task even within individual societies, and what, even under the best of
conditions, can only be considered a fragile achievement with no guarantee of permanency – the
shaky stability of internal peace – seems all the more difficult at the international level, namely
achieving and safeguarding international coexistence (Falk 1995; Ferencz 1994). States have still
not disarmed, despite the fact that under international law, a fundamental ban on the use of force has
existed in the United Nations (UN) Charter since 1945: The UN Security Council has in principle a
‚monopoly of force‘ based on the UN system of collective security, though it must be conceded that
it is problematic. The question of what might be implied by ‚control through the rule of law at the
international level‘ has only begun to be discussed in recent years (Bauer 1996; Gading 1996;
Lailach 1998). Who, for example, is actually authorised at the international level to exercise control
over the Security Council, the body entrusted under the United Nations Charter with this quasi
monopoly of force? Where is the authority responsible for dealing with complaints against Security
Council decisions, when such decisions are considered by those affected to constitute a breach
of
international law? (Bedjaoui 1995; Falk 1993; Höffe 1999; Martenczuk 1996; Zürn and Zangl 1999).
Furthermore, it is true that striking processes of internationalisation, transnationalisation
or – as it has become fashionable to term it – globalisation are under way (Beisheim et al. 1999).
However, these processes are taking place in what is still a deeply divided world that generates very
few system-related (and globally effective) constraints on affect control (Senghaas 1994a). Only in
technical/functional areas, such as international air transport, do universally accepted rules exist.
Imagine if there were comparable rules for the transactions of international finance, whose function
would be to domesticate the psychology of the stock markets! What might democratic participation
at global level entail? Who – apart from the states, which do this already – would have to organise
themselves at international level, and how would they have to do it, in order to satisfy the democratic
imperative and avert violent conflict? Would interest groups be represented alongside governments
– such as employers‘ and employees‘ associations, alongside the states, in the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) – or, indeed, professional associations, cultural and religious communities of
every kind and size, and multinational companies? And what about the often-quoted ‚civil society‘
– the many non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International? But
what are the bases of their mandate? Indeed, what form would a representative democratic
constitution take at international level? What would ‚participation by citizens‘ mean in this context?
(Archibugi and Held 1995; Held 1995; Höffe 1999). Question after question arises, to which – in
view of the gradually emerging „postnational constellation“ (Habermas 1998; Zürn 1998) – a
solution must be found in the twenty-first century.

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
11
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
In the efforts to establish global governance, the aim – as clearly identified by the
proponents of causal pacifism – is to create an architecture and inner life for a world peace-order:
from the lower level, of the peaceful individual state (what a prerequisite!), via its integration into
loose or broad-based integrated regional organisations, up to the highest level where international
organisations and international rules (international regimes) create sustainable institutional and
legally constituted framework conditions for the civilised resolution of unavoidable conflicts. The
task is to work against violent conflict at all levels, and, indeed, overcome it in principle. This was
once the idea of visionaries; today, this must become a key element of pragmatic
realpolitik
.
10.
Activities to promote a global system of peace
Who can be expected to initiate this realpolitik aimed at the creation of global governance?
Pacifists with constructive programmes once believed that a new world order would result from the
prudent behaviour of leading statesmen; in other words, from clever diplomacy based on
internationalist, cosmopolitan norms and with the backing of international organisations. They had no
problems with the state per se, as they recognised the qualitative difference between states. Above all,
they already understood the meaning of the term ‚rogue state‘ (Fried in Benz 1998, 73). This denoted
those actors in the international community who steadfastly refuse to accept the international order.
Reflecting the prevailing attitudes and conditions of the day, this pacifist philosophy thus relied
heavily on the state and state actors, although for the purposes of civilising the community of states,
social movements such as civic, women‘s or socialist pacifist movements and their international
networks were considered useful. Anarchist thought was entirely foreign to this brand of pacifism.
Admittedly, there are still states with different characters; it would be frivolous to
downplay this fact, for it opens up opportunities for civilising conflict. However, the modern world‘s
deeper and broader interdependencies mean that, at least in the Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD) the significance of state and statehood is decreasing. Such
interdependencies allow not only economic and cultural actors but also social actors in particular to
play a role in international politics (Czempiel 1993).
Alongside the increasingly economic nature of foreign policy, which has been observed
for some time, foreign relations today are also becoming ‚socialised‘. This itself has an impact on
foreign policy: The media, interest groups, parties, political foundations, professional associations,
NGOs and other social groups are increasingly networked across national borders, with some of
them having already acquired remarkable authority (Calließ 1998).
Moreover, in the management of disasters and emergencies, but especially in responding
to ethno-political conflicts, NGOs are absolutely essential in today‘s world. A new and diverse field
of peace policy action is emerging for socially committed citizens, which makes a variety of
demands in terms of staff presence and skills. Activities include assisting politically and socially
disadvantaged groups (‚empowerment‘), escorting persons in danger, support for refugees, post-
conflict peacebuilding, reporting on incipient conflicts and signs of escalation (‚early warning‘),
observing demonstrations, organising dialogue between hostile groups, mediation and process
assistance, the provision of judicial observers, a physical presence in potential and real areas of tension,
the provision of electoral observers, and advising official missions such as the UN,
Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and European Union (EU) (Merkel 1998).
In the longer term, these activities cannot be organised on an ad hoc basis; besides the
necessary commitment, they require appropriate training. In other words, what is needed is a

Dieter Senghaas
The Civilization of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation
12
© Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
problem- and situation-specific ‚civilian peace service‘, or, indeed, a specialised peace service in
which civil commitment can be matched by appropriate skills. This opens up another broad new area
of activity for constructive pacifism, which also requires preparatory and accompanying research
and assessment. However, this has only begun to develop since the 1990s.
The need to develop concepts for these peace activities increases with the demand for their
services, which reflects real needs, and especially with initial experiences. These experiences –
particularly those gained in crisis and conflict situations – demonstrate the extent to which state and
civil society actors rely on each other in many instances, even though they operate on different levels
and have different target groups (Lederach 1994). Even military security measures may prove
indispensable on some occasions to ensure that in armed conflicts, for example, civil society actors
are able to play a role at all. Dogmatic fears of inter-agency contact have proved to be
counterproductive in this context, whereas shared learning processes – i.e. ‚multi-track activities‘ –
have shown themselves to be the way forward (Ropers 1997).
11.
Reference and Further Reading
Archibugi, Daniele, and David Held (eds.) 1995.
Cosmopolitan Democracy: An Agenda for
a New World Order
, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Bauer, Andreas F. 1996.
Effektivität und Legitimität. Die Entwicklung der Friedenssicherung durch
Zwang nach Kapitel VII der Charta der Vereinten Nationen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung
der neueren Praxis des Sicherheitsrates
, Berlin: Duncker and Humblot.
Bedjaoui, Mohammed 1995.
The New World Order and the Security Council: Testing the Legality
of its Acts
, Dodrecht: Nijhoff.
Beisheim, Marianne et al. 1999.
Im Zeitalter der Globalisierung? Thesen und Daten zur gesell-
schaftlichen und politischen Denationalisierung
, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
Benz, Wolfgang (ed.) 1988.
Pazifismus in Deutschland
, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.
Bobbio, Norberto 1998.
Das Zeitalter der Menschenrechte. Ist Toleranz durchsetzbar?
, Berlin:
Wagenbach.
Boulding, Kenneth 1978.
Stable Peace
, Austin: University of Texas Press.
Brieskorn, Norbert (ed.) 1997.
Globale Solidarität
, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
Calließ, Jörg (ed.) 1997.
Wodurch und wie konstituiert sich Frieden? Das zivilisatorische Hexagon
auf dem Prüfstand
, Loccum: Ev. Akademie.
Calließ, Jörg (ed.) 1998.
Barfuß auf diplomatischem Parkett. Die Nichtregierungsorganisationen in
der Weltpolitik
, Loccum: Ev. Akademie.
Czempiel, Ernst-Otto 1993.
Weltpolitik im Umbruch
, München: Beck.
Czempiel, Ernst-Otto 1998.
Friedensstrategien
, Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.
Dabag, Mihran and Kristin Platt (eds.) 1998.
Genozid und Moderne
, Bd. 1., Opladen: Leske & Budrich.
Deutsch, Karl W. et al. 1957.
Political Community and the North Atlantic Area: International
Organi-
zation in the Light of Historical Experience
, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Falk, Richard et al. (eds.) 1993.
The Constitutional Foundations of World Peace
, New York: State
University of New York Press.
Falk, Richard 1995.
On Humane Governance: Toward a New Global Politics
, Oxford: Polity Press.
Ferencz, Benjamin B. 1994. N
ew Legal Foundations for Global Survival: Security Through the
Security Council,
New York: Oceana.
Fried, Alfred H. 1918.
Probleme der Friedenstechnik
, Leipzig: Verlag Naturwissenschaften.

Dieter Senghaas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dieter Senghaas (born August 27, 1940, in Geislingen an der Steige) is a German social scientist and peace researcher.[citation needed]

Contents

Biography

After studying political science, social science, philosophy and history from 1960 to 1967, Senghaas received his doctorate in Frankfurt in 1967. His dissertation, Kritik der Abschreckung (Criticism of Deterrence), dealt with the field which has characterised his scientific activities since then: international relations, especially peace research, research on developing countries and conflict research.[citation needed] His studies were followed by work as an assistant at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt until 1968, and then a research residency in the USA with Karl W. Deutsch at Harvard University, among others, until 1970. From 1972 until 1978, Senghaas was leader of a research group at the Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research) and professor at the University of Frankfurt during that same period. Since 1978, he has been a professor at the University of Bremen and also active there at the Institut für interkulturelle und internationale Studien (Institute for Intercultural and International Studies). In 1986/1987 and 1992/1994, Dieter Senghaas was a research professor at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Foundation of Science and Politics). Since 1995, Senghaas has been a member of the advisory council of the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (Federal Academy for Security Policies) in Bonn. In 1999, Senghaas was awarded the Göttinger Friedenspreis (Göttingen Peace Prize) of the Dr. Roland Röhl Foundation.[citation needed]

Scientific work

Work concerning the East-West conflict

In the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, Senghaas took a close look at the armament dynamics and the system of deterrence in the East-West conflict. Senghaas recognised an autistic structure in the deterrence situation of the Cold War, which according to Senghaas, was mostly driven from the inside and less from the outside (international processes). Senghaas’ criticism of deterrence and his analysis of armament dynamics and control contributed to the development of critical peace research.[citation needed]

Work concerning the North-South conflict

In his three compilations, “Imperialismus und strukturelle Gewalt (1972)” (Imperialism and Structural Power), “Peripherer Kapitalismus. Analysen über Abhängigkeit und Unterentwicklung (1974)” (Peripheral Capitalism. Analyses of Dependency and Underdevelopment) and “Kapitalistische Weltökonomie. Kontroversen über ihren Ursprung und ihre Entwicklungsdynamik (1979)” (Capitalistic World Economy. Controversies about its Origin and its Development Dynamics), as well as in his 1977 book, “Weltwirtschaftsordnung und Entwicklungspolitik. Plädoyer für Dissoziation” (World Economic Order and Development Policy. Plea for Dissociation), Senghaas attempts to make visible the structural dependency of the periphery on the metropolises, or stated more simply, the dependence of the developing countries (or areas) on the political and economic power centers in the age of world economy. Senghaas sees a solution to the impediments to development, created externally (pressure of the industrial countries) and internally (interests of the power elite in keeping the existing societal structures), in a decoupling (not severance!) at times from the world market. In this decoupling phase, the concentration should be upon the development of the economic form of the developing countries, which should be the satisfaction of the local population, if possible exploiting local resources (with which Senghaas does not mean striving for economic self-sufficiency). With this way of looking at things, Senghaas also simultaneously rejected the idea prevalent at that time that simply integrating the Third World into the existing world economic order could solve the development problems of the Third World. As of the middle of the 1970s, Senghaas attempted to strengthen his theory by analysing the developing socialist countries of Albania, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and Cuba. For Senghaas, socialism did not represent a post-capitalist production system. Much more (independently of the intentions of the respective leader or regime), socialism could accomplish an economic development, which would not have been possible in that way under capitalistic conditions. In his analysis, Senghaas came to the conclusion that the development of states proceeded positively in the beginning, but then came increasingly to a standstill due to the absence of reforms, a more and more complex system of business and society and an increasingly inflexible political order (results in the middle of the 1980s). From the results of the analysis, several country monographs and an article on the status of socialism regarding historical development were created in cooperations with Frankfurt graduate students. Dieter Senghaas decisively left his mark on the discussion of theoretical development within international relations in Germany with his works about the possibilities of independent development processes in dependency of the given international conditions (economic and political).[citation needed]

Publications

  • Abschreckung und Frieden. Studien zur Kritik organisierter Friedlosigkeit, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 1969 (3rd expanded edition. 1981)
  • Politikwissenschaft. Eine Einführung in ihre Probleme, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 1969 (4th edition. Fischer Verlag 1973) (co-editor)
  • Bibliographie zur Friedensforschung, ed. by G. Scharffenorth and W. Huber, Stuttgart/Munich: Kösel und Kaiser Verlag 1970 (2nd edition. 1973) (coauthor)
  • Zur Pathologie des Rüstungswettlaufs, Freiburg: Rombach Verlag 1970 (ed.)
  • Friedensforschung und Gesellschaftskritik, Munich: Hanser Verlag 1970 (2nd edition. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag 1973) (ed.)
  • Texte zur Technokratiediskussion, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 1970 (2nd edition. 1971) (co-editor)
  • Kritische Friedensforschung, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1971 (6th edition. 1981) (ed.)
  • Aggressivität und kollektive Gewalt, Stuttgart: Verlag Kohlhammer 1971 (2nd edition. 1972)
  • Aufrüstung durch Rüstungskontrolle. Über den symbolischen Gebrauch von Politik, Stuttgart: Verlag Kohlhammer 1972
  • Imperialismus und strukturelle Gewalt, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1972 (7th edition. 1987) (ed.)
  • Rüstung und Militarismus, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1972 (2nd edition. 1982)
  • Jahrbuch für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Vol. 2, Düsseldorf: Bertelsmann Verlag 1972 (co-editor)
  • Frieden in Europa? Zur Koexistenz von Rüstung und Entspannung, Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Verlag 1973 (coauthor)
  • Peace Research in the Federal Republic of Germany, Journal of Peace Research 3/1973 (special issue) (ed.)
  • Kann Europa abrüsten? Friedenspolitische Optionen der siebziger Jahre, Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag 1973 (co-editor)
  • Gewalt-Konflikt-Frieden. Essays zur Friedensforschung, Hamburg: Hoffmann & Campe Verlag 1974
  • Overcoming Underdevelopment, Journal of Peace Research 4/1975 (special issue) (ed.)
  • Peripherer Kapitalismus. Analysen über Abhängigkeit und Unterentwicklung, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1974 (2nd edition. 1977) (ed.)
  • Probleme des Friedens, der Sicherheit und der Zusammenarbeit, Cologne: Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag 1975 (co-editor)
  • Multinationale Konzerne und Dritte Welt, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag 1976 (co-editor)
  • Weltwirtschaftsordnung und Entwicklungspolitik. Plädoyer für Dissoziation, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1977 (5th edition. 1987)
  • Strukturelle Abhängigkeit und Unterentwicklung. Unterrichtsvorschläge, Frankfurt: HSFK-Studie 1–3, 1978 (co-author)
  • Kapitalistische Weltökonomie. Kontroversen über ihren Ursprung und ihre Entwicklungsdynamik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1979 (2nd edition. 1982) (ed.)
  • Strukturelle Abhängigkeit und Unterentwicklung am Beispiel Mozambiques, Bonn: Verlag Wegener 1980 (coauthor)
  • Sozialismus-Diskussion. Eine Fortsetzung, Schwerpunktheft des Leviathan, Vol. 9, 1981, No. 2 (ed.)
  • Wiedersehen mit China nach zwei Jahren, Saarbrücken: Breitenbach-Verlag 1981 (co-editor)
  • Von Europa lernen. Entwicklungsgeschichtliche Betrachtungen, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1982
  • Auf dem Wege zu einer Neuen Weltwirtschaftsordnung? Bedingungen und Grenzen für eine eigenständige Entwicklung. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag 1983 (co-editor)
  • Die Zukunft Europas. Probleme der Friedensgestaltung, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1986
  • Europas Entwicklung und die Dritte Welt. Eine Bestandsaufnahme, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1986 (2nd edition. 1991) (coauthor)
  • The Quest for Peace. Transcending Collective Violence and War among Societies, Cultures and States, London: Sage 1987 (co-editor)
  • Konfliktformationen im internationalen System, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1988
  • Regionalkonflikte in der Dritten Welt. Fremdbestimmung und Autonomie, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag 1989 (ed.)
  • Europa 2000. Ein Friedensplan. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1990 (2nd edition. 1991)
  • Die Welt nach dem Ost-West-Konflikt. Geschichte und Prognosen, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag 1990 (co-editor)
  • Friedensforschung in Deutschland. Lagebeurteilung und Perspektiven für die neunziger Jahre, Bonn: Arbeitsstelle Friedensforschung Bonn 1990 (co-editor)
  • Soziale Verteidigung. Konstruktive Konfliktaustragung. Kritik und Gegenkritik, Frankfurt: Verlag Haag + Herchen 1991 (Military policy. Documentation issue 89/81) (coauthor)
  • Friedensprojekt Europa, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1992 (3rd edition. 1996)
  • Wohin driftet die Welt? Über die Zukunft friedlicher Koexistenz, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1994 (2nd edition. 1996)
  • Den Frieden denken. Si vis pacem, para pacem, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1995. (ed.)
  • Frieden machen, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1997 (ed.).
  • Zivilisierung wider Willen. Der Konflikt der Kulturen mit sich selbst. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 1998 (2nd edition. 1998)
  • Klänge des Friedens. Ein Hörbericht – Annäherung an den Frieden über klassische Musik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 2001
  • Friedensprojekt Europa, 2002
  • Friedenspolitik. Ethische Grundlagen internationaler Beziehungen, Munich: Piper Verlag 2003 (co-editor)
  • Zum irdischen Frieden, Erkenntnisse und Vermutungen, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 2004
  • Vom hörbaren Frieden, 2004

The civilizational hexagon

Dieter Senghaas’ “civilizational hexagon” joins load-bearing building blocks together for a stable maintenance of peace. This peacekeeping and its supervision of itself is regarded as a civilising project. The hexagon consists of six building blocks, which are all linked to each other, since they all depend on each other. A fundamental building block is the monopoly on the use of force, which means the de-privatisation of force and its authorization, that is, “disarmament of the citizens”. The next building block, the rule of law, comprises the control of the monopoly of force, which has as a precondition that the public monopoly of force is not despotically abused. Since without a check on the monopoly of force, it would be nothing less than a dictatorship. The third building block, democratic participation, means democratic involvement of the public in elections and other decision making, since without this right of the people to contribute, they would not obey the professed laws. The trust of the people must also be secured by equal rights, so that they comply with such regulations. This occurs, among other things, through the building block of social justice, which provides for a just verdict from a neutral court when there is a violation of the law, but also takes care of safeguarding the basic necessities of every person. The next building block falls under the heading of constructive conflict culture, which describes the capability for tolerance in a multi-cultural society and a willingness for compromise-oriented conflict solution. The last building block of the hexagon is interdependencies and control of emotion. The purpose of this building block is the mutual dependency among people and their control of themselves in conflict situations. ([1] The Civilisation of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation in Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation)[citation needed]

Literature

  • Frank Nullmeier, Michael Zürn: Wissenschaft als Beruf – Zwei Vorträge über Dieter Senghaas. In: Leviathan. Vol. XXXIII, 2005, Issue 4, p. 423–463

References

D. Senghaas 2004 The Civilisation of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation, Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformatio

Peace as a civilization project: The civilizing hexagon by Senghaas

The following extract by Michael Zürn addresses the so-called civilizing hexagon and, as such, highlights a core element of the approach taken by the pre-eminent peace researcher Dieter Senghaas. As far as its place in the war-peace continuum is concerned, the civilizing aspect plays a core role and is referred to continually throughout this basic course:

But what does civilizing actually mean? Senghaas attempted to answer this question. His peace theory interprets peace as a civilizing project, and it is explained in the following extract:

“As far as this configurational way of thinking is concerned, successful government, in the sense of achieving or approaching a situation in which the fundamental values of society are met, and the peaceful coexistence of people become one. The objectives of government (…) are one and the same with the conditions for peace. The different state objectives and aims encompassed by government are linked up to the Senghaas’ peace theory using a ‘civilizing hexagon,’ which demonstrates a good and working internal state order and the ability for peace-orientated foreign affairs. (…)

It is only possible to overcome a system of organized lack of peace by means of a civilizing project. The most important aspects associated with the peace civilizing project are revealed by examining the conditions which make internal peace possible in modern Western industrialized societies. Senghaas wanted to develop a wide peace concept without getting bogged down in the involved concepts associated with the terms ‘negative peace’ (= absence of war) and ‘positive peace’ (= absence of structural aggression), and it was for this reason that he developed the civilizing hexagon. According the hexagon, peace occurs when a collection of conditions is present that provide mutual support for each other (…).

A civilizing hexagon of this kind has six cornerstones which can be described as follows:

1) The de-privatization of aggression and the establishment of a legitimate state monopoly of aggression is essential for the civilizing project. There can be no lasting peace without ‘the disarmament of the citizens’ (…).

2) On the other hand, however, control of the state monopoly on aggression and the establishment of a constitutional state are needed to make sure that state monopoly of aggression is not abused in a despotic way.

3) Increasing control over emotional states through mutual interaction is established by growing interdependency and by the de-privatization of aggression; this is referred to by Norbert Elias impressively as the ‘process of civilization.’ The consequences of this might also lead to the establishment of ’emotional spheres,’ which transcend local boundaries and lead to a ‘national identity.’

4) This also serves in laying the foundations for democratic participation in the public decision-making process.

5) Another aspect is social justice. The physical fortification of the rule of law is a constitutive condition for the ability of constitutional state orders to be sustained and, as a consequence, inner peace to exist.

6) And, finally, a constructive conflict culture provides the foundations for disagreements to be resolved in a constructive way and for compromise-orientated conflict skills, and makes up the last cornerstone in the hexagon.
To this end, then, peace as a civilizing project becomes the desire for a legitimate and just state order. This also means that effective civilizing and peace are in a sense ‘identical.’ When peace is understood in this way, it becomes clear that it’s not a natural state. ‘Peace has to be created.’ Or to put it another way: ‘If the aim is to achieve peace in the sense of civilizing politics (…), the ground for peace has to be prepared: Si vis pacem, para pacem.'”

[Taken from: Michael Zürn: Vom Nationalstaat lernen, Das zivilisatorische Hexagon in der Weltinnenpolitik, in: Ulrich Menzel (Hrsg.): Vom Ewigen Frieden und vom Wohlstand der Nationen, Frankfurt am Main 2000, p. 21-25]

Eine PDF-Version dieser Seite herunterladen

Peace as a civilization project: The civilizing hexagon by Senghaas

The following extract by Michael Zürn addresses the so-called civilizing hexagon and, as such, highlights a core element of the approach taken by the pre-eminent peace researcher Dieter Senghaas. As far as its place in the war-peace continuum is concerned, the civilizing aspect plays a core role and is referred to continually throughout this basic course:

But what does civilizing actually mean? Senghaas attempted to answer this question. His peace theory interprets peace as a civilizing project, and it is explained in the following extract:

“As far as this configurational way of thinking is concerned, successful government, in the sense of achieving or approaching a situation in which the fundamental values of society are met, and the peaceful coexistence of people become one. The objectives of government (…) are one and the same with the conditions for peace. The different state objectives and aims encompassed by government are linked up to the Senghaas’ peace theory using a ‘civilizing hexagon,’ which demonstrates a good and working internal state order and the ability for peace-orientated foreign affairs. (…)

It is only possible to overcome a system of organized lack of peace by means of a civilizing project. The most important aspects associated with the peace civilizing project are revealed by examining the conditions which make internal peace possible in modern Western industrialized societies. Senghaas wanted to develop a wide peace concept without getting bogged down in the involved concepts associated with the terms ‘negative peace’ (= absence of war) and ‘positive peace’ (= absence of structural aggression), and it was for this reason that he developed the civilizing hexagon. According the hexagon, peace occurs when a collection of conditions is present that provide mutual support for each other (…).

A civilizing hexagon of this kind has six cornerstones which can be described as follows:

1) The de-privatization of aggression and the establishment of a legitimate state monopoly of aggression is essential for the civilizing project. There can be no lasting peace without ‘the disarmament of the citizens’ (…).

2) On the other hand, however, control of the state monopoly on aggression and the establishment of a constitutional state are needed to make sure that state monopoly of aggression is not abused in a despotic way.

3) Increasing control over emotional states through mutual interaction is established by growing interdependency and by the de-privatization of aggression; this is referred to by Norbert Elias impressively as the ‘process of civilization.’ The consequences of this might also lead to the establishment of ’emotional spheres,’ which transcend local boundaries and lead to a ‘national identity.’

4) This also serves in laying the foundations for democratic participation in the public decision-making process.

5) Another aspect is social justice. The physical fortification of the rule of law is a constitutive condition for the ability of constitutional state orders to be sustained and, as a consequence, inner peace to exist.

6) And, finally, a constructive conflict culture provides the foundations for disagreements to be resolved in a constructive way and for compromise-orientated conflict skills, and makes up the last cornerstone in the hexagon.
To this end, then, peace as a civilizing project becomes the desire for a legitimate and just state order. This also means that effective civilizing and peace are in a sense ‘identical.’ When peace is understood in this way, it becomes clear that it’s not a natural state. ‘Peace has to be created.’ Or to put it another way: ‘If the aim is to achieve peace in the sense of civilizing politics (…), the ground for peace has to be prepared: Si vis pacem, para pacem.'”

[Taken from: Michael Zürn: Vom Nationalstaat lernen, Das zivilisatorische Hexagon in der Weltinnenpolitik, in: Ulrich Menzel (Hrsg.): Vom Ewigen Frieden und vom Wohlstand der Nationen, Frankfurt am Main 2000, p. 21-25]

Eine PDF-Version dieser Seite herunterladen

http://www.friedenspaedagogik.de/index.php?/ift/english/topics_of_the_institute_s_work/peace_education_online_teaching_course/basic_course_2/ideas_about_how_to_deal_with_the_term_peace/civilizing_hexagon

 

 

http://www.berghof-handbook.net/documents/publications/senghaas_handbook

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: