What is Violence?
Participants were split into four groups to complete various exercises supported by a facilitator. Participants were encouraged to define four key concepts of Working with Conflict: Human Rights, Conflict, Peace and Violence. Every ten minutes participants would move around to another definition ‘station’ to brainstorm for additional definitions.
- total realization of origins of conflicts
- finding an equilibrium and collaboration
- good actions
- compromise (contractual)
- social contract
- peaceful society = equal society (equal opportunities)
- claim their rights
- it should lead to an open minder society
- physical power,
- overuse of force (physical and mental),
- victim / perpetrator
- hate speech,
- verbal abuse,
- peer-to-peer, direct / structural / cultural violence,
- violence is an action or process that involves one of more actors which cause damage,
- can violence be justified?
- Clash of interests (needs),
- fight for resources,
- difference of opinions / positions/ interests,
- dis-balance of power (wealth, land, resources, culture, status),
- fear and dishonesty,
- social change,
- dealing with mediation / transformation,
- communication / cooperation,
- conflicts are not good or bad,
- just consequences of them that are good or bad.
- Conflict can be an opprotunity that can lead to (positive) change.
- democratic mechanisms,
Human Rights are an Universal (legal) mechanism provided by democractic institutions that allow individuals or collectives to have equal opportunities and promote a scoiety baed on the notion of peace
Output: The facilitators presented the definitions given by the participants to the entire group. Anca gave a presentation with further definitions to help with definitions. The realization was that each topic is multifaceted and dynamic and depends on your situation.
Justpeace is Lederach’s preferred definition. He describes it as “an orientation toward conflict transformation characterized by approaches that reduce violence and destructive cycles of social interaction and at the same time increase justice in any human relationship.”
I would like to propose another definition. Those who study the spread of democracy, or “democratization,” are familiar with the term “consolidated democracy.” Simply, this means democracy is the only acceptable “game in town.” While we may want to tweak certain parts of our democracy, we really do not challenge the overarching concept or the practice or try to institute another governmental structure. What if we extend this concept and consider a Consolidated Peace? What if ‘peace’ was the only acceptable state and we did everything in our power to build a society that sustained it?
To reach a sustainable, consolidated peace, one that can last beyond a peace agreement, that reduces cycles of violence, and increases justice, we need to engage in building peace. In order to implement this type of ‘peace,’ peacebuilding must be defined as well.