Conflict Resolution Among Peaceful Societies

Conflict Resolution Among Peaceful Societies - B.D. Bonta,...

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B.D. Bonta, 1996. "Conflict Resolution Among Peaceful Societies: The Culture of Peacefulness," Journal of Peace Research 33(4):403-420. Bonta's basic argument is that nonviolent and peaceful societies (hereafter referred to as simply peaceful in his terms) exist which are fundamentally different from others in their worldview, ethos, value system, attitudes, practices, institutions, and customs. This includes their perceptions of human nature, conflicts, dispute resolution, and tolerance for violence. They are able to resolve conflicts nonviolently virtually all of the time. They contrast sharply with other societies including Western civilizations (p. 404). A second component of his argument is that peace studies has a Western bias and needs to be balanced by consideration of nonviolent/peaceful societies. Peaceful societies challenge Western thinking (p. 405). [e.g., Chagnon, Gregor, Keeley, Wrangham-Peterson] Bonta provides some very detailed and useful definitions. "Peacefulness is a condition of human society characterized by a relatively high degree of interpersonal harmony; little if any physical violence among adults, between children and adults, and between the sexes; workable strategies for resolving conflicts and averting violence; a commitment to avoiding violence (such as warfare) with other peoples; and strategies for raising children to adopt and continue these nonviolent ways." (p. 405). He notes that: "Evidence demonstrates that a modest number of societies have developed highly, and in some cases totally, nonviolent social systems" (p. 405). They rarely if ever have violent conflict (p. 406). [this essay based on 24, his book on 47] He also notes that they are not utopias (pp. 405, 414) --- there are jealousies, gossip, resentments, and backbiting (p. 405), but they combine their world view of peace with a very realistic, pragmatic understanding of the results of violence (p. 414). Bonta defines conflict as: ".
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Conflict Resolution Among Peaceful Societies - B.D. Bonta,...

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