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: ".