Posted by: alison-cullingford | February 16, 2012

Scope and Dilemmas of Peace Studies

Adam Curle with a peace studies group, 1976

Adam Curle with a peace studies group, 1976 (he is in front of the blackboard)

What is peace studies?  What is it for?   Adam Curle, the first professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, reflected on this in his 1974  inaugural lecture, The Scope and Dilemmas of Peace Studies.  The lecture is Object no. 47 in the award-winning 100 Objects exhibition.  It is an excellent introduction to Professor Curle’s working life and how his ideas developed from his experiences as a mediator and outlines some of the questions those developing the discipline had to consider (and still do).  For him, peace was not vague or sentimental and was about more than just the absence of war: it was about the nature of relationships between people, groups and nations.  Adam Curle called for peace studies scholars to analyse those relationships, and then to find ways of using this information to make them more peaceful.

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