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The international journal of peace studies after ten years.

What a pleasure it is to write an introduction to an issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies that celebrates the fact that it has survived, and prospered, for more than a decade. As I write the introduction to this issue in September 2006, I recall the concerns that I had when I was asked by Ho-Won Jeong to write an introduction to the first issue that would appear in January 1996 (Alger, 1996). In particular, an International journal of peace studies requires the development of a supportive international network of scholars from around the world.

Some of my concerns were quickly overcome. The journal was to be a project of the Global Political Economy Study Commission of the International Peace Research Association, and Jeong had already involved an array of outstanding peace research scholars from around the world. He had obtained articles for the first issue from John Burton (1996), Johan Galtung (1996), Birgit Brock-Utne (1996), and one from Paul Smoker and Linda Groff (1996). In addition, he had assembled an Editorial Board of peace research scholars from Belgium, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Obviously this peace studies journal had a remarkably appropriate founding structure. A discipline committed to developing knowledge that will facilitate the building of a peaceful world must develop dialogue among scholars from the entire world. People throughout the world are now linked through a variety of global communications, economic and climatic processes. At the same time, peacelessness has a diversity of root causes in different climates, economies, cultures, and political systems around the world. This means that building world peace requires dialogue among scholars living in environments in which there are a diversity of peace building agendas and perspectives. Thus, the Editor, the Managing Editor, the authors of the first issue and the Editorial Board, were from eleven countries around the world.

Since 1996 the IJPS has significantly extended its capacity to provide the basis for a global dialogue on peace issues. From its founding to Volume 11, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2006, articles have been published by scholars from twenty-nine countries around the world and the present Editorial Board is from thirteen countries. In addition, the Managing Editor, Formosa College and Grassroots Publishing are producing a high quality, and very attractive journal. These achievements led to the IJPS becoming the official journal of the International Peace Research Association in 2000.

It is a challenging task for the Editor of IJPS to acquire articles that reflect the global reach of IPRA. Since its founding in 1964 IPRA has had held twenty biannual conferences in nineteen countries that have reached across the world, including Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Oaxtepec (Mexico), Sussex (England), Bled (Slovenia), Malta, Durban (South Africa), Varanasi (India), Kyoto (Japan), Suwon (Korea), and Brisbane (Australia). IPRA has had Secretaries General from Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, UK, and the USA. Its present Council Members are from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Uganda, and USA. IPRA has five regional associations that reach around the world: Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA), Africa Peace Research and Education Association (AFPREA), European Peace Research Association (EUPRA), Latin American Peace Research Association (CLAIP) and Peace and Justice Association (North America).

At the same time, the diversity of sub-groups that have emerged in IPRA reflects the broadening agenda of peace research that the Editor and Editorial Board of this journal must attempt to cover. These are the twenty-one IPRA Commissions: Art and peace, Conflict resolution and peace-building, Eastern Europe, Ecology and peace, Forced migration, Gender and peace, Global political economy, Indigenous people's rights, Internal conflicts, International human rights, Nonviolence, Peace culture and communications, Peace education, peace history, Peace journalism, Peace movements, Peace theories, Reconciliation, Religion and peace, Security and disarmament, and Youth. There are also seven IPRA Working Groups: Development and peace, Earth charter, Evaluation of Development and peace activities, Governance and peace, Knowledge and peace, Middle East, Peace negotiation and mediation. Obviously, peace research now ranges across ever more disciplines, professions and arenas of human behavior. Indeed, peace research has gradually reached toward a realm of inquiry that reflects the range of feasible peace actors identified by Johan Galtung in 1980.
 ... a social theory that designates only a limited category of the
 inhabitants of society as the carriers of the new (and better)
 times to come is a dangerous theory regardless of how well it may
 have corresponded with facts in the past. ... Hence the answer lies
 rather in having tasks for everybody (Galtung, 1980, 396).


The IJPS very explicitly recognizes this penetrating insight of Galtung in its instructions for authors in two fundamental respects. First, "the Journal promotes discussion about various issues in peace research, including but not limited to theories of conflict resolution, social justice, cultural survival for indigenous people, human needs and security, nonviolent social change, peace movements, sustainable development, ecological balance, environmental conflict, human rights, self-determination and peace education." Second, "the Journal wishes to deal with local, regional or global problems" that inhibit peace building.

Over the last several decades peace research has made great strides as it broadened its agenda beyond conflict resolution and conflict management to include post conflict peace building and long term peace building. Unfortunately, much that has been learned is rarely applied (Alger, 2000). Therefore, it is very important that this journal's instructions for authors emphasizes that "it promotes dialogue between peace research and policy making communities in various countries."

In conclusion, I am sure that all members of IPRA, and others engaged in peace research, join me in thanking Ho-Won Jeong (Senior Editor) and Cheng Feng Shih (Managing Editor) for their decade of devoted efforts to develop a journal that is responsive to our needs: (1) global participation, (2) a broad agenda of topics and issues that ranges across many disciplines, and (3) efforts to link research and a wide array of policy makers. At the same time, we also offer our thanks to Charles E. Snare (Editor), Charles Lerche (Cons ulting Editor), Associate Editors Karen Andrews, Jeffrey Pickering and Kent Kille, and Assistant Editors Elefetheoris Michael and Vivien Leven. Also deserving our gratitude are those at Formosa College and Grassroots Publishing Company responsible for producing such an attractive journal. We all depend on all of you, and promise to support you, in our mutual effort to build a global community of peace researchers.

References

Alger, Chadwick F. 2000. "Challenges for Peace Researchers and Peace Builders in the Twenty-first Century: Education and Coordination of a Diversity of Actors in Applying What We Are Learning", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1-13.

Alger, Chadwick F. 1996. "Introduction: Reflection on Peace Research Traditions", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. l, No. 1, 1-4.

Burton, John W. 1996. "Civilization in Crisis: From Adversarial to Problem Solving Process", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, 5-24.

Galtung, Johan. 1980. The True Worlds: A Transnational Perspective. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Galtung, Johan. 1996. "Peace and Conflict Research in the Age of the Cholera: Ten Pointers to the Future of Peace Studies", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, 25-36.

Smoker, Paul and Linda Groff. 1996. "Spirituality, Religion, Culture, and Peace: Exploring the Foundations for Inner-Outer Peace in the Twenty-First Century", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1. 57-113.

Utne, Birgit Brock. 1996. "The Challenges for Peace Educators at the End of a Millennium", International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 1 No. 1, 37-55.
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Author:Alger, Chadwick F.
Publication:International Journal of Peace Studies
Date:Sep 22, 2006
Words:1264
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