Perceptions of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies

November 17, 2018

Conflict and peace are inevitable things. Today, when everyone has easy access to various information and news, a peaceful atmosphere may break into a conflict. People are easily get provoked and be driven to conflict. It may be two neighbors disagreeing over a fence or a devastating worldwide war.

While working as researcher and writer, I saw and took a closer look at how a peaceful situation and a conflict became into interchangeable side any time. A group that originally has lived side by side with other groups in harmonious could be involved in a fight because of conflict of interest between them.

In a conception of state and nation, the peaceful situation is the main purpose and the ultimate goal. To maintain a sense of peace, each country carries out various efforts to protect national interest from various threats. Basically, fundamental security interests of a country as written by Hans J Morgenthau are to protect physic, politics, culture, identity, environment, economic and social.

In order to maintain security, the national interest of a country may be conflicted with the national interests of other countries. In international community relations, inter-state conflict of interest may lead to conflict. On a more serious scale, the conflict of interest between two countries could be the trigger of armed conflict.

In cold war era, the threat faced mostly came from external sources. After the cold war, the threat of national security is no longer only from outside the country but also from within the country. Ethnic, culture, religion, economics, educations, environment and human rights issues can lead to conflicts of interest that trigger war.

Nowadays, the issue of conflict triggers is widening to not only military issues but also non-military issues. The non-military issues include different levels of 
development, overpopulation, environmental degradation, socio-cultural issues, diminishing of sense of nationalism, and increasing need for respect of individual rights.
In a complex society, the conception of peace also experiences an extension of meaning. 

When peace used to be referred as a situation for free physical intimidation, free from war and military attacks, it now also refers to as security of non-physical threats. Nations and countries no longer only pay attention to territorial security but also other factors such as food security, energy, health, and the environment.

Perspective changing of the concept of peace and conflict and the dynamics of society both nationally and globally have made the role of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies becomes increasingly important. Violence and military approaches are no longer the only solutions in ending the conflict. In order to realize the sense of security and peace, it needs a comprehensive approach including economical, social, environmental, political and socio-cultural approach. 

By choosing Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, I hope to be able to know and explore further aspects which must be considered in dealing with and resolving conflicts both on a micro and macro scale. At the level of the nation state, I hope to be able to contribute further and eventually have skills to participate and to engage in conflict analysis and resolution, peacekeeping, and peace building at national, regional and global levels.

In line with the first choice, I realize that the current role of non-military forces in influencing the nation state relations, is getting bigger. The creation of  public opinion, cyber war, and terrorism have become integral and decisive parts of creating conflict and peace. ***

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  1. Semoga cita-citanya yang mulia tercapai... dunia butuh orang-orang yang bisa melihat suatu permasalahan dengan jernih dan menyampaikan solusinya tanpa rasa takut.