Paper Example on Peace and War

Published: 2021-07-19
1444 words
6 pages
13 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Peace and war have been the primary issues in the contemporary world. As it is well-known, tranquility is essential to the overall well-being of both individual and nations. Throughout human history, war, conflicts, and disagreements have hindered the prevalence of peace. On a broader perspective, war creates more problems. Peace and conflict studies evaluate both violent and nonviolent behavior with a perception of understanding processes, which result in desirable outcomes. In fact, most schools today teach their students the mechanisms of peace and war. When educators teach people about the value of harmony, it becomes easy for them to avoid war. Gleditsch, Nordkvelle, Strand (2014) affirm that research on peace began in the 1950s. They explain that the inquiry into peace was born at the crossroads of peace activism and the materialization of contemporary social science. Peace is advantageous in a manner that it results in positive development. It begins with the elaboration of a mutually beneficial solution and problem-solving before they grow. On the other hand, war causes economic instability, crime, hatred, and political unpredictability. When a conflict occurs, there has to be a victor and the vanquished. War has a myriad of consequences. For instance, World War II resulted in the destruction of towns and loss of lives when the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More so, the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of towns and properties. Beyond doubt, peace studies help to reduce war. However, in most instances, it becomes difficult to attain peace because no one gets along with everyone. The paper below discusses peace, the importance of peace, causes of war, and the magnitude of understanding war in peace studies. Peace studies are significant because they help to minimize the occurrence of war.

What is Peace? Why Study Peace?Peace is a state of harmony where people live in calmness without fighting or war. Barash & Webel (2013) affirm that serenity should establish positive life enhancing values and social structures. The authors claim that most people recognize peace by its absence. They affirm that in the inner sense, peace is a mental or spiritual situation manifested by freedom from oppressive thoughts and emotions. The authors refer to inner peace as the nonexistence of noise. On the outer sense, the authors affirm that peace is the freedom from civil bellow, confusion, and constructive state of public serenity. Between governments, authors declare that peace is a mutual accordance. Peace occurs in many ways. For instance, it happens when people live stress-free, and without the fear of violence. Additionally, it occurs when individuals manage to improve the quality of their lives. Barash & Webel (2013) avow that peace can be either negative or positive. The authors term negative peace as one, which signifies the absence of war. As they explain, it is a condition where no active or organized military action is present. On the contrary, the authors state that peace is non-existent when it takes a definite form. More so, they affirm that harmony can take an affirmative form when it involves equity, justice, peace, cooperation, and love. They explain that peace should not validate violence as an end to its realization. The study of peace is significant because it helps in preventing conflicts. Webel & Galtung (2007) assert that peace studies identify the capability and intent to resolve, transform, and blunt the incongruity of conflict. Similarly, Barash & Webel (2013) define peace studies as an interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of peace and the causes of war as well as other forms of human conflict. The authors affirm that peace studies are necessary because they help an individual learn about peace-making strategies and make them amplify their consciousness on the cause of war. Moreover, the authors articulate that through peace studies, people develop the capability to uphold nonviolent options to violent means of conflict resolution. Additionally, the authors avow that peace studies are significant to students as they learn to apply dialogue, negotiation, and mediation skills during fieldwork. Seemingly, the study of peace helps individuals to move away from conflict or war.

What are the Causes of War? How is the Understanding of War important to the Study of Peace?

War is sustained violence between people, organizations, and countries. Many factors cause war. Barash & Webel (2013) assert that war can occur on individual, state, group, decision-making, and ideological, social as well as economic levels. Regarding the personal war, the authors affirm that the cause of war is innate depravity. They affirm that prejudice, images of the enemy, and human needs are the reason for war at the individual level. At the state level, the authors avow that the alliance between countries is the primary cause. The partnerships between nations can result in a decline in friendships concerning issues such as economic disagreements. More so, the engagement of military alliances causes a war between most countries. Regarding the group level, the authors state that racial and cultural intolerance causes war. A recent case of group level war has been between the white supremacist and anti-far protesters in Charlottesville. More so, the authors articulate the political ideologies and nationalism causes war at the group level. During the November elections in the US, the country became divided because two groups were at war on who is fit to be the president of the nation. Concerning the decision-making level, issues of perception and cognition cause war (Barash & Webel, 2013). As they explain, sometimes, leaders may decide on a particular aspect, and the parties involved in the decision-making process may be at war because they have different ideas. Even so, Levy & Thompson (2010) affirm that security fears, an adverse shift in power, external scapegoating, and ambitions of an individual leader such as Hitler and World War II result in war. Lastly, at the ideological, social, and economic level, conflicting ideologies, population pressure, and imperialism cause war (Barash & Webel, 2013). When people have different ideas about a political theory or policy, war takes place. More so, overpopulation can result in conflict in a way that individuals will fight for the minimum resources, which are available. Additionally, imperialism causes war in a way that it leads to rivalry between great nations. The understanding of war is essential to the study of peace because it reduces the occurrence of war. Levy & Thompson (2010) articulate that a better comprehension of war is significant because it helps to mitigate its severity and consequences. When students understand war and conflict resolution, they manage to build peace and transform conflicts through peaceful means.


In summary, peace studies are significant because it helps to minimize the occurrence of war. The difference between peace and war is that the former is natural while the latter is unnatural. Notably, when peace prevails, activities in the society remain usual. It is important for people to make peace within themselves to prevent the consequences related to war. More so, states should work together to become productive to avoid an occurrence of war. It is advisable that nations, which are at war, should sign peace agreements as a crucial step to building peace. War can bring difficulties in life. Peace is greater than war because its subjugation is non-violent and bloodless. Education plays a significant role in preventing conflict and in sustaining peace. In fact, schools ought to be a place where peace exists. Quality education on peace studies and the reasons for war make students develop an understanding of the two topics. Moreover, media coverage has brought to the forefront the necessity of peace in the society. For example, the recent wars in Syria have caused loss of lives and destruction of property. When the media covers the story, individuals from all over the world learn that peace is significant because it leads to sustainable development in the society. Largely, intelligence plays a vital role in the sustainment of peace. Through knowledge, individuals can consider their actions and cherish their lives by promoting peace. Aptitude enables people globally to stay calm and behave even when they are under tension. The absence of intellect results in intolerance, which eventually develops into conflict. Likewise, personality factors, such as the id, ego, and superego, can lead to misunderstanding because they drive personality. Overall, peace is the only solution to serenity in the universe.



Barash, D. P., & Webel, C. P. (2013). Peace and Conflict Studies. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Gleditsch, N. P., Nordkvelle, J., & Strand, H. (2014). Peace research Just the study of war?Journal of Peace Research, vol. 51, no.2, pp145-158.

Levy, J. S., & Thompson, W. R. (2010). Causes of War. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Webel, C., & Galtung, J. (2007), Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. New York:


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