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Peace Studies Exam Review

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Peace Studies
Nancy Doubleday

Peace Studies Exam Review 1. On Suffering And Structural Violence farmer - Suffering, violence, misery, all of these exist. The question is, can we truly analyze or define them, as they are so unique to the sufferer? Which forms of suffering are worse? Is rape or abuse more or less damaging than long-term sufferance like racism or poverty? Cultural relativism is also worth considering: some cultures may fully believe in or support the traditions that lead to suffering. This, however, is a flawed belief and the author of the article insists that it is an alibi to maintain suffering. - Haiti is a good case study for human suffering. Haitians of the last decade are more subject to extreme poverty and political violence than ever before. They are the only country in the Western hemisphere that is characterized by “extreme human suffering.” They have land that is near impossible to grow plentiful crops on and are ravaged by AIDS and TB. The story of Acephie Acephie came from a family that lost all of their wealth at the hands of a flood. In an attempt to secure some financial security for her constantly suffering family, she fell into a dalliance with a soldier and married man (Captain Honorat) as many poor Hatian girls were wont to do. Their affair lasted for only a short time, but Acephie contracted AIDS from the captain. He died shortly thereafter, leaving a poor wife with five hungry children and no income. Acephie began to work as a servant in Port-au-Prince (the nearby wealthy city), and soon became pregnant with the child of a relatively financially stable Hatian man who left her once he learned of the pregnancy. Her employer was not keen on the idea of a pregnant servant, so she returned to her village, where she birthed an AIDS-infected daughter. Acephie herself began to suffer from the more serious effects of AIDS and soon died. Her father hanged himself. The story of Chouchou Chouchou had a typical Haitian childhood, dropping out of school at a young age to help support his family. His adult life was ushered in by a wave of political turmoil in Haiti (in a nutshell: new pro-democratic voices called for the cessation of the oppressive Duvalier rulers, so the Haitians – mostly all in poverty – voted in a leader who empathized with them. Shortly after he was elected, the military – who had been enjoying the payroll that came with the violent oppression of the former leader – overthrew the new president and continued being assholes to the Haitian people). Chouchou, while on a truck with other passengers, made a passive comment about the shitty state of the road, but the comment was clearly also a subtle statement about the unfortunate political situation. One of the other passengers on the truck was a soldier, and at the next stop he was removed and brutally beaten by more soldiers in front of the other truck passengers. He was then held in a military barracks for days. Shortly thereafter, Chouchou was arrested once more. This time he was arrested from his home, and though no reason was given (the official bullshit statement was that he had stolen bananas) it is worth noting that both his watch and radio were taken from him. This time, Chouchou was tortured for days and left in a ditch to die. His relatives carried him home to his family where he suffered for three days before dying. The point of these stories is that these two (very commonly seen) types of suffering both came as a result of structural violence. It is “structured” because the factors that lead to the violence have been historically and economically put into place before even the birth of the people suffering. There arthree general reasons why structural violence cannot be described well. For one, we are more apt to understand and empathize with situations we can relate to. Because these situations are geographically and culturally foreign to us, they are often at arms-length. Second, structural violence cannot be truly understood by people who do not go through it. Finally, the dynamics and distribution of suffering are poorly understood. It is too impossible a task to use biographic stories like this to fully grasp such things. Liberation theology is the attempt to use social analysis to make sense of human suffering and maybe eventually work towards ending it. Chouchou and Acephie’s stories show us that the following factors must all be taken into account when trying to socially analyze structural violence (note: the textbook refers to these factors as ‘axes’ as in variables on a graph, so just be ready to hear these referred to as ‘the axis of…’ on the exam). Gender: For example, women are confronted often with sexist forms of suffering while men tend to face more raw brutality. That said, women (particularly poor women) tend to have it much worse because their human rights are infringed upon the most. Race: Ethnicity is often used unjustly to distribute social significance. Thusly, if you happened to be born into a certain race in shitty circumstances, your rights automatically mean less. Other Noteworthy Factors: Really any distinguishing characteristics. Refugee or immigrant status, sexual orientation, etc. (NOTE: In ALL of these factors, the author makes it clear that poverty greatly worsens the degree of suffering). 2. The Trouble We’re In hossay Basically, this article begins by emphasizing (rather dramatically) that we are over polluting our planet and hindering its ability to support life while also consuming far more resources than the planet can provide. This is tied in directly with the inequality in the distribution of these resources. In a nutshell, we take too much and do not share it nearly well enough. This is supported by a million different graphs and statistics that we’ve all seen before (I didn’t include any of them because there are too many for them to expect us to learn and because I think this article is more significant in its message). The article goes on to explain that global warming is very real and very present, and that we are horrifyingly close to the point of no return. At some point, our global temperature rise will trigger natural environmental feedbacks that will start a heating snowball effect and eventually we’ll all be shit-out-of-luck. The immediate concerns will be a rise in sea levels, the destruction of forests (and as a result, pests and disease everywhere!), loss of species, more human respiratory problems, and severe weather conditions. Ecocide is basically the silly left-wing hippie term to describe the destruction of environments (LOL the next section begins by saying that people often associate these concerns with hippies). The usual trademarks of these types of articles are all here: we are effectively destroying ourselves, it’s only going to get worse, political turmoil is going to occur, nobody is doing anything about it, blah blah blah etc. This article is mostly a bombardment of facts to support a thesis that is already well- understood. If you don’t feel you can adequately answer multiple-choice questions on how the environment is being destroyed, consider reading the article. Otherwise, I wouldn’t sweat it, this one is very self-explanatory. 3. Violence, Peace, and Peace Research (Galtung) Here, Galtung seeks to define both peace and violence. He claims that the current ambiguous definition of peace is really only effective because we all see it as the ideal, and thus it is a way to obtain universal agreement. It is very hard to be against peace since we all see it as the ideal. However, this is in some ways good. If we used more specific terms to define what peace is, differences in vocabulary could create misunderstanding and conflict. He begins with three principles that serve as the groundwork for his discussion on peace. They are as follows: 1. The term ‘peace’ shall be used for social goals that many or most people verbally agree to. 2. Though these goals may be complex and difficult, they cannot be impossible to attain. 3. The statement peace is absence of violence is valid. His definition of violence is different from what most of us call to mind when we hear the word. Galtung defines it as follows… Violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations. Here’s what he means: Violence is what occurs when influencing factors cause there to be a gap between what we are physically and mentally capable of, and what is actually happening. Violence is that which increases the distance between the potential and the actual. For example: If we live in an era where a disease is curable, and somebody dies of that disease, it can be seen as violence. Within his definition, there’s indirect and direct violence. For example, killing somebody is direct violence in that creates a divide (the ultimate physical divide, really) between the person’s potential physical health and their actual physical health, but it is also indirect violence in that it destroys that persons own ability to bring the actual closer to the potential. The value of Galtung’s “mental realizations” is tricky to pinpoint, because of course we don’t all see value in the same ways. For this reason, he says that the ideal mental realizations (the “potential”) we should strive towards should be based on things we all agree to be valuable. For example: Literacy is universally thought of as valuable, whereas religion is not. Both physical and mental violence can be broken down in many ways. Here’s a flowchart yo. It is worth noting that even Positively Influenced Psychological Violence counts as violence because it still prevents humans from realizing the potential. Though it did not seem to fit conveniently into that flowchart, it is worth knowing that Galtung also emphasizes a difference between direct (personal) violence and indirect (structural) violence. The term “structural violence” should be familiar to us by now from the first article in the textbook, so to recap: it is violence brought about by conditions and factors rather than humans. In the article, he later begins referring to structural violence as social injustice. Even unintended violence is violence. We tend to assign guilt to those who had intention (i.e. if you had the intention to harm, you are guilty regardless of consequence). The problem with this is that it fails to capture structural violence because there is rarely intent to harm in cases of structural violence (i.e. if unfair division of resources is present, it is more likely the intent of those in charge to achieve personal gain rather than to harm others). The failure to protect non-violent structures is violence. This one is tricky, but it more or less means that if there are not measures in place to ensure the upholding of nonviolent principles, there is violence presence. This is referred to as latent violence. So Galtung’s ideas begin to expand how we think of violence and apply the term to a much wider variety of things. Untruthfulness, for example, would now be considered violence because (you guessed it) it prevents humans from realizing the potential. The destruction of things (objects) can be thought of as violence because it can be seen as either a foreboding threat of the destruction of people or it can be psychologically damaging to those who posses the destroyed objects. The unequal distribution of resources is a form of structural violence. If people are starving when this is objectively unavoidable, violence is present. He goes on to explain that humans have a natural tendency to arrange themselves into a hierarchical order and therefor that structural violence is seemingly more natural than structural peace. He also says that absence of one type of violence is bought at the expense of the threat of the other. This means that, if you wish to have a society in which personal violence prevents structural violence (i.e. police enforcement to maintain structural peace), you must accept that the moment that personal violence crumbles, structural violence will step in (and vice versa). Despite this trend, Galtung insists that there is not a logical connection between the two types of violence. On the topic of peace, rather than violence, Galtung introduces two new terms (I’m really sorry about all the terms, but this guy loves specificity): Negative peace (absence of personal violence) and Positive peace (absence of structural violence). The problem with studying peace is that there is often imbalance in the studies of positive peace and negative peace. The problem is that approaching either method of promoting peace on it’s own will allow for the other type to occur. Trying to create a socially just society will allow for personal violence, while trying to eliminate personal violence will likely cause social violence. This leads some people to approach peace research with an apprehensive down-the-middle approach, but that is ineffective in practice. FINALLY Galtung presents us with THREE possible solutions to work towards peace and then a FOURTH ideal solution, his eventual thesis. 1. Slant the definition of peace in one of the two ways. Either the absence of personal violence or the absence of structural violence. 2. Give up the word ‘peace’ and then try our best to work towards one or both of the values. 3. Combine the above two. Avoid the idealistic notion of ‘peace’ as most people know it, and give up one of the two goals. 4. Treat both goals as equally significant and use nonviolent social action to achieve them. Cross our fingers in the hopes that the future will continue to yield more rich concepts and forms of social action. ALRIGHT. That was a 24-page article, so as you can imagine, there is more detail to observe if you choose to re-read it yourself (be warned if you haven’t tried to read it already, it is written in a very basic form of argumentative rhetoric and therefor takes significantly longer to understand than to actually read). I’ve tried to highlight the important parts, the crown jewel being Galtung’s concluding thoughts, and the terms that are likely of most significance. 4. Armed Conflicts, 1946-2009 themmer and wallensteen From the onset, this article seems to be concerned with emphasizing that armed conflict is alive and well. This article, not unlike The Trouble We’re In, is more a vast collection of statistics and graphs than the presentation of an idea or thesis, so unless you think the exam may require you to call to mind specific dates and numbers (which I’d say is unlikely, given the sheer amount of them in this article), there are very few points of importance. They are as follows: - A dyad is a pair of warring parties - 1000 or more battle-related deaths constitutes a war - Overall, the global developments of 2009 do not point to either a significant decrease or increase in war - However, there has been a gradual increase in numbers since 2003, and the lack of new peace agreements in 2009 (only one was signed in the year) is alarming. 5. Mechanisms of Peace through Health Mcqueen and santabarbra Peace can be promoted through the promotion of health (PtH is the abbreviation of Peace Through Health, it may be used in this abbreviated form on the exam), and therefore by healthcare workers. The following is a list of methods through which this is possible: Redefinition of The Situation: Healthcare workers can present the situation as exactly what it is – a damaging event that harms all people. They are above bias. Subordinate Goals: When two warring parties have mutual goals, it is easy to use them as a platform for peacemaking. When these goals are health related, healthcare workers can draw empathy from both sides and show them their mutual interests. Mediation and Conflict Transformation: Because healthcare workers are seen largely as unbiased parties in warring areas, they can mediate smaller scale conflicts or transform conflicts into more beneficial situations. Dissent and Noncooperation: By refusing to endorse potentially war-supporting decisions, healthcare organizations can refuse to cooperate and thusly voice their dissent in issues of contention. Discovery and Dissemination of Knowledge: Healthcare organizations tend to provide statistics and facts on the true damages of war, which opens the public eyes to the reality of war. Rebuilding The Fabric of Society: This is the obvious one. Healthcare workers can help to repair and rebuild after conflict to prevent further issues. Solidarity and Support: When oppressed groups are suffering because the public is not aware of their plights, healthcare workers can deliberately work with the oppressed groups so as to promote awareness of their problems. Social Healing: Akin to rebuilding the fabric of society, healthcare workers can heal psychological damages like post-traumatic stress disorder. Evocation and Extension of Altruism: Healthcare is ultimately an act of altruism. Just the existence of healthcare promotes the right mentality. Limiting The Destructiveness of War: Healthcare workers can prevent war from doing as much damage before and during actual war times by actively working against the development of new weapons etc. This article is a pretty easy one to understand. I would anticipate that if there are questions based on it, they would be something along the lines of “which of the following is NOT a way for PtH workers to promote peace?” 6. Speaking Truth to Power: Acting on Values, Ethics, and Rights in South Africa Wendy Orr Between 1960 and 1990, more than 70 South African detainees died, due largely to medical negligence. Dr. Wendy Orr was surgeon in this general time period, and later gave a speech to McMaster University about her experiences. These were the key points: - The South African apartheid health-care system denied human rights and often resembled torture - Police assaults or interrogation torture on detainees often were the number one cause of injury - Nobody in the medical field seemed to care about the injustice - Despite difficulties and pressure to conform to the attitude of her colleagues, Dr. Wendy Orr came into contact with a good human rights lawyer who encouraged her to bring her evidence to the supreme court (which she did) - Her mission was successful. Reports of assault and torture drastically declined and Dr. Orr was removed from any politically sensitive occupational fields in the area This is a very easy article to grasp. Dr. Orr spends a lot of time explaining that she had a “moral obligation” to do what was right. Also worth knowing, they reference the case of a detainee named Steve Biko, who was captured, tortured, and killed at the hands of apartheid-related brutality. 7. Introduction to City of the End of Things Hart and mackay This article is a brief explanation of the significance of the Whidden lectures given around the time of the cold war. The author explains that it was a time of flux in politics, economics, religion, and culture. In popular culture, music, fashion and drugs. The lectures given by Oppenheimer, Frye, and Salmon focus on the war/peace effect of physics, literature, and empire. This section summarizes the speech given by Oppenheimer, a physicist who opposed the hydrogen bomb on moral and technical grounds despite being partly responsible for its creation. He said that the process of learning about nature also forces us to learn about ourselves. As far as the use of the bomb goes, he is of the opinion that there could have been more warning for those who suffered. He also does not try to deny that physics made the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki possible, and that physicists therefor have a huge responsibility to make good decisions. I would guess that any questions based on this article would pertain to the link between science and peace/morality. 8. The Nemesis of Empire: Land of Hope and Glory This was Edward Togo Salmon’s lecture comparing the conquest of the Roman empire to that of the British empire. He analyzes their downfalls and successes. He begins with the Roman Empire . They were very inclusive with citizenship, so they almost always outnumbered their rivals. Furthermore, what made the Roman Empire unique was that people wanted to become Roman citizens. To acquire Roman citizenship was not an obligation, it was a privilege. When Romans acquired a new province, it was not given its own central government. Rather, it was given one main (and frequently changed) governor. This helped to keep provinces from developing their own central political power, which kept them bound to the main state. The Roman army was actually rather makeshift, and was often not large enough to do its job. A surprisingly inconsequential flaw with the Roman system was that they taxed all of their provinces, despite not giving them any central political representation. They did this largely to subsidize Italy, who paid almost nothing in taxes. A fascinating thing about the Roman Empire was that racism was almost nonexistent and social mobility was so flexible as to allow for slaves to become highly ranked individuals. In fact, senate officials were often immigrants with no family background at all, coming from the outer provinces. It is this type of codependency and unification that separates the Roman Empire from the British Empire, where people from the main provincial power would often go out into colonies, but people from the colonies would not go to the main provincial power. The Roman Empire was by all accounts tremendously prosperous and internally peaceful until it’s eventual destruction. The British Empire on the other hand, was not nearly as potent or durable. Great Britain monopolized the industrial world because they were the first to revolutionize in an industrialize sense. Historians tend to argue that Britain’s advanced technology kept their empire together because colonies were glad to have this new technology. However, around the time of the First World War, other countries began to develop industrially as well. Countries may have felt attached to Britain because it was materially attractive and because in many cases (Canada, New Zealand, Australia) it helped to supply them with the settlers that would make up their country. The problem with British dominion was that they were faced with a harrowing array of different cultures and environments to deal with, so they could not approach every conquest in a uniform way, as the Romans were able to do. Furthermore, the hereditary monarchical nature of the British Empire (king, prince, queen, princess, etc) made it impossible for colonial citizens to enter the political hierarchy. The British people were also very unwelcoming to the concept of being ruled over by oversea subjects of their own monarch. Because of Britain’s refusal to welcome an influx of politically minded subjects from its provinces, these people remained in the provinces and strengthened their individual political identities. Thus, the British were deliberately preparing their colonies for individual representation and sovereignty. This led to their quick downfall. In summary, the Romans made themselves the ideal, so people chose to be Roman and were so happy with the opportunities available to them as Romans that they did not object to the rule. The British did not provide these equalities and had a far more varied group of provinces to deal with. 9-10. The Year Of The Sheep / Where Are the Highlanders?prebble The highland clearances occurred when a significant number of people were displaced from their homes in the Scottish highlands during the 18 and 19 th centuries. The aristocratic landowners of the area decided to stop allowing the local farmers to harvest the land, forcing the largely agricultural community out of their homeland. What is relevant about these stories is the brutality
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