This conversation is closed.

Is it possible to build peace? If so, what strategy do you think is needed?

Liberal constitutionalism in peace-building operations is the main pattern followed by the United Nations and Governments involved in the process. They try to build a political system and then, when the political institutions are set up, they start to act in a sense that could help people in post-conflict society. To do so, they develop an economic market that creates even more inequalities in those societies. Liberal constitutionalism is based on the idea that an stable and democratic political system linked with a free market would bring peace. In fact, arguments are that democracies are rarely willing to commit themselves into war and countries that are involved into financial and economic exchanges would not be ready to go to war against each other.
Is it possible according to you to postpone the building of the state institutions and to promote at first social policy? Would it help bringing peace to a country? Why?

  • thumb
    May 9 2011: My answer may sound unrelated to your question but I assure you it isn't:

    To build peace you must have harmony,
    To have harmony You must know how to blend,
    To know blending you must be empathetic,
    To have empathy you must accept that other peoples perspective are as valid as your own.
    To do this you must accept that you have the capability of being wrong.

    I could keep going but I think I should stop there.
  • thumb
    May 5 2011: A friend of mine was enrolled in a program at Berkeley in @ 1968 to become a "peace planner" offered through their urban planning department. I doubt it's in the curriculum now. The '60s was a more hopeful time.
  • thumb
    May 4 2011: Here is what one group in Itally did to promote the concept of peace:

    http://youtu.be/Xt-KioFZJqs

    I think this one started in Australia:

    http://youtu.be/vr3x_RRJdd4
  • thumb
    May 4 2011: I want, with my whole heart, to believe that peace is possible but it seems that it is even difficult to perserve in TED conversations so sometimes I despair.
  • thumb
    May 4 2011: there will always be struggle but of the less violent kind is what you are after and expressing it in different ways than with just a fist or an automatic weapon. for that education and freedom is what is needed where one is not jealous of the other and is not deprived of the basic necessities or the means to get to them which a captailist system does not provide at least not adequately. For here in the heart of democracy there is no peace there is conformity and making do.
  • thumb
    May 4 2011: The possibiity and the strategy all begins with us..within each of us..we must be rigorous and disciplined and consistent in thinking and acting as citizens of the world not as citizens of a country or members of a religion. Until we do, we cannot even see or understand what is happening in the world. Peace is more than a treaty. It is a way of thinking and living into the world.
  • May 4 2011: I think its takes some time. The problem is the mind of the people. For example democracy should NOT be in a country, where the people are not ready for it.

    Examples:
    1. As I am German I have to bring the third Reich into account. It was only possible, because after the first world war, the allied forces tried to establish a democracy where the people couldn't handle it. The people didn't know how important their own opinion is. Only after the second world war they saw what they have done.
    2. China is also not yet ready for democracy. Maybe the 0.0001% of the population that lives in a huge city and studied in a western country. But not the 3 billion (!) people living either in poverty and off the cities!

    On the other hand: you see the many, many countries in northern Africa and the Near East that are ready for a democracy (but their leaders are not!) and they will arrive there one day in the near future. These days you cannot trick the people like Hitler did for example, because Information spreads amazing fast and as much uncontrollable.
    • thumb
      May 4 2011: Robin RENO 1."Only after the second world war they saw what they have done"..could you say more,, I think you are in fact pointing to something that is still true as barriers to world peace. I ahve never understood how the third reich could have come to power, stayed in power so long, what that didn;t "offend " the wolrd's sensibilities. To what extent do you think tat tghe wolrd wide popularity of eugenics at the time is what allowed the Third Reich to grow andflurish without raising alarm? And do you think the interiority of the thrird reich..it's strong reliance on national identity of not looking beyond national borders for any information created the isolatin you point to in saying they didn't know wht they had done until after the war.

      If you could say a bit more on this I think it would launch this conversation into some very deep considerations of what impedes world peace and what might make world peace possible.
  • thumb
    May 4 2011: nope. world peace is impossible.

    too many contrasting political regimes, religions, wealth, power and influences.
    • May 4 2011: - the political regimes will all fall one day (i mean look out of the window, the first do right now!)
      - all major religions (i know) are aggressive or searching for conflicts
      - there are also differences in wealth in every country, in the long run, this will balance more and more on the world
      - power will be in the hands of the people, see point one
      - influences will lower as the people can use the internet to get their own knowledge and view, see point one again! :)

      there are no wounds, that the time cannot heal!

      BUT, world peace is not near and it won't be achieved while we are alive.

      PS: when I think more about it: either we do it, or we will destroy our existence one day (with nuclear or other weapons, with viruses or anything else)
    • May 4 2011: Davie,
      Isn't humanity more important than political regimes, religions, wealth, power and influences.
      I know of course that they all play a big role in how we interact with each other but can it be possible to consider what bring us closer rather than what makes us different.
      Huntington book "the clash of civilization" is very interesting on that because he explains very well how we always try to perceive things through our own perception of what is good and bad, fair and unfair, right or wrong. Empathy is maybe one of the main element for peace.
      But lets consider a post conflict situation, is it possible to create conditions in which peace would last? and if so how? I think we should understand how peace works in very small area to get after a wider view of how to develop ideas of what is needed to achieve it.