Why Study Peace?
Today, more countries are experiencing violent conflict than in the last 30 years. And global military spending is at an all time high.
Both global and local communities work tirelessly to address violence. It is important to reorient beyond crisis management and maje building and sustaining peace a priority. The scientific community should be able to help us sustain peace. But we face two obstacles to this.
The fear problem
First, we don’t know much about sustainably peaceful societies because they are rarely studied. Humans mostly study the things they fear – cancer, depression and war – and so we have mostly studied peace making and peace building in the context of war.
But the fact is there are hundreds of sustainably peaceful communities around the world that we can learn from…If we take them seriously.
The frame problem
Second, in an increasingly complex, connected and changing world, our primary ways of problem solving and leading are still painfully slow and overly simplistic.
How we understand and respond to peace and conflict in our emerging world needs to mirror the pace, complexity and volatility of this new reality.
What are we doing
So we at The Earth Institute at Columbia University have brought together a top team of scientists with diverse areas of expertise to develop new ways to understand, build and sustain peace.