Watch Out for Peace: The Polemic Nature of a Horizon Desired

J.H. de Wilde*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article provides a critical perspective to look at one of the most basic concepts in life: peace. By reflecting on a wide range of literature on peace, the aim is to make sense of the way in which the longing for peace is part of the violence it hopes to overcome. Understanding peace requires understanding its polemic functions in world politics (both internationally and domestically). Due to its symbiotic relationship with its counterpart (all forms of violence and their accompanying norms) peace is polemic. This implies that peace is experienced only when the echo of violence is absent, and the polemics are absent. In such absence, however, peace loses its meaning. In this context, the article reflects on various notions of peace and the inescapable logic of war norms they entail. This is illustrated by reflections on post-Cold War European, American and UN war & peace practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-484
Number of pages22
JournalGlobal Society
Issue number4
Early online date23-Mar-2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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