La pace come utopia necessaria


Russia's aggression against Ukraine has had, among other consequences, that of, once again, legitimizing war and, more generally, the military as the key instrument for conflict resolution. The escalation of the conflict has also highlighted how strong remains in our political culture the idea that peace essentially means the absence of war. But the idea of peace as mere absence of war strongly resembles what Tacitus puts in the mouth of the Caledonian leader Calgacus: "where they make desert, they call it peace." In Peace Studies, peace is generally understood as being something much richer and more articulate than the mere absence of war. Alongside a "negative peace," characterized by the absence of physical violence, we thus find, thanks to a fortunate insight of Johan Galtung, the broader idea of "positive peace”, based on the absence of not only physical but also structural and cultural violence (1964). In this article, expanding on the reflection on "positive peace," we reformulate the concept of peace by reconnecting with the biblical idea of peace-shalom, and then we focus, from a systemic perspective, on the interactions between means and ends, providing exemplifications of what has been argued.

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