Peacebuilding And Intercultural Dialogue Theology Religion Essay Example
Peacebuilding And Intercultural Dialogue Theology Religion Essay Example

Peacebuilding And Intercultural Dialogue Theology Religion Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 9 (2278 words)
  • Published: September 6, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
View Entire Sample
Text preview

This section will discuss the concept of peacebuilding and explore different definitions of this concept. It will also examine the various aspects that peacebuilding can encompass, as well as its connection to intercultural dialogue.


The objective is for the Security Council to adopt a more comprehensive approach in promoting intercultural dialogue in order to achieve peace and security. This includes addressing prejudice and hostile perceptions, combating ignorance and xenophobia, and advancing a culture of reconciliation based on values such as respect, tolerance, diversity, equality, justice, protection of human rights, and the rule of law.

The Council should consider the utilization of intercultural dialogue as a means for achieving peace and security. This approach can be utilized to prevent diplomatic negotiations, manage conflicts, and establish peace. The concept of "peacebuilding" was popularized in 1992 by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary-General of


the United Nations, when he introduced his Agenda for Peace. Since then, "peacebuilding" has become widely adopted to encompass a range of activities that extend beyond crisis intervention. It is closely linked with development efforts and the creation of administrative structures and institutions. This term encompasses not only official organizations but also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups.

The United Nations has a significant role in various aspects of peacebuilding. This includes infrastructure development and intercultural dialogue. Peacebuilding aims to reduce the risk of conflict and establish foundations for lasting peace and development. It involves diverse strategies and processes to prevent violent conflict from recurring, resulting in an overlap in goals and actions from conflict to peace. Peacebuilding can be seen as a comprehensive policy model that enhances coordination between efforts focused on conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, recovery,

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

and development. All these efforts collaborate in a collective and sustained endeavor to achieve enduring peace.

Peacebuilding encompasses activities that occur before and after large-scale conflicts, with the most significant surge in action happening immediately after violence. This endeavor involves various stakeholders including national governments, civil society, local communities, and international partners engaged in peacekeeping, development, or humanitarian ventures. National ownership is of utmost importance and includes all actors within a country such as civil society, the private sector, and the general public. Ultimately, citizens bear the primary responsibility for constructing lasting peace in countries undergoing peacebuilding efforts but are often supported by international actors like peacekeepers, development workers, and humanitarian staff. The United Nations (UN) frequently assumes a coordinating and leading role in these endeavors.

One institution that plays a pivotal role in promoting peacebuilding is the UN Peacebuilding Commission which was established through resolutions from the UN General Assembly and Security Council in 2005. The commission's objectives include mobilizing resources and providing guidance on integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery. Its main focus lies in reconstruction efforts to facilitate sustainable development through institution-building. The aim is to enhance coordination among both UN and non-UN actors involved, exchange best practices, secure funding for early recovery initiatives, and increase global attention towards post-conflict recovery. However, diverse organizations hold differing perspectives on peacebuilding.

The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AFP) and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame have a shared understanding of peacebuilding. The AFP defines it as the collaboration between government and civil society actors to address the root causes of violence and protect civilians during conflict. They view peacebuilding as a comprehensive strategy that

is customized to meet the specific circumstances of each conflict. Likewise, the Kroc Institute describes peacebuilding as the promotion of harmonious relationships across different societal levels, irrespective of cultural, religious, socioeconomic, or racial differences.

Peacebuilders aim to peacefully and cooperatively address societal injustices and transform the underlying conditions that lead to deadly conflicts. The range of activities involved in building relationships includes conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and transformation, and post-conflict reconciliation. According to Heather Dubois, peacebuilding is often discussed more than it is actually defined.

Possibly this is because it is undertaken by a broad assortment of actors whose strengths and capacities enable them to construct peace in different ways. She refers, among others, to Michael Pugh, who hints peacebuilding patterns back to the Cold War in the assurance building work of NGOs such as the Mennonite Central Committee, the Society of Friends, the motion for European Nuclear Disarmament, and the UK-based Center for International Peacebuilding. Johan Galtung, as early as the 1960s, began to describe peacebuilding as 'the practical execution of peaceful societal change through socio-economic reconstruction and development.' Lederach defines peacebuilding as 'a comprehensive concept that encompasses, generates, and sustains the full array of processes, approaches, and stages needed to transform conflict toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships.' The term therefore involves a broad range of activities that both precede and follow formal peace agreements. The concept of peacebuilding, like modern societies, is constantly evolving.

It is used to rebuild a state or society after a period of struggle, instability, or conflict. In some cases, it is broadly applied to include all efforts towards long-term peace in a specific context. These efforts may involve structural

changes, transitional justice, reconciliation, poverty relief, education, respect for human rights, and intercultural dialogue.

2.3 Peacebuilding strategic tracts

According to Lederach's peace-building approach, strategic peacebuilding can be defined based on several factors. This approach aims to enhance understanding of peacebuilding beyond its various specialized subfields. It illustrates the main components and subcomponents of the field and their interconnectedness. This graphic representation can provide clarity and organization to the diverse field of peacebuilding practice, as explained by Lederach.

The text highlights the key aspects of strategic peacebuilding, which comprise preventing, responding to, and transforming violent conflict, promoting justice and healing, and promoting structural and institutional change. These components are further divided into sub-areas of practice and focus. While analyzing peacebuilding from a macroscopic viewpoint can be enlightening, the text suggests that it falls short in addressing specific areas of practical work.

Determining which countries in a post-conflict zone should be prioritized for improvement can be challenging, considering their interconnectedness. Moreover, there are certain factors that can benefit multiple troubled countries simultaneously. For instance, intercultural dialogue can lead to various positive outcomes like healing from injuries, conflict resolution, and humanitarian aid provision. However, for intercultural dialogue to effectively prevent conflicts, resolve them, and promote peacebuilding, it is crucial to involve all sectors of the societies concerned (Mayr-Harting, Thomas).

2.3 Peacebuilding and Intercultural Dialogue

"Distrust and ignorance among different civilizations and religions have often impeded peace and progress."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes that promoting the reconciliation of civilizations is vital for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It is crucial to support and foster intercultural dialogue, which aligns with the principles of freedom of thought, conscience, religion, expression, assembly, and association as outlined in Articles

9, 10, 11, and 14 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This dialogue contributes to societal coherence and should encompass discussions not only about similarities but also about what distinguishes civilizations and populations. Exploring both "similarities" and "differences" as complementary aspects initiates a meaningful dialogue aimed at finding solutions to overcome perceived or actual hostilities.

Communication, information, and media are vital in promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. Understanding the connection between intercultural dialogue and peacebuilding is not simple. Conflict and civilization are two essential concepts that link intercultural dialogue to peacebuilding. Different authors may provide different interpretations of these concepts.

In the article 'Toward a Theory of Conflict and Culture' by Ting-Toomey and Stella, published in 1982 before the concept of intercultural dialogue was established, it presents an interesting observation of conflict and culture. The article argues that perceiving conflict as a communication process and culture as a system of symbols and meanings allows for conflict to be seen as integrated into the normative system of culture. Conflict serves a functional purpose when it upholds the fundamental norms and values of the culture, maintains an appropriate level of stability in the system, and occurs in a culturally diverse environment where individual opinions and perspectives are respected. On the other hand, conflict becomes dysfunctional when these conditions are not met. Low Context Cultures (LCC) prioritize individual orientation and direct communication patterns, while maintaining a diverse normative structure. In contrast, High Context Cultures (HCC) emphasize group orientation and covert communication patterns, while maintaining a homogeneous normative structure.

Different interpretations of struggle are possible based on this model. In the LCC group, individuals tend

to see struggle as instrumental, involving opposing patterns or goals. On the other hand, in the HCC group, struggle is more likely to be viewed as expressive, accompanied by hostile feelings.

Struggles within the LCC group typically arise when individual normative behaviors are violated, while in the HCC group, struggles occur when collective outlooks are violated.

People belonging to the LCC group generally adopt a confrontational and direct attitude towards struggle. Conversely, those in the HCC group tend to have a non-confrontational and indirect approach.

Furthermore, people from the LCC group often utilize factual-inductive or axiomatic-deductive methods in approaching struggles. Meanwhile, individuals in the HCC group are more inclined towards using affective-intuitive methods.

Another perspective on hermeneutics is offered by Gadamer through his concept of "hermeneutic dialogue." This framework not only applies hermeneutics to practical behavior overall but also considers its relevance to specific times and places.

In our current era of globalization where societies and cultures closely interact with one another, hermeneutical understanding goes beyond local contexts and assumes a cross-cultural or multinational significance.This idea compares a conversation to the interpretation of texts. At this point, people in a society or civilization have the responsibility of understanding both their own customs and unfamiliar texts and ways of life.

Gadamer believes that when a translator encounters an unfamiliar text, it signifies a conversation between the object and the translator. In his book Truth and Method, he argues that in the realm of reading, it is necessary to go beyond simple reconstruction for understanding. This process involves placing ourselves in a higher universal perspective that transcends our own uniqueness and that of others. When considering how intercultural dialogue can contribute to peacebuilding,

it envisions a society based on intercultural dialogue and respect for cultural diversity. This also involves creating conditions that prevent violent conflicts, manage and resolve conflicts, and promote post-conflict reconciliation. This peacebuilding concept can be achieved through the implementation of cultural action plans that involve all generations and aim to bring cultures closer through constructive dialogue and cultural exchanges encompassing various aspects such as archaeology, architecture, art, economics, culture, history, language, religion, and society.Few papers exemplify the way these two constructs can work together, but a positive example is the 'Declaration on Intercultural dialogue and conflict resolution' from the Council of Europe [ 8 ] .

They stress the significance of civilization as a vital tool for understanding and source of meaning. They view civilization as a means to foster democracy and progress in individuals and societies, and as a platform for communication and mutual comprehension among all people. They acknowledge that in a world where xenophobia and hatred are employed to achieve certain objectives, everyone possesses the right to define and select their cultural or religious affiliation and identity. They recognize that cultural "poverty" and marginalization, along with prejudice and ignorance, contribute to violence and stereotypes, which subsequently hinder peaceful relationships between diverse cultural communities. Hence, intercultural dialogue can serve as a preventive measure against conflicts in any situation or at any level.[9]

The term "struggle" encompasses both overt and hidden signs of disagreement. This can lead to bitterness, violence, and unfairness, which have the potential to escalate into a destructive and uncontrollable force. Conflict often arises from discrimination caused by a lack of recognition for cultural diversity and democratic openness. The causes

of conflict are multifaceted, including political, economic, and social factors that contribute to its cultural dimension.

This text presents suggestions for actions aimed at promoting conflict management and control in European societies characterized by cultural diversity and post-conflict reconciliation. The European Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs strive to strike a balance between preserving cultural diversity and ensuring social cohesion across different countries. Their objective is to foster harmonious relations among all societal groups in order to benefit all members, regardless of their culture, lifestyles, or cultural practices.

The Council of Europe emphasizes the significance of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in preventing conflict within democratic cultural policies. Guided by the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Cultural Convention, they support freedom of expression and uphold these principles. They aim to establish cooperation networks and action plans that prioritize the intercultural aspect in fields like arts, culture, institutional training, and international collaboration. Moreover, public authorities should take into account effective existing practices that promote intercultural dialogue while developing national or inter-state cultural policies.The "Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention" emphasizes the importance of respecting cultural democracy and citizenship, recognizing cultural identities and practices, and preserving heritage that aligns with the Council of Europe's principles. It advocates for just intervention as long as it adheres to the Council's rules. The declaration also calls for acknowledging diversity in education across all cultural aspects. Equality should be ensured in access, participation, and creativity throughout society to embrace cultural dimensions and foster diversity based on the principles of cultural democracy. These principles depict a commitment to implementing cooperation strategies while respecting subordination and national priorities. The objective is to

promote respect for diversity, intercultural dialogue, and conflict prevention without replacing responsible authorities at various levels but working together with them in governmental policies as well as civil society sectors. This demonstrates the state's willingness to collaborate effectively in promoting intercultural dialogue as a strategy for preventing conflicts.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds