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Sat. July 31, 2021
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International Affairs Forum

Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

Unfolding Unity – The Evolution of Peace

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War and peace evolve in waves of contraction and expansion. After periods of prosperity, with sufficient reproduction and a flourishing economy as well as increased trade and travel (boom period, wave of expansion) comes a period of economic decline, mass unemployment, a withdrawal into nationalism and the attempt to control politics, society and the economy by more authoritarian politics (wave of contraction). After the often-violent conclusion of any wave of contraction follows another expansion period, also with often new attempts of regulation in terms of new international institutions for the preservance of peace. These latter phases are usually marked by higher levels of liberalism and increased rights for the populations.

These waves have occurred at least twice before in recent history with the First and Second World War periods. We are currently in a third episode of a similar wave of contraction.

The proposed research wants to look into the nature and regularity of such waves and look at since when they have started to occur historically, and if these waves are a natural and necessary pattern for the evolution of war and peace, or if they can be managed with better politics.

The preliminary answer at managing these waves would be to introduce moderation measures for the economy and global reproduction in times of boom to prolong and stabilise these boom periods and avoid crashes. Secondly, for any times of contraction, the idea is to unify all militaries into a truly global NATO and teach them to collaborate for peace and learn to strike on war for times of contraction. Furthermore, International Law could be complemented with a rule against world war and possibly against killing (even if the latter would be debated, for example because of the death penalty, abortion and assisted suicide). International Law, to the best of my knowledge, at the moment only holds a rule against wars of aggression, not against world wars. Finally, we could also invent new measures against global poverty, that is also a root cause of war and similar problems. This could present as a global welfare state to be financed by global taxation on arms races. And also we could build an early warning system for war based on international mental health (depression) data to predict violence.

Dr. Anna Cornelia Beyer is lecturer in international relations at the University of Hull UK. Her previous publications include: Violent Globalisms: Conflict in Response to Empire Ashgate, 2008 and Counterterrorism and International Power Relations IB Tauris: 2010. More information is to be found on her website: www.corneliabeyer.net.

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