Questions for Module 2 Skype Session 4-2

Questions for Module 2 Skype Session 4-2


My question for the Skype tomorrow is based on Chapter 72: State Terrorism vs Terrorism
Galtung writes in his therapy that we must identify the underlying conflict and solve it. In light of recent events in Brussels with ISIS how does he propose we go about identifying, let alone solving the underlying conflict with such a ruthless opponent whose goals are so illegitimate but who doesn’t seem to want to open a dialogue


Howard Parry-Husbands

How do you get a party such as ISIS to even engage in dialogue?

From chapter 72: State Terrorism vs. Terrorism: my question: Is it a useful diagnostic perspective to consider the emergence of terrorism as the ‚democratisation of warfare‘?

Has terrorism become the dominant form of violent confrontation because democracy is now prevalent across all aspects of society: from a democratic point of view – perverse and illegitimate as it may be – everyone has the ‚right‘ to wage violent conflict?


Carole Birreh

  1. In most documents, the main focus regarding conflict in our reading material seems to be at the inter-States level, but internal conflicts are very marginalized, although the number of internal conflicts and subsequent deaths are high (for instance the quote “poor countries threat nobody’, but what about their own population?). Do you consider that international conflicts should take a more important part in peace work than internal conflicts? If so, why?
  2. In one reading, you indicate that there is no lasting negative peace without positive peace. Can “intermediary” solutions for conflicts be implemented before other long-term solutions are dealt with? These intermediary solutions would not solve the conflict on their own but would for instance decrease the number of immediate deaths. Otherwise, aren’t we stuck with a high density conflict where nothing could be done because no holistic solution is proposed?
  3. You mention that we should switch from the focus on the past (who has right) to a focus on the future. You support creative solutions that appear to me contrary to international law (for instance in terms of recognized international borders, Treaty of Westphalia) (e.g. Ecuador/Peru reading). Do you consider that the State system should be abandoned or that we should only consider a new system when conflicts arise?
  4. One comment that is not a real question: “admiration” for a way in which a country is governed was presented as part of a therapy solution (in this case, Cuba). Could you please explain how admiration would work as therapy solution?



  1. It is apparent there is severe disharmony (inconsideration and exploitation) at the heart of the dominant economic system (so deep that even world-wide crippling recession could not dislodge it).

– Reinventing state, company, media and global governance is one solution. Are there other ways to secure “basic needs guarantees for all humankind” without wholesale reinvention of the system?

  1. In the realm of State Terrorism vs Terrorism, we have observed both state and non-state perpetrators of political violence engaging in post-modern warfare (e.g., abductions, torture, extra-judicial executions/premeditated murder, large-scale anti-civilian violence).

– Even if we identify the underlying conflict, the crimes and atrocities committed by all sides has generated many new conflicts between a great many more parties. In these circumstances, is it enough still just to address the original underlying conflict?

  1. Core concepts such as ’structural‘ and ‚cultural‘ violence seem still to reside largely outside the consciousness of the general populace; and efforts abound to keep it that way.

– How best can we bring about a higher level of awareness in the general population of how to handle and transform conflict – that is to say, how do we bring about a ‘peace and conflict resolution culture’?

[Note: this is especially relevant to us here at Sydney Uni at this time with the academic/departmental status of CPACS being threatened with downgrading.]


  1. This week’s readings discussed multiple ways of negating conflict. While exploring the incompatibility barrier it was noted degrees of incompatibility can be bounded or unbounded (absolute impossibility). Are you able to please elaborate on bounded and unbounded incompatibilities to clarify the distinction between the two?
  2. Peace may not be profitable for business/governments in the same exploitative way as conflict. How does a peace worker satisfy basic needs and empower actors when powerful business/governments rely the PSFM syndrome (penetration, segmentation, fragmentation, marginalisation) to create or prolong structures contributing to conflict?





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