PL-1. From a Culture of War and Violence to a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

The Seville Statement on Violence, signed in 1986, was born out of discussions that took place at ISRA in 1980. It stated a negative case — that it is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by inherited tendencies, genetic programs, brain mechanisms or “instincts”. The Statement did not attempt to make a positive case and identify the cultural factors that lead to war. It is therefore proposed that investigations concerning these cultural factors could be seen as a priority for the International Society for Research on Aggression. Investigations could be carried out within the framework of United Nations resolutions concerning the need for a transition from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace. These resolutions have identified a number of cultural areas where action — and, therefore, research — need to be carried out. They include: education for a culture of peace; sustainable economic and social development; respect for all human rights; equality between women and men; democratic participation; understanding, tolerance and solidarity; participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge and international peace and security, including disarmament and economic conversion. Each of these areas will be considered in turn. What is its importance for to a culture of war and violence and a culture of peace and non-violence? What kind of scientific studies have been done and could be envisaged for the future?