Thursday, November 3, 2011

Intro to Peace Theory: "Think Globally, Act Locally"?

As from our discussion today, Juergensmeyer stood all of us up. He had terrific cases and theories, but at the end let us down. Though his idea of promoting an environment which religious moderates can prosper is a good idea, there was little concrete concepts to promote peace. Sometimes one man doesnt have all the answers, and you have to synthesize ideas to get a clearer picture.

Mark Juergensmeyer

Being a student of political science and security studies, I can't wait to tackle peace theories and strategies. After being exposed to concepts of violence, religion, identity, and root causes of extremism, it will be refreshing to see what policymakers can do in order to make this world more peaceful.

A few good ideas were brought up in class - cross-cultural interaction to decrease total identity, and economic incentives - but I am excited to find out more. I understand that violence is part of human nature and it will never go away.

In addition after our class, cosmic violence is not something that one can "destroy". As much as we fight in Afghanistan, one cannot "kill" an idea. The only way to do that is to kill all who know and/or believe it; that's just validating violence in the first place. Ideas don't necessarily have to be "destroyed" in order to have them be unappealing. Bonding others together, by economics, socially or politically, can make violence unappealing. Moreover, creating a good status quo in society can deter violence. If everyone is benefiting, why disrupt it? Just like the Palestinian boy at the end of the book who wouldn't bomb a soccer field because he loves soccer, it is imperative to build off these common connections.

I am guessing we will see national strategies being employed on local levels. Tip O'Neill's  phrase that "all politics is local" is true, and doesn't just have to apply to politics. It certainly applies to combating violence and misconceptions in society. The Dickinson motto of "Think Globally, Act Locally" is exactly what I think we'll be seeing, or at least its I think what we need to see.

Knowing the in-depth concepts about religion and violence, we are already done with half the process. Now its time to learn how to provide effective policy to these concepts in order to reduce violence. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and I'm excited to see it.

1 comment:

  1. Way to incorporate the Dickinson motto. Even though there might be some brown on your nose, I do agree that the outlook is a valuable one. In order to understand the local situation, you must look globally and see how the greater world works and what has and hasn't worked in history. But in order to actually have any kind of impact, you need to act in your own community, locally