chapter  3
23 Pages

Chapter Peace Education in Societies Involved in Intractable Con icts: Goals, Conditions, and Directions

The fundamental question of whether peace education can facilitate change of the sociopsychological infrastructure that feeds continuation of intractable con ict is essential not only for educators but also for every human being that values peaceful resolution of con icts. This question is especially valid in view of the fact that intractable con icts still rage in various parts of the globe, and they not only cause misery and suffering to the engaged societies but also threaten the wellbeing of the international community at large. These con icts are over real goods, such as terri tories, natural resources, self-determination, and/or basic values, and these real issues have to be addressed in con ict resolution. But, no doubt, it would be much easier to resolve them if they were not accompanied by intense sociopsychological dynamics. Intractable con icts that have been going on for a long time (as in Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East) deeply involve society’s members who develop a sociopsychological repertoire of beliefs, attitudes, and emotions about their goals, about causes of the outbreak of con ict and the course of that con ict, and about the rival, and about the desired solution. Eventually, this repertoire becomes an investment in con ict that evolves into culture of con ict. It is rigid and resistant to change, fuels its continuation, and thus inhibits deescalation of the con ict and its peaceful resolution.