Psychology in the International Community

Perspectives on Peace and Development
  • Ronald Roesch
  • Geoffrey Carr


The title we chose for this chapter reflects our view that the issues of peace and international development are inexorably related. The concept of peace is a difficult one to define. Many definitions focus on conflict or war, with peace defined as the absence of war. We consider peace to be not simply the absence of war, but also the perception that there is minimal threat of war. When the likelihood of war is so great as to be perceived as a genuine threat, continued prevention of war is often difficult to achieve. Thus, a primary goal for establishing peace must be to create an international community in which military intervention is not seen as a likely option for resolving conflict. Furthermore, our definition of peace incorporates a number of issues broadly related to social justice. Peace will not be achieved until we address some fundamental questions dealing with equality of people, world interdependence, economic fairness, unity, and social and international justice. Peace in this sense would, then, include activities aimed at reducing the likelihood of violence, as well as activities directed at promoting, as Alger (1987) noted, economic well-being, social justice, and ecological balance (see also Christie, 1997; Dobrosielski, 1987; Kimmel, 1995; Tucker, 1977)


International Community Community Psychology International Conflict Shared Humanity Harvard Educational Review 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Roesch
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Carr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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