Johan Galtung

Peace Studies

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Johan Vincent Galtung (born 24 October 1930) is a Norwegian sociologist, mathematician, and the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies.He was the main founder of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) in 1959 and served as its first director until 1970. He also established the Journal of Peace Research in 1964. In 1969 he was appointed to the world’s first chair in peace and conflict studies, at the University of Oslo. He resigned his Oslo professorship in 1977 and has since held professorships at several other universities; from 1993 to 2000 he taught as Distinguished Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has been based in Kuala Lumpur, where he was the first Tun Mahathir Professor of Global Peace at the International Islamic University Malaysia until 2015.Galtung has been a major intellectual figure of the New Left since the 1950s. He is known for contributions to sociology in the 1950s, political science in the 1960s, economics and history in the 1970s, and macrohistory, anthropology and theology in the 1980s. Galtung coined the term “peace research.” He has developed several influential theories, such as the distinction between positive and negative peace, structural violence, theories on conflict and conflict resolution, the concept of peacebuilding, the structural theory of imperialism, and the theory of the United States as simultaneously a republic and an empire. He has often been critical of western countries in their attitude to the Global South. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1987 for “his systematic and multidisciplinary study of the conditions which can lead to peace” and has received many other prizes and accolades.


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