Peace Over Time: What It Means for Us Today

Summary of:

Rahat, I. (2020). Chronology of peace psychology. University of the Punjab. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar_url?url=http://www.academia.edu/download/63836450/irfarahat202020200705-122289-4au2qd.pdf&hl=en&sa=X&d=512979671053564136&scisig=AAGBfm1bahEwHsJLiRNQ8edkRrltpw_-Ww&nossl=1&oi=scholaralrt&hist=QBANPTcAAAAJ:8323538001255588480:AAGBfm3BmY0rPcQo346A-U8T9XnbgjgU7g&html=.

Background & Theory

This article draws attention to the peacebuilding efforts that have existed since the beginning of humanity, the prominent figures during these time frames, and how these have been shaped over time. It explores how “peace psychology” developed and is what it is today.

Research Questions

Rahat, in “Chronology of Peace Psychology” (2020), addresses the following question:

  1. What is the timeline of peace psychology in human history?
  2. What does this mean for peace psychology today?

Methods

The author explored both the definitions and concepts of peace psychology (such as the definition for “peace” and what peace psychology is), and key players in the development of peace psychology over time. Rahat starts with Lao Tse in 604 B.C. to show how early peace psychology began to be recognized and then moves through the timeline chronologically until reaching modern contributors to peace psychology.

Results

The results show us that peace efforts have existed throughout history, at times playing major roles in social, political, and economic matters. An example during World War I, where psychologists helped develop tools that would be used for new recruits. Over the course of human history, one can see that peace psychology began to form as its own recognized and valued subject area, and it is considered a critical part of psychology today. Peace psychology today is involved in many of the tangible efforts we see worldwide to reduce war, violence, and inequality.

What This Means

  • Peace psychology has not always been fully recognized or appreciated, but it has existed forever, and has been shaped into what we know it as today over similar concepts seen throughout history.
  • Peace psychology now is primarily focused on finding nonviolent means to find equality and social justice.
  • Some of the very same principles and concerns we have today are the same as those of thousands of years ago, meaning that peace psychology must play a critical role in shaping our current events. While worldwide peace may not ever be fully attainable, it is worth the effort. 

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Consider learning more about the role peace psychology has played historically, and what we can learn from it then and now. It’s an inspiration to continue in this field of study and work.

For everyone: Anyone can gain value from learning about peace psychology. In fact, the more people come to learn and appreciate peacebuilding and peacemaking, the less conflict we will see.