How to Live in Peace? Mapping the Science of Sustaining Peace: A Progress Report

Publication Date

November 12, 2021

Page Number


Link to Report



How to Live in Peace

This paper thoughtfully provides an overview of transdisciplinary research. Interestingly, this project aims to understand the dynamics that maintain peace within societies. This research entails the creation of a model that incorporates key factors and interactions influencing peace sustainability. Particularly, the model focuses on intergroup dynamics and the impact of different variables on promoting or hindering peaceful coexistence. Presented below is a concise summary of the main elements and findings from the paper:

Model Development

  • Initially, the project begins by delving into the concept of peace. It pulls from a diverse range of literature spanning multiple disciplines to pinpoint metaphors, definitions, and factors pertinent to sustaining peace. Following this, the next phase involves constructing a model. This part of the process leans on the foundational work of renowned peace researchers. Also, it incorporates a survey to gather valuable insights from contemporary peace researchers regarding the meaning and drivers of sustainable peace.

Core Dynamics

  • The paper notably identifies three main dynamics that essentially drive societal peace sustainability. Firstly, Past Intergroup Historical Accounts play a significant role. Secondly, Current Intergroup Norms and Structures are crucial. Lastly, Future Intergroup Goals and Expectations also greatly impact the sustainability of peace. These dynamics interact with Positive and Negative Intergroup Reciprocity, ultimately shaping intergroup relations and influencing the probability of maintaining peace.

Extended CLD Visualization

  • Importantly, the study enhances the causal loop diagram (CLD) to illustrate the intricate dynamics of peace within societies better. It successfully identifies as many as 73 variables contributing to peace at various levels. Refining the CLD carefully differentiates between factors that prevent violence and those that actively promote peace. This significant distinction underscores the independence of these factors. Moreover, it highlights the principle of equifinality, which interestingly suggests that peace can be achieved through multiple pathways.

Validation of the Model

  • In the model, propositions are directly drawn from the core engine CLD. They are then validated extensively using empirical evidence from over 300 identified studies. This validation process includes crucial steps such as evaluating the effect sizes of connections between variables and assessing the strength of these relationships. Ultimately, the main goal of this thorough validation process is to significantly improve the model’s credibility and its applicability in promoting and understanding sustainable peace.

Implications and Future Directions

  • Underscores the need to understand the complex dynamics of peace within societies deeply. Moreover, it highlights the growing demand for transdisciplinary methods to address global challenges. Finally, the core objective of the study is to create a framework that leverages scientific insights to promote peace and learn valuable lessons from peaceful societies across the globe.

In conclusion, this paper explores the science of sustaining peace. It emphasizes the core dynamics, extended Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) visualization, and empirical validation of the model. By integrating theoretical frameworks with empirical evidence, the paper enhances our understanding of the factors influencing sustainable peace. It further underscores the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing complex societal issues.

How to Live in Peace? How to Live in Peace?

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