Peace movement concerns have broadened. Ten years our peace work consisted mainly of trying to prevent the acquisition or deployment of new weapon systems. Today, economic conversion is taking place. (See the Bélanger and Paquette piece.) There are still plenty of weapons around to worry about, but many of them are bought by the "private consumer" whose household and car are fortified. (See "Disarmament Begins at Home" for a discussion of the gun control issue.) And also notice Maha Broum's heart-rending story about the damaged children of war In her native country, Lebanon, and what is being done to help them live normal lives.
Tile broadening of peace concerns can be explained in terms of Johan Galtung's well-known distinction between "negative peace" and positive peace." "Negative peace" refers simply to tile absence of war. However, war is not everything; people are also harmed by nonmilitary forms of abuse, Therefore "real" peace is recognized as much broader-it is positive peace, which includes social justice, economic opportunity, democratic institutions, the protection of human rights, and access to accurate information. Several articles reflect this expanded vision of peace. The article on the LETS system shows how people can gain greater control over their own economies at a local level, despite the powerful dynamics of global economics. Also the interview with Stjepan Gredelj shows the impact of the mass media on the support for war or peace in the former Yugoslavia. This broadening of concern means that there is still a huge challenge for peace activists. There is something for everyone to do. Are you participating?
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