Ideas of peace and cross-cultural dispute resolution

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Goh, BC 2005, 'Ideas of peace and cross-cultural dispute resolution', Bond Law Review, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 49-57.

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In contemporary times, the idea of peace has assumed a deeper and more urgent meaning. It is not enough just to think about what peace means, and how to go about achieving or maintaining it. Rather, one has to realize it, in the sense of ‘actualising’ peace, to induce both its content and context. It, therefore, behoves each and every one of us to think and practise peace in a real way. The idea of peace has to be framed cross-culturally. For example, individualist cultures may tend to think of peace in association with justice and fairness notions whereas collectivist cultures may interpret peace in alliance with harmony and face-saving values. In quite subconscious and silent ways (as this is often how cultures operate), the pursuit of peace can mean different things to different people. Furthermore, generally speaking, individualism promotes a transactional style of communication and collectivism favours a relational approach. Such respective communication styles can unconsciously impact upon the peace process. From a cross-cultural perspective, one’s religious and/or philosophical leanings play yet another significant role in peace articulation. The purpose of this Paper is to draw together the meaning of peace in its widest sense, yet give it the most cogent and concise application so as to make the idea of peace a ‘walk-your-talk’ exercise. For, until then, we can all be armchair critics, and peace will remain on remote horizons.

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