Paradigms of Peace: A Pragmatist Introduction to the Contribution to Peace of Paradigms of Social Science

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This volume is a study that presents five paradigms of social sciences as logical progressive steps in the field of peace and conflict studies.It is written as a study that employs a constructivist pragamatist meta-theory that guides the assessment of the merits of different social science approaches to peace in a novel way, suggesting completely new ways of looking at peace and the theory of peace and war. It presents strong arguments as well as various scholarly positions arguing against their alternatives.
As a pragmatist analysis of approaches to peace and conflict research this book poses the pertinent question “What should we know and consider as real in order to end wars?” and follows that question into the depths of philosophy of social sciences and theories of peace and conflict. Yet true to the ideals of pragmatism the theories presented in this book are kept in touch with praxis by presenting a variety of examples in which the theory materializes in conflict situations. If a theory cannot be related to real-life examples, it does not relate to real life itself and thus it is useless. And usefulness for the real-life problem of conflicts and violence is what this book is all about. Instead of considering relevance as one of the objectives of peace research, this research program serves praxis and nothing else.
Pragmatism in this book takes off from the idea of classical pragmatists, Peirce, James and Dewey. However, the book updates the pragmatist meta-theoretical program by offering a constructivist twist to classical pragmatism. Knowledge, theories, concepts and paradigms will not only be assessed for their instrumental value for peace action. Instead, ideas are also assessed for the peacefulness of the realities they themselves constitute.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherImperial College Press
Number of pages268
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78326-946-4
ISBN (Print)9781783269433
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Peace Research
  • pragmatism
  • positivism
  • determinism
  • interpretationism
  • constructivism
  • critical theory
  • cosmopolitanism


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