The Society for Peace Studies

History

The Society for Peace Studies was founded in 1958, at a time when a heated discussion took place in Germany about the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany into
the defense strategies of the Western countries and about the arming of its military forces, the "Bundeswehr", with nuclear weapons. At that time there existed only very limited scientific research about the causes of war and the conditions for peace. Systematic peace studies did not exist in Germany. The primary purpose of the Society for Peace Studies was to improve social awareness around the issue of peace and war as a legitimate subject for scientific research, and to pave the way for thedevelopment of such studies.
Areas of Concentration Since 1966 - General Purpose

By providing facts and unbiased information to the general public the Society for Peace Studies hopes to enhance our ability to think critically and to evaluate world events without prejudice, thereby facilitating individual political action.

Areas of activities:

  • peace education (theoretical and practical fundamental principles, didactic models)
  • social psychology and peace studies
  • application of the results of peace studies to the areas of education and the media
  • support for acts of civil courage and individual, responsible initiatives
  • support for dialogue between different social groups as a method of conflict resolution
Important areas of scientific research:
  • legal and ethical foundations of political action
  • interrelationship of social psychological and cultural processes
  • awareness of subconscious, destructive tendencies in politics and society
Target Groups:
Concerned individuals, teachers on all levels, leaders in business and other organizations, especially in education, continuing education, youth groups and universities.

Methods:
Research projects, publications, seminars, conferences, counselling of teachers and students.
Political Changes in the 1980´s
Peace research was seriously impeded by the debate about the "Nachrüstung" (the equipment of the Bundeswehr with new weapons) and the change in political priorities during those years. Consequently the emphasis of the Society shifted to the following areas:
  • alternatives to the current security policies
  • establishment of working groups on "Social Psychological Aspects of Peace” and
  • "Education for Peace"
  • Psince 1984, publication of "Denkanstöße" (Food for Thought) - short factual short information on topics of interest in the field of peace and security issues, ecology and concerns of the one world. These publications aim to stimulate critical thought and discussion.
The Political Situation Since the 1990´s
The demise of the Warsaw Pact, the end of the Soviet Union, the opening of the frontiers to Eastern Europe, German unification and the continuing globalization in many areas, all have had a strong influence on peace studies. Sadly, the interest of the public in the efforts for peace has diminished. Scientific and technological progress continues to maximize the possibilities for political and military action at a staggering rate. Ethical and political responsibility, however, remains at an alarmingly primitive level. This results in a dilemma which must be resolved.
Worldwide Problems Are Intensifying:
  • regional conflicts in all parts of the world, ethnic and religious conflicts, disputes about resources, social tensions subsequently followed by a seemingly inevitable and "illegally justified" use of force
  • attractiveness of nationalism and chauvinism (fundamentalism, radicalism accompanied by the acceptance of violence to reach a solution
  • the widening gap between the world´s rich and poor countries
  • ecological problems associated with powerful political interests
  • international terrorism as an instrument of politics
  • increasing acceptance of war as a legal means of pursuing political ends
Today´s Objectives of the Society:
  • to report objectively about current issues in peace studies and to critically examine underlying arguments
  • to point out the psychological, social and ecological background of political activities
  • to explicate the unconscious factors that underlie political and social action and to teach how to handle them constructively
  • to publicize the latest results of peace research and studies and to translate them into political and educational practice
  • to support individual acts of civil courage and responsible behavior
  • to stimulate dialogue between social groups which hold different opinions
  • to support non-violent methods of problem-solving
  • to contribute to the prevention of future wars through farsighted activities
  • to support networks and organizations that pursue goals similar to those of the Society
  • to continue the distribution of the publications of the Society
In view of the present political situation and the urgency of these problems, the work of the Society for Peace Studies has become even more important. Please support us!
Society for Peace Studies
  • is politically, religiously, socially, economically and scientifically independent
  • is recognized as a non-profit organization; contributions to the Society tax-deductible
  • is run and supported by volunteer staff
  • is financed solely by membership fees and contributions
Because theSociety for Peace Studies enjoys complete independence, it needs the material and moral support of people who share its ideals. Any kind of support is therefore important and welcome. Please send a check to:

Studiengesellschaft für Friedensforschung e.V. München
Fritz-Baer-Straße 21, D-81476 München, Tel./Fax 0049-(0)-72447143
Bankverbindung : IBAN: DE02 7015 0000 1003 7856 21 BIC : SSKM DE MM