Assessing factors conducive to peace Conducting peace research Researching peace
An interdisciplinary field of study both more specialized and broader than that of international relations. It is more specialized in the sense that it focuses on the nature of conflict and its resolution, but it is broader in that it draws on all scientific disciplines, in particular the social sciences, including history.
Individual peace researchers define their task as one of accommodating social change in a non-violent way and to this end they seek to improve the present system or appropriately to transform it. The peace researcher is concerned with all forms of violence: open, behavioural violence and hidden, structural violence. The structural forms of violence are those institutionalized inequalities within and among nations which inhibit social justice, and are therefore conducive to behavioural violence. As these structural forms of social injustice exist both at the international and at the national level, so the peace researcher is led to examine social injustice wherever this is relevant to problems of international peace.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.