|Three peace promoting paradigms
There are three international peace promotion paradigms that have their psychological correspondence in dealing with conflicts, including bullying amongst pupils in school.
1. The first paradigm: Peace-promoting armed forces. Armed UN-forces are supposed to have a calming-down effect by their presence. But UN-decisions must be taken collectively and are time-consuming. It can happen that a powerful nation, keeping its forces ready, feels its "responsibility for immediate action", and intervenes with arms into conflicts "to put an end to atrocities". However, the enemy images of the decision makers, their frenzy, their righteousness and ways of going about a solution are, psychologically, the same as in those who decide about measurements against bullying in school. In other words: the first paradigm is followed both at micro- and macro levels.
The most important difference between micro and macro levels within this paradigm is that bullying in school seldom leads to the victim’s death. Such a thing happens later when the pupils in school have grown up to soldiers and commit atrocities they excuse with the argument they have taken over from the teachers whose righteousness have resulted in "decisive actions",
2. The second paradigm: The paradigm of peace desires. Peace movements proclaim their beloved concept in all contexts. Intensive repetition of the words "peace" and "friendship" is meant to outclass all thoughts of conflicts and war. Peace conferences and seminars are organised, visits to potentially antagonistic countries are arranged, peace essays are written by the older members, and peace pigeons in paper are cut out by the younger children.
Feelings are strong and consist mainly of their concern over the amount of evil in the world but also of delicate pride in the nobility of own peace feelings. Peace people follow a paradigm we design as the second paradigm. The decisive moment is, however, whether peace concept is implemented beyond mere verbalisation. This occurs when peoples’ meetings between countries and cultures in controversy are organised; also at meetings sending letters between schools – if the controversy between the countries or ethnic groups is not too great.
Peace fulfilment within this paradigm can in fact occur when those people who decide about military resources (or a gang’s territory) have made their positions permanent but are receptive to peace initiatives from the other side. I participated in July 1982 with 350 persons in a march from Stockholm to Moscow that happened to come into being because the governments in East and West supported it indirectly and cautiously. Our march was shown on Sovjet TV. My experience was that in the Soviet cities where the authorities had given prior information about our arrival, curious masses of spectators were waiting on the pavement. In their attitudes there appeared an insight: these are genuine westerners (and not propaganda troops from our vassal states) who are demonstrating friendship.
In analyses about decisive causes of peace the dominant explanations are, however, delivered by those who have established their precedence of interpretation. (The usual mantra: "political, economical and social reasons".)
3. The third paradigm: therapeutic mediation. There has existed since time immemorial a mediation tradition that is based on judges as mediators. The judge-kings in the Old Testament promoted peaceful solutions within their country, their effect being due to the king’s position of power. The king’s mediation was, actually, a part of his power game. Within the contemporary world, mediators get their power from being representatives of the UN system; the components of their missions vary between the role of a power representative and mediation with therapeutic ingredients in their shuttle diplomacy. In the last mentioned case the prototypes of SCm can be found.
Within the project All in the Class Become Mediators, ACBM, I tell teenagers how the US president Jimmy Carter, 1978, mediated between Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin. My point is that Carter’s asset was his capacity for honest listening to those two parties at individual meetings, preparing propositions that the other side could accept.(Carter’s successors have also tried to mediate but failed. Partly because they did not manage the point of trustful listening, partly because they met delegations instead of strong leaders.) So my message to young people is: You, as mediators at micro level, are not going to meet delegations where the delegates look after their side’s interests. If the two parties are two individuals, your approach is much easier.
It is evident that if we explain the basic idea of SCm to teenagers by examples from the international level we are increasing their motivation to become mediators at their own micro level. In their minds there will already exist a connection between the micro and macro levels.
This third-paradim-connection between the levels helps us first in our mission at the micro level. Then, if we want to proceed with the project All in the Class Become Mediators, ACBM we can build on it again. We foster a generation that needs this third paradigm at its both levels.
Shared concern as a global paradigm