About the Program - Philosophy

 

The Philosophy of the Many Peaces

Established in 2001 the MA Program in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck was strongly inspired by the UNESCO's famous Manifesto 2000, which proposed to turn the new millennium into a new beginning, an opportunity to change, all together, the culture of war and violence into a culture of peace and non-violence. The six corner stones of the Manifesto 2000 are:

- Respect the life and dignity of each human being
- Practise active non-violence
- Share time and material resources
- Defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity
- Responsible consumer behaviour
- New forms of solidarity.

The program took the Manifesto 2000 as an argument to gather faculty and students from all around the world to fill these points permanently with new life, to explore our planetary understanding of peace and conflict transformation. From there we concluded that there are as many peaces in the world as there are human perceptions and that the challenge for an academic program is to analyse the relation between these myriads of interpretations, evaluate their predominantly harmonious flow and find ways of transforming the sometimes competing interests. Thereof resulted a Call for Many Peaces, formulating the specific character of this program. Gradually we developed a systematic understanding of different forms of peace. According to our findings the main “families” of peace interpretations are

- energetic peaces
- moral peaces
- modern peaces
- postmodern peaces
- transrational peaces

We developed text books on this topic and in the context of our program all these interpretations will be discussed and respected. However, the spirit of the Manifesto 2000 demands to promote our common understanding of peaces and it does not allow just to repeat the traditional wisdom, be it religious dogma or the scientific state of the art of previous epochs. According to the four leading principles of the program, scientificity, inter-culturality, inter-disciplinarity and orientation on practical experience we try to transgress the limits of conventional modern and postmodern schools of peace studies, which are abundant all around the world.

In addition to a first class academic education of the network in Peace Studies the Innsbruck program offers a special field training component designed to integrate academic excellence with the skills required in real conflict situations. Students have to be prepared for the adventure of a very holistic – physical, emotional and intellectual - exploration of themselves, their society and in more general terms of the whole world. Transrational peaces, as defined in this program, twist the division between subject and object; they go beyond the conventional limits of reason; they are not only rational but also relational; they start the search for peace with the deconstruction of the observer’s identity; they apply all the methods of conventional peace studies and go much further. Thereof derives a unique curriculum and the world’s most challenging academic training program for peace workers.
Applicants shall know that we do not only say that, we mean it and we do it!