Cultural Studies and Europe
"Culture of Peace"
Peace is a process which takes at least two forms: as "negative" peace,
the absence of war, or as "positive" peace, the development of culture.
A "Culture of Peace" as defined by UNESCO is not only the absence of
war. Far more, it is the dynamic impetus toward a productive common life.
Some of the most important aspects in this context: meeting primary human
needs, policies which enable a reconciliation of conflicting interests
on the broadest possible basis, and democratic structures which allow participation
in decision making at the regional, national and also the transnational
level. An important feature in this connection is the mode of shaping cultural
processes within the Arts. Methods of conceptual development (models for
the future) and their realisation are central elements. The principle of
"Our Creative Diversity" as a prerequisite for a culture of peace is highly
relevant here. Fundamental conflicts are inevitable when individuality
is not respected and granted acceptance, when opportunties are not given
for diversity to express itself.
In UNESCO, humanity has an important organisation capable of shaping
cultural processes worldwide. Its structures enable transnational as well
as regional or national interests to find expression. Its further development
and ample financial resources are as greatly to be desired as closer cooperation
particularly with other organisations already engaged in creating a transnational
Research Institute for Austrian and International Literature and Cultural