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What is peace?

Model which compares the content in health and peace sciences

Health science and peace science are similar in many ways.

The health sciences try to understand both disease and the pre-conditions that are necessary for health. Healthcare workers are not satisfied with only treating disease - they also need to know how to prevent illness, rehabilitate sick patients, and promote and support good health for patients and society as a whole.

Peace science aims to understand different forms of violence, and the pre-conditions necessary for peace. Peace workers can respond to violent situations, and they also need to prevent, reduce and mitigate violence.

In other words, both sciences are ‘normative’ or based in ethical decision-making. Medicine and health sciences focus on life, while peace science focuses on conflict.

What is ‘peace’?

How would you define peace? Here are three options:

  1. Peace is the negation (absence) of violence

  2. Peace is a state of harmony

  3. Peace is the capacity to deal with conflicts in a positive manner

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Health, Conflict and Violence

University of Bergen