For his systematic and multidisciplinary study of the conditions which can lead to peace.
Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist known as “the father of peace studies,” who has developed an academic understanding of peacebuilding. During his career spanning 70 years, he has authored and co-authored more than 1,600 articles and over 160 books related to peace issues.
He has completed groundbreaking work in several areas of sociology, including conflict analysis and peace theory, comparative civilisation theory and development theory. He has also created a new approach to economics that can more comfortably accommodate the overarching goals of peace, development, human growth and ecological balance.
An experienced peacebuilder, Galtung has mediated in more than 150 conflicts among nations, religions, local communities and civil society. His contributions to the field of peacebuilding include not only his prominent methodology, based on diagnosis-prognosis-therapy, but also his triangular interrelated theory of violence: structural-cultural-behavioural.
Johan Galtung turned to the social sciences and peacebuilding after initial research as a mathematician. Galtung published his influential Theory and Methods of Social Research in 1967.
Eight years earlier he had set up the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, the first institute of its kind to make a mark in the academic world, and was its Director for 10 years. He founded the Journal of Peace Research at the University of Oslo from 1969-77. During this time, he also helped to found the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik (then Yugoslavia), as a meeting place for East and West, and was for four years its first Director-General.
Senior university positions followed in succeeding years, interspersed with consultancies to the whole range of UN agencies. He authored and co-authored more than 1,600 articles and over 160 books related to peace issues. His most famous title is Peace By Peaceful Means published in 1996 by Sage Publications.
Main areas of work
Conflict analysis and peace theory, and particularly on unresolved conflict as the basic underlying cause of violence, implying that conflict resolution by peaceful means is basic for peace;
comparative civilisation theory, exploring the underlying implications for peace and development of occidental and oriental civilisations; – the generation of textbooks in general peace theory and general conflict resolution;
development theory, including issues of ecology, health and peace; and
a new approach to economics that can more comfortably accommodate such major world goals as peace, development, human growth and ecological balance.
Galtung’s publications reflect his position as a leading researcher in the field of peace research and conflict transformation. They range from the early Gandhi’s Political Ethics (Tanum, Oslo, 1955), through the six volumes of Essays in Peace Research (Ejlers, Copenhagen, 1974-88), True Worlds (Macmillan, New York, 1980), and There Are Alternatives (Spokesman, 1984) to Human Rights in Another Key (Polity, 1994), (with Daisaku Ikeda) Choose Peace (Pluto, 1995), and many other.
In addition, Galtung has been actively engaged as a conflict resolution facilitator, e.g. between North and South Korea and Israel/Palestine, in the Gulf region and former Yugoslavia.
In 1993, Johan Galtung founded TRANSCEND, a network for Peace and Development, which is now running Transcend Peace University with a number of courses online, Transcend University Press, Transcend Media Service with material on current events, and Transcend Research Insitute.
As an experienced conflict manager, Galtung has mediated for more than 70 years in more than 150 conflicts among states, nations, religions, local communities, and civil society. His contributions to the field of peacebuilding include not only his prominent methodology in peacebuilding, based on diagnosis-prognosis-therapy, but also his triangular interrelated theory of violence: structural-cultural-behavioural.
In addition to academic research, he has also been promoting the concept of "peace journalism" as a way to counteract war- and violence-based reporting.