"State Violence and the Right to Peace," edited by Dr. Kathy Malley-Morrison, brings together the voices of everyday people all over the world using the Personal and Institutional Rights to Aggression and Peace Survey (PAIRTAPS). This book is unique in its ability to scientifically document the views of people from diverse governments in a broad and exhaustive way. If you have ever wondered how another nation views wars and violence this is an excellent book to take a look at. "State Violence and the Right to Peace" is meant as a handbook and the knowledge it presents is straightforward and extremely useful.
In the forward we learn that in the wake of World War II there have been 228 armed conflicts across the globe. To what extent is the use of violence and torture supported in the countries previously and currently involved in these conflicts? Also, to what extent do lay people from different countries except or reject their leader's arguments concerning the rights of their regime to perpetuate violence in order to achieve ends? These are the types of questions this book succeeds in answering. Over the course of 4 volumes we hear common voices from over 40 nations. "State Violence and the Right to Peace" is an attempt to bring the world one step closer to achieving peace, and it succeeds in doing so. This book understands one very important thing; if peace is to be achieved people must take the time to understand the diverse mindsets. This book demonstrates that it is misunderstanding that typically leads to violence and hatred and it works against this misunderstanding.
In volume 4 Dr. Malley-Morrison focuses on Asia and Australia. The countries discussed include: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Loas, China, South Korea, and Japan. Each chapter gives a concise background of how each nation achieved sovereignty and a portrait of the various conflicts that each country has been involved in over the past century. The result is an overall feeling of understanding about how each country understands war and peace. In the uniting chapter at the end of the volume the "security dilemma" phenomenon is discussed. The "security dilemma" posits that we live in a world where nations are encouraged to establish self-defense as a right. However, this can be a problem when other nations perceive each other's security motives as aggressive tactics. Thus, by promoting this right of self-defense we have in fact bred the opposite of the desired result; a world in which violence and threat naturally thrive and escalate to high levels. At the end of volume 4 there is a hopeful message. Ordinary people are optimistic; they see an end to the threat of rising tension and violence. If we are to achieve peace in this world we need to start by understanding the problem; only then can we work together to solve it. This book tells us that the people of the world have spoken and they want peace.
If you enjoyed this book and would like to find out more about Dr. Malley-Morrison's work visit her blog, "Engaging Peace," at [...]