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Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation

Galtung experienced World War II in German-occupied Norway, and as a 12-year-old saw his father arrested by the Nazis. By 1951 he was already a committed peace mediator, and elected to do 18 months of social service in place of his obligatory military service. After 12 months, Galtung insisted that the remainder of his social service be spent in activities relevant to peace, to which the Norwegian authorities responded by sending him to prison, where he served six months.[9]

Because Galtung’s academic research is clearly intended to promote peace, in 1957, after mediating in Charlottesville, his sociological work shifted toward more concrete and constructive peace mediation. In 1993, he co-founded TRANSCEND: A Peace Development Environment Network,[20][21] an organization for conflict transformation by peaceful means. There are four traditional but unsatisfactory ways in which conflicts between two parties are handled:

  1. A wins, B loses;
  2. B wins, A loses;
  3. the solution is postponed because neither A nor B feels ready to end the conflict;
  4. a confused compromise is reached, which neither A nor B are happy with.

Galtung tries to break with these four unsatisfactory ways of handling a conflict by finding a “fifth way”, where both A and B feel that they win, when both give in expecting nothing but peace. This method also insists that basic human needs – such as survival, physical well-being, liberty, and identity – be respected.[22]

Major ideas