Imperfect and Transrational Interpretations of Peace(s)

  • Wolfgang Dietrich University of Innsbruck. Austria


This essay was originally written in English for the conference Debates en torno a la paz imperfecta, organized by the University of Granada/Spain in May 2016 in order to honor the late Francisco A. Muñoz Muñoz, whose research in matters of peace was iconic. . The focus of the essay is the epistemological development of peace studies as an academic discipline from its structuralist and post-structuralist roots in the 20th century to its interpretations in the 21st century. It well regards the positivist approach of the Scandinavian schools, appreciates the influence of the seminal work of Adam Curle and the following generation of scholars at Bradford University in Great Britain ion continental Europe, but places emphasis  on the Many Peaces approach that emerged on the one hand in Spain with the groundbreaking work of Vicent Martinez Guzman and Francisco A. Muñoz under the titles Hacer las Paces and La paz imperfecta, and the Transrational Peace Philosophy developed in the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The main focus of this essay is to discuss the differences and similarities between these current leading streams of the discipline.


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Biografía del Autor

Wolfgang Dietrich, University of Innsbruck. Austria

Ph.D. In history and literature at the University of Innsbruck/Austria. He is UNESCO Chairholder and director of the MA program for Peace Studies at University of Innsbruck. Austria.


Curle, A. (1981). True Justice: Quaker Peace Makers and Peace Making. London: Quaker home service.

Dietrich, W. (1998). Periphere Integration und Frieden im Weltsystem: Ostafrika, Zentralamerika und Südostasien im Vergleich. Alemania: Promedia.

Dietrich, W. (2006). A Call for Many Peaces. In W. Dietrich, J. Echavarría & N. Koppensteiner (Eds.). Schüsseltexte der Friedensforschung/Key Texts of Peace Studies/Textos claves de la Investigación para la Paz (pp. 435-455). Vienna: Münster.

Dietrich, W. (2012). Energetic Interpretations of Peace. In W. Dietrich. Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture (pp.16-64). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dietrich, W. (2013). Elicitive Conflict Transformation and the Transrational Shift in Peace Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dietrich, W. (2018). Elicitive Conflict Mapping. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Galtung, J. (1996). Peace by Peaceful Means. London: Thousand Oaks.

Lederach, J. (1995). Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures. New York: Syracuse University Press.

Lederach, J. (1997). Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press.

Lyotard, J. F. (1988). The Differend: Phrases in Dispute. Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press.

Martínez-Guzmán, V. (2001). Filosofía para hacer las paces. Barcelona: Icaria editorial.

Mitchels, B. (2006). Love in Danger. Trauma, Therapy and Conflict Explored Through the Life and Work of Adam Curle. Charlbury: John Carpenter.

Muñoz-Muñoz, F.A. (2001). La paz imperfecta. Granada: Universidad de Granada.

Muñoz-Muñoz, F.A. (2006). La Paz Imperfecta. En W. Dietrich., J. Echavarria., G. Esteva., D. Ingruber., & N.
Koppensteiner (Eds.) Schüsseltexte der Friedensforschung/Key Texts of Peace Studies/Textos claves de la Investigación para la Paz (pp.392-421). Vienna: Münster.

Muñoz, F., & Molina, B. (2011). Pax – A Mediterranean Perspective. In W. Dietrich, J. Echavarria, G. Esteva., D. Ingruber., & N. Koppensteiner. (Eds.) The Palgrave International Handbook of Peace Studies. A Cultural Perspective (pp. 41-56). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sachs, W. (1992). Development Dictionary. A Guide to Knowledge as Power. London: Zed Books.

Vattimo, G. (1990). Das Ende der Moderne. Stuttgart: Reclam.

Vattimo, G. (2006). Dialectics, Difference and Weak Thought. In W. Dietrich., J. Echavarria., G. Esteva., D. Ingruber., & N. Koppensteiner (Eds.) Schüsseltexte der Friedensforschung/Key Texts of Peace Studies/Textos claves de la Investigación para la Paz (p. 227) Vienna: Münster.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. Boston: Shambhala.

Woodhouse, T., & Lederach, J. (2016). Adam Curle. Radical Peacemaker. Chicago: Hawthorn Press.

Young, N. (2011). A Western European Perspective. In W. Dietrich, J. Echavarria, G. Esteva, D. Ingruber, & N. Koppensteiner. (Eds.) The Palgrave International Handbook of Peace Studies. A Cultural Perspective (pp. 57-66). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Como citar
DIETRICH, Wolfgang. Imperfect and Transrational Interpretations of Peace(s). PROSPECTIVA. Revista de Trabajo Social e Intervención Social, [S.l.], n. 26, p. 195-210, jul. 2018. ISSN 2389-993X. Disponible en: <>. Fecha de acceso: 21 mar. 2019 doi:

Palabras clave

Peace Studies, Transrational Peace Philosophy, Imperfect Peace

1. Author’s Perspective

Back in the 1970s when I was a student of history, literature and law, I did not plan to become a peace researcher. I was interested in general questions of human rights and international development. From there I got involved in human rights activism without losing the ties with academic life and I started venturing into practical work in this field in various countries.

What I saw and learned in the field in these years of apprenticeship provoked many doubts regarding the then predominating belief of the mainstream of human, social and cultural science.

My doubts and the encounters with the great brains of the 1980’s like Ivan Illich, Gustavo Esteva, Wolfgang Sachs, Vandana Shiva and more (Sachs, 1992) led into what I call today my “postmodern period”. That is, I intensely read authors like Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Baudrillard, Virilio, but most of all Lyotard and Vattimo. Based on their philosophies I tried to de-construct the myth of development.

Due to my fieldwork in some war zones I gained the reputation of an academic who knows the smell of gunpowder and blood better than the fug of the ivory tower. Since then, I have been invited to contribute to a so called “State of Peace Conference” in Switzerland, which was my first step into the world of Peace Studies, a world that had been completely unknown to me until then. The organizers were looking for somebody who could speak and write about the then hot conflicts in Central America. Since they could not find a declared and German speaking peace researcher they invited me to fill the gap. Though my lack of experience did not yet make me a peace researcher, I was lucky because I had the opportunity to meet Johan Galtung for the first time and a quite illustrious hand full of internationally well-known peace researchers like Dieter Senghaas and Ekkerhart Krippendorff.

After that I surprisingly happened to be invited to become the academic director of the European Peace University in Stadtschlaining. In these years I perceived peace studies academically as a very idealist undertaking, highly influenced by the German peace movement of the 1980s and in a way caught up in its own tight beliefs. I aspired to open and free the quite redundant discussion around missile warheads with the help of postmodern philosophy, especially Lyotard (1988) and Vattimo (1990), and the concerns that I brought from my practical work. Therefore, I finally accepted the job that seemed to enable a really interesting academic endeavor. However, I had to learn rapidly and painfully that epistemological liberation, as I understood it, was not welcome by the kingpins of German and especially Austrian peace research of those years. But struggling with their resistance drew my attention to discourses of other environments in Latin America, Asia and Africa. This is how a breathtaking inquiry into the peace philosophies of many schools, countries, languages, religions and cultures began.

2. Meeting the Spanish School(s) of Peace Studies

I was precisely elaborating the later best known essay of my “postmodern period”: A Call for Many Peaces (Dietrich, 2006), when I met the first Spanish peace researcher. It was Vicent Martínez Guzmán who was at that time sacrificing his life energy to create what is today worldwide known as the Master Program in Peace and Development at UJI in Castellón1. Founding this project as such consumed a lot of energy and attention, but, nostalgically, I remember the moments when Vicent and I enthusiastically exchanged views on peace philosophy. Sometimes it was an ecstasy of mutual intellectual fecundation that culminated some time later in the well-known Filosofía para hacer las paces in Martínez-Guzmán’s (2001) case and the Many Peaces approach in my case. Those were the pioneer days of a new period of peace studies - even if neither of us was aware of that nor was it a consciously planned revolution of the discipline.

I also remember Vicent repeating constantly that his desire to meet Francisco Muñoz in Granada, because his brilliant friend was working on something very similar. Finally, in the second half of the 1990s, when I was teaching in Castellón, Vicent and Mario López arranged a trip to Granada for me. I gave a speech at this University -and there was Francisco Muñoz reacting like Andalusian fireworks to the shy proposal that I brought in my luggage. I called it Energetic Peaces (Dietrich, 2012). My idea was simply that the notion of peace is derived from the broader understanding of the world by a society and its individuals. From my experience in Latin America, Africa and Asia I tried to discriminate among the varying definitions of peace constructed by different societies. Some understand existence as the expression of an omnipotent divine energy, while others see the mundane world as a creation of an external, almighty, personalized demiurge and understand peace as His commandment. I illustrated this difference with examples of Mediterranean Great Mother Goddesses such as Astarte, Inanna, Kybele, Ishtar or tantric couples such as Shiva and Shakti, Isis and Osiris, Pax and Mars or Freyr and Freya (Dietrich, 2012).

I did not know yet that my guest speech had struck a chord with Francisco Muñoz’s main research interest and that he had already worked on that extensively with Beatriz Molina. However, I was overwhelmed by his reaction to my speech and this was the beginning of an intense academic and personal friendship out of a common epistemological interest. A lot followed thereafter. Years later, I invited Beatriz and Paco to contribute exactly with this topic to the Palgrave International Handbook of Peace Studies (Muñoz & Molina, 2011).

3. The Four European Cultural Areas of Peace Studies

My close friendship with Vicent Martínez, Francisco Muñoz and many more colleagues in Spain made me understand that their academic discourse about peace was quite different to what I knew from Austria and Germany. If UNESCO2 states that peace is created in the minds of human beings as a function of linguistic and cultural pretexts it follows logically that not only peace has to be understood as a plural word - the Many Peaces - but also Peace Studies as an academic discipline itself must be a plural. A closer look unveils that in Europe we can define many different cultures of peace and at least four major regional cultures of peace studies:

1) The Scandinavian, which is spontaneously connected with the name Johan Galtung as the often so called father of peace studies. Nevertheless, that is misleading. While the Norwegian conscientious objector Galtung personally was on his life long journey from early structuralism (structural violence) to more sophisticated post-structuralism (cultural violence), from Freud to Jung, from Gandhi to Zen, from Marx to Nietzsche (Galtung, 1996), the schools that he had founded or inspired early took a remarkable step backward. The Scandinavian centers, be it Galtung’s first foundation PRIO in Oslo, or SIPRI in Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Copenhagen or Tampere turned into positivist, partly quantitatively oriented, partly realist schools of international relations and conflict resolution. Today, I dare say, for better or worse, that the least Galtungian approach to peace studies in Europe can be found precisely in Scandinavia.

2) One would expect a similar result for the British scene since the older schools of International Relations in Great Britain are traditionally fierce defenders of realism (against German idealism). However, particularly British peace studies is also characterized by a remarkable influence of religious and spiritual approaches, especially from the Quakers. The first British professor of peace studies, Adam Curle, who took office in 1973 at Bradford University, was a Quaker. Being a trained anthropologist,

experienced in psychological trauma-work, an enthusiastic follower of Tantric Buddhism, an admirer of the Dalai Lama and a successful professor at the best academic institutions in the world between Oxford and Harvard, he opened the discussion in England for Eastern philosophy and incorporated especially Tantric Buddhist wisdom into his peace research. His writings are equally influenced by theology of liberation, quakerism, tantra, zen, tao, Humanistic psychology and Postmodern philosophy. He opened the window for vast interpretations of peaces and connected his basically spiritual approach strongly to similar streams in the USA.3

Interestingly, this strong and important current of British peace studies has hardly been noticed on the European continent. Quakerism or the Mennonites were never popular on the continent. Thus, Scandinavian, German and Spanish schools rather engaged themselves with tendencies of International Relations in Great Britain that mirrored or challenged their own understanding than taking the chance of being stimulated by those fairly religious-spiritual attempts. Nigel Young (2011) denies in Palgrave’s International Handbook of Peace Studies the very existence of something like a specific Anglo-Saxon approach to peace or peace studies. However, I would identify the Quaker to Mennonite element as a very specific property of this cultural area. Curle (1981) well accepts Galtung as the “father of peace studies”, but he esteems the hardly known (on the continent) Quaker mathematician, physicist, meteorologist, psychologist and pacifist Lewis Fry Richardson as the “grandfather of peace studies” even more and expresses by that quite a remarkable difference between the British and the continental approaches.

3) In Germany and Austria, I mentioned earlier, Marxist and Kantian Idealism were the predominating epistemologies when peace studies was founded as a derivate of the anti-misile-peace-movement of the early 1980s. Postmodern Philosophy was considered to be “Nietzsche’s return through the backdoor”, as Peter Glotz once feared openly in a discussion with me, and hence highly suspicious. This was the understandable reason why the Many Peaces approach at the beginning could not be accepted easily by German peace researchers. Idealists cannot make the world a better place, if you take the vectoral understanding of history and the ultimate goal, the One global peace at the end of history, away from them. It took quite some years until the foundation of the Innsbruck school of Peace Studies4 in 2001 allowed us to push through from arguments of postmodernity to a holistic transrational understanding of peace and what we are doing.

4) Therefore the encounter with Vicent Martínez, Francisco Muñoz and Spanish scholars from Raimon Panikkar to Vicent Fisas was a real relief. Muñoz argued in a very similar way as I did with my Many Peaces that finally turned into the transrational approach after the millennium5. The new and important focus of continental peace studies in Spain at the end of the twentieth century connected all the mentioned philosophical considerations into a concept explicitly grounded in and made for peace studies. It has become famous under the key phrase of la paz imperfecta launched by Francisco Muñoz-Muñoz (2001) at the turn of the millennium6. Vicent Martínez Guzmán once called it an “epistemological turning point towards post-Galtungian approaches in peace studies”, and I think he is right.

In his key text the historian Muñoz accomplishes the translation of post-structuralist thinking into the sociolect of peace studies. He thereby writes one of the first texts within this discipline to stringently argue in a postmodern manner, without the necessity to permanently refer to postmodern philosophy and its authors. His concept of the imperfect or unfinished peace means the following: “El adjetivo imperfecto me sirve para abrir en algún sentido los significados de la Paz. Aunque es un adjetivo de negación etimológicamente puede ser entendido como «inacabada», «procesual» y este es el significado central” (Muñoz-Muñoz, 2006, p. 392). This definition comes close to my concept of the Many Peaces, which I proposed shortly before in Austria (Dietrich, 1998). Muñoz commences with the deconstruction of the Idealist understanding of peace, philosophy that Spanish peace research has adopted mainly from Germany. He sees strong thinking Vattimo (2006) as founded within the catholic concept of the original sin and as continuingly effective also under conditions of the Enlightenment:

Muchos de los «prejuicios» con los que se percibe la paz dependen pues no sólo de los presupuestos éticos y axiológicos de partida sino de las metodologías empleadas para su aproximación, de los postulados epistemológicos y ontológicos que los sustentan. (p.227).

I agree with Muñoz’s assumption that the prevalent idea of the original sin and guilt also under the conditions of Enlightenment plays a crucial role for the development of secular societies and their understanding of peace(s), especially in deeply Catholic cultures. This is a moment that Spain and Germany/Austria share, suffering hence both painful periods of dictatorship. It differs them from the Scandinavian and British cultures and influences their philosophical streams in post-dictatorship periods. Muñoz pays from there a homage to Nietzsche: “Las palabras y los conceptos no operan en un vacío de la conciencia. Las personas interpretamos los hechos bajo presupuestos, esquemas o símbolos. En cierto sentido, no hay hechos, sólo interpretaciones mediadas simbólicamente” (Muñoz-Muñoz, 2006, p. 400).

Muñoz thinks the human as a being designed for cooperation and conflict. The duality between cooperation and conflict for him is not dialectic, but almost Taoist. Conflict is just as inherent to cooperation as the other way around, and peace can only be defined and lived on the basis of acknowledging both. Cooperation and conflict are processes and not states. By explicitly referring to Heraclites, Muñoz therefore has to think of peace as procedural. In this manner one of the key passages reads:

Este enfoque nos permite también pensar la paz como un proceso un camino inacabado. Así puede ser entendida la frase de Gandhi no hay camino para la paz, la paz es el camino. No podría serlo de otra manera, las realidades sociales y ambientales «evolucionan» continuamente, las formas conflictivas también. La paz así no es un objetivo teleológico sino un presupuesto que se reconoce y construye cotidianamente (Muñoz- Muñoz, 2006, p. 406).

This is followed up by a treatise on the relational triangle of idea-peace- power reminiscent of Foucault and twisting of the guiding principles of peace research in both the guise of the American systems theory after Bertalanffy, Boulding, Gerard and Rapoport and the continental European approach after Galtung. Muñoz brings his proposal to the point:

Desde una u otra perspectiva la paz no debe ser considerada «total», cerrada, como punto final acabado, como objetivo «utópico» difícilmente alcanzable -si no es a costa de muchos sacrificios-, poco realista y en consecuencia frustrante, sino contraproducente en tanto que puede ser fuente de violencia.

De esta manera la paz imperfecta podría servir para proporcionar una vía intermedia entre el utopismo maximalista y el conformismo conservador: se trata de ir cambiando la realidad a partir del conocimiento de las limitaciones humanas y de los escenarios presentes, pero sin renunciar a planear el futuro ni a tener un objetivo: la paz imperfecta, que, aunque más modesto, sigue siendo un objetivo global y deseable (Muñoz- Muñoz, 2006, p. 421).

With Muñoz and Martínez Guzmán Spanish peace research, as a representation of the whole continental European debate, thus concludes the shift from the structuralist episteme towards a postmodern rhizomatic.

4. Transrational Peaces

Transrational peace research took up from there at the beginning of the millennium. It results from the Innsbruck school’s inquiry into different perceptions and interpretations of peace in history and culture. Principally we found in our research four major groups of such interpretation, which we called the energetic, the moral, the modern and the postmodern peace families.

Each of them circulates around a specific key value: energetic peace is all about harmony, the moral interpretation emphasizes justice, the modern understanding of peace calls for security, and the post-modern approach deals with the question of truth(s).

Since none of these values appears isolated in social life we tried to combine them in a holistic manner and identified the dynamic equilibrium of the four aspects as a larger concept of peace, which we called transrational, because it appreciates and applies the rationality of modern science while it transgresses its limits and embraces holistically all aspects of human nature for its interpretation of peace. It is rational and so much more, for example sexual, emotional, mental or spiritual.

Transrational peace research as an academic endeavor is concerned with the encounter, the relations, the communication styles and the behaviors of human beings, understood as so called contact boundaries at work in the tradition of Gestalt therapy. If and when these encounters at contact boundaries at work are disturbed, then the episodes are referred to as “conflicts” in common language. We are looking for proper methods to deal with such conflicts in the logical frame of the transrational epistemology (Dietrich, 2013).

The term transrational is borrowed from Ken Wilber (1995), whose philosophy is one of many inspirations but not a guideline for us. The Innsbruck school is not a branch of Wilber’s integrative approach. We do not share his evolutionist epistemology. Nonetheless, we took Wilber’s famous matrix of internal and external, respectively individual and collective aspects of human orientation as a blueprint for our model of the interrelatedness of the peace families and their combination to the dynamic equilibrium that we call transrational peaces. While this matrix is an attempt to present the research work of more than a decade in a nutshell, the academic endeavor is only of relevance if it can be applied in practical peace and conflict work.

This is why we integrated John Paul Lederach’s (1995) Elicitive conflict transformation as the factually applied aspect of transrational peace philosophy into our project. Lederach’s often copied and variegated pyramid of conflict indicates that all actors in a dysfunctional or conflicting system interact across the various social strata, from the grassroots to the middle range of regional experts and leaders to heads of state, and that they all are relevant to the process of transformation following the experience of violence. Therefore, according to Lederach, the actors have to be addressed in a contextual manner, using appropriate forms of intervention. His main merit, thus, was shifting the attention from the individual or the group to the relation as key factor of conflict work. By doing so, his model became a groundbreaking initiator of the transition from mechanistic to systemic thinking in peace and conflict studies, which is crucial for the development of transrational peace research.

Lederach’s pyramid was initially provided in a strictly vertical lateral view. It was two-dimensional. But he also expanded Galtung’s well known triangle of physical, structural, and cultural violence to a fourth dimension.

He divided Galtung’s physical aspect into a personal and a relational aspect. He thus acknowledged the connection between a person’s internal processes and the social relations, which in turn consist of immediate situations, a wider context, and a deeper layer of perception, interpretation, and action. The inevitable and constantly renewed need for responsible choices, taken by people born free, thus became the foundation of his conflict work. This inspired us to expand the pyramid by rendering it to represent four quadrants: ‘person,’ ‘structure,’ ‘relation,’ and ‘culture,’ rather than as a two-dimensional triangle.

This allows for the consideration of human existence as a contact boundary at work benefiting from the accomplishments of humanistic psychology, while initiating the spiral from the episode to the epicenter of a conflict, as Lederach said. From this insight that human life and conflicts are strictly relational stems the first principle of transrational peace philosophy: resonance (Dietrich, 2018).

The episode is what we perceive as the immediate and visible situation on the surface of a conflict. The epicenter, which is the driving force of life, can only be found beyond the deeper layers of the involved people’s Ego. One needs a well-trained lens and a lot of empathy to see beyond the presenting problems towards the deeper patterns of relationship, including the context in which the conflict finds expression. In what followed, intrapersonal issues of sexual desire, social belonging, emotional attachment, mental consciousness and spiritual awareness became themes in peace research and conflict work, as did the interpersonal spheres of family, community, society and global policity. The correspondence of the interior and exterior dimensions is considered further for each aspect. The transrational meaning of the pyramid, that is, of the conflict, cannot be comprehended on the basis of an episode on its surface.

Individuals mostly perceive peace as the harmonious flow of all existing things, as long as they are not asked for religious, cultural, societal or political values and norms. The quadrant of peace through harmony is therefore referred to as the gateway to the layers behind the persona. We see, thus, the correspondence between a person’s internal processes and social relations.

Virtually all schools of humanistic psychology describe intrapersonal stratifications that are remarkably similar to social stratifications. This is also the basic assumption of the second principle: correspondence (Dietrich, 2018). The layers located outside the material and personal surface of the persona can be called family, community, society, policity and universal layers. Except policity, all these are terms widely applied in systemic and transpersonal psychology and understood in everyday speech. Policity is an artificial word, which we coined for the primordial human awareness of our existence in a “global” physical time and space, which is the precondition for the mental understanding of ourselves as social beings and any idea about social organization.

All of these layers influence interpersonal conflict silently as they appear on the visual surface of the person. That is, if I have a personal conflict with somebody else, my family, kinship, society and policity play an invisible and silent, yet significant role in the background. The same is true for the intrapersonal layers. The sexual, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of my personality influence the behavior on the surface and my performance in a conflict. No episode is ever a strictly inter-personal or inter-societal conflict, but always a transpersonal or trans-societal one - the disruption of the relational balance within a single system. In this pragmatic approach I regard the Tantric principle of correspondence: as within, so without.

Crucial for the proper understanding of this concept further is the third principle: systemic homeostasis (Dietrich, 2018), which appears here simply as aspect of balance. Let us metaphorically imagine Lederach’s pyramid floating on the streams of life. If one side is overburdened, the building will collapse. Likewise, if a single aspect is overemphasized in conflict work, for example security, then harmony will be undermined and truth and justice will be destabilized. Applicable to all combinations, the system collapses once a point of bifurcation is reached. By the same token, a building will collapse, a ship will capsize, when the upper floors rest too heavily on the foundations, while working only on the foundations means there will never be a roof. Applied to conflict work, this metaphor emphasizes that all individual and social interrelations in the conflict system must be considered, and all levels of the pyramid. After all, even the most delicate ornamentation will not survive if the walls behind it are not stable and do not rest on a solid foundation. Thus, all the layers categorized earlier are of relevance. While working on one, we should not lose sight of the others, for an imbalance among the layers can just as easily bring down the entire system.

Some may object and suggest that this pyramid model with its vertical levels, horizontal themes, intrapersonal and transpersonal layers, all of which are connected by a desire for harmony, is too complex to be applied in practice. Such objection may even be justified with particular respect to my emphasis that, when considered in a situational and relational context, these are not clearly distinct categories, but only typical and overlapping tools for meaningful understanding. However, given that social systems are inevitably dynamic and - whether we like it or not - complex, this rationality has an extremely limited reach. As a result, conflict work that focuses on the epicenter of the entire context rather than on the surface of an episode, must not limit itself to reductionist rationality.

The complexity of social interrelations can be described in transrational terms. As a consequence, transrational peace research cannot limit itself in its applied methodologies to just rational conflict engineering. It needs methods that address all aspects of human nature because they all define conflicts and the way we deal with them. Conflict workers need a toolkit that allows them to apply rationality and also methods that work on the sexual, emotional, mental and spiritual layer, which correspond to the familial, communal, societal and policity layers. These methods have to be effective on the sub-conscious, the conscious and the super-conscious layers. We found this ideal toolkit in John Paul Lederach’s (1997) approach to Elicitive Conflict Transformation, which works principally with the present realities and their complex systemic interrelations. The most important resource for sustainable peace work is the relational web of the people concerned.

5. Conclusion

Innsbruck’s both “post-catholic” and post-Galtungian concept of tran-srationality fits perfectly with Lederach’s Midwest-American-Mennonite praxis of elicitive conflict transformation because both owe a lot to the particular British Quaker’s influence on Adam Curle and his work that relates basically on Humanistic Psychology and Tantric Buddhism. Francisco Muñoz with his paz imperfecta and Vicent Martínez Guzmán with his Filosofía para hacer las paces established the Spanish version of something very similar.

The audience here may decide whether to call it post-modern or, even worse, post-catholic. But taking our birthdates and the political history of our countries into consideration you may agree that the sudden emergence of Spanish peace studies - similar to the German and Austrian schools - can be interpreted as a particularity of the nation’ s academia’s general post-Francist decampment. I spent nights listening to Francisco Muñoz’s stories about the Spanish Civil War. He took me personally to some of the sites, and I remember how much this unfinished Gestalt of his country influenced his philosophy. For a German native speaker, it is easy to be empathic with this attitude. This is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful for this friendship.

6. Bibliographic References

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Curle published enormously. The best understanding of his work can be gained from Mitchels, Barbara (2006). Love in Danger and Woodhouse, Tom & Lederach, John Paul. (2016). Adam Curle. Radical Peacemaker. Which includes a complete list of all his works between 1946 and 2006.
In (retr.30.11.2017)
I transformed the “Many Peaces” concept of 1997 gradually into the Transrational Peace Philosophy and published a first complete volume on it with Dietrich, Wolfgang: Deutungen (=Variationen über die vielen Frieden/1); Wiesbaden, 2008. Two more volumes completed the trilogy in 2011 and 2015 in German. English translations in 2012, 2015, 2018.
The concept has been developed step by step since 1995. A systematic compilation on the topic has been edited by Muñoz-Muñoz, F.A. (2001). La paz imperfecta. Granada: Universidad de Granada.