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n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - The importance and significance of peace studies with special reference to South Africa's political-security role in Africa : research article

Volume 71, Issue Issue-2-3-4
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
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Abstract


Die oorsprong van vredestudies van die twintigste eeu as 'n akademiese ondersoekveld kan teruggespeur word na die laat veertigerjare en het sedertdien aansienlike ontwikkeling deurgemaak. Tans is verskeie vakkundiges aan 'n verskeidenheid tersiêre instellings oor die wêreld heen betrokke by die aanwending van hulle akademiese vaardighede in die opvoeding van studente aangaande die oorsake van oorloë en gewapende konflik, asook om alternatiewe vir dié verskynsels aan die hand te doen. Vredestudies in die Suid-Afrikaanse en breë Afrikakonteks is sekerlik van groot betekenis en belangrikheid. Per slot van sake noodsaak die beklemmende en vernietigende gewelddadige manifestasie van konflik in Afrikastate soos Liberië, Sierra Leone, Soedan, Burundi, Rwanda, die DRK, Somalië, Angola, die Comores en vele ander konflikgeteisterde gebiede vakkundige aandag, met die doel om die oorsake, dinamiek en gevolge van sodanige konflikte beter te verstaan. 'n Beter begrip daarvan help ook pogings bevorder om sodanige konflikte deur middel van meganismes van konflikresolusie en vredesbou die hoof te bied. Verder is die Suid-Afrikaanse regering se toenemende militêre betrokkenheid in onlangse jare by internasionale vredesendings méér as net van militêre belang. Dit is 'n saak van groot politieke belang en betekenis. Vanuit 'n vertrekpunt van ondersteuning vir die noodsaak van vredestudies in die leerplanne van Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite (en Afrika-universiteite in die algemeen), word in dié artikel aangevoer dat Suid-Afrikaanse studente blootgestel behoort te word aan die ryk en omvangryke literatuur aangaande die soeke na internasionale vrede en veiligheid, hoe om die oorsake van grootskaalse konflik en geweld te verstaan en daarmee te werk te gaan, en hoe dit bekamp en opgelos kan word - literatuur wat vakkundige besprekings en navorsing in baie sentra en plekke van opvoeding, opleiding en vredesbou onderlê.

The origins of peace studies as an academic field of inquiry could be traced to the late 1940s and the field has been developing considerably since then. Currently, scholars at various tertiary institutions over the world are involved in using their academic skills to educate students about the causes of wars and violent conflict while pointing out various alternatives to these phenomena. Peace studies in the South African and broader African context are certainly of great significance and importance. After all, the gripping and devastating violence that manifested in African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, the DRC, Somalia, Angola, the Comoros and many other conflict-stricken areas warrant scholarly attention with a view to better understanding the causes, dynamics and effects of such conflict. By means of this understanding the conflict could be addressed through mechanisms of conflict resolution and peace building could be promoted. Furthermore, the South African Government's progressive military involvement in international peace missions in recent years is far more than an issue of mere military concern. It is a matter of great political interest and significance. Being supportive of the need for peace studies in the curricula of South African universities (and African universities in general), this article argues that South African students should be exposed to a rich and comprehensive literature on the search for international peace and security; of how to understand and deal with the causes of large-scale conflict and violence; and how these could be curtailed and resolved - literature which informs scholarly discussions and research in many centres and places of education, training and peace building.

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/content/koers/71/Issue-2-3-4/EJC59278
2006-01-01
2016-12-11

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