Social psychology and peace: An introductory overview

Christopher Cohrs, K. Boehnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper begins by giving an overview of why and in which ways social psychological research can be relevant to peace. Galtung's (1969) distinction between negative peace (the absence of direct violence) and positive peace (the absence of structural violence, or the presence of social justice) is crossed with a focus on factors that are detrimental (obstacles) to peace versus factors that are conducive to peace (catalysts), yielding a two-by-two classification of social psychological contributions to peace, Research falling into these four classes is cited in brief, with a particular focus on four exemplary topics: support for military interventions as an obstacle to negative peace; antiwar activism as a catalyst of negative peace; ideologies legitimizing social inequality as an obstacle to positive peace; and commitment to human rights as a catalyst of positive peace. Based on this conceptual framework, the remaining six articles of the special issue
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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