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  • This Course is based mainly on "Nonkilling as the driving force for the construction of a new modernity ", chapter prepared by Israel Sanmartín (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) for Toward a Nonkilling Paradigm (Honolulu: Center for Global Nonkilling, 2009). The Course is part of the Interdisciplinary Program on Nonkilling Studies at the School of Nonkilling Studies.

“But all very clear things are as difficult as rare”, Spinoza, Ethics

History as a scientific discipline and as a succession of events is, from a traditional perspective, largely the history of war, of conflicts, and of disagreements whether from a political, social, economic, intellectual of even a historiographical standpoint. The history of the world is the history of war or, as Clausewitz put it, war is the continuation of politics by other means . The great statesmen in history have been warriors or military men and many intellectual and industrial advances have been made to improve weapons of war. To a great extent, the modernisation of States and economic advancement have been closely associated to the history of wars, to genocides, to exterminations, etc. Likewise, the main collective actors of history, the peoples, the nations and the States have conceived of war as an end in itself . There has been, therefore, a very close relationship between historians, history and war ever since ancient times up to the present that could lead us to conclude that, to a certain extent, peace is a negative concept in history. We live in a violent society; we express ourselves in a violent language, used even by some people aiming at certain social justice such as Frantz Fanon, Malcom X, Stokely Carmichael, C. V. Hamilton or J. P. Sartre. For this reason, rather than seeking the Utopia of a distant, teleological peace, it is much more practical to resort to the ‘non-violence’ movement and, particularly, to Glenn D. Paige and his ‘nonkilling society’, that leads to the construction and achievement of a clear and wholly practical objective: a nonkilling society.

The quest for peace, the history of peace, ‘peace studies’ is not something new and people have been working academically on this approach for some time now . One of the most significant contributions of peace research has been the study of conflicts and the characterisation of violence.

Where do nonkilling studies fit into?[edit]

There are two approaches as far as the theory of peace is concerned. ‘Negative peace’, which is merely the absence of war, and ‘positive peace’, which is also the absence of war, but amidst harmony and co-operation to achieve security and justice in human matters. ‘Negative peace’ has, in turn, been divided into different fields: the proponents of peace through force, through social justice or those advocating a community perspective. For some writers, this community thesis arises from a moral understanding of the world and with a lasting peace to create a great level of integration based on international collective security, national self-determination, economic interdependence and a respect for cultural values. Community proponents believe in four essential elements: common interest, norms, laws and sanctions, seeking to restructure peace with the democratic values of security, freedom, justice and community so that they may be implemented in the new scenario of the “New World Order” governed by a multipolar, community and global system.

The theories of ‘negative peace’ subscribe to different schools. The ‘hegemony theory’ school, the ‘theory of balance of powers’ and the ‘collective security’ school. The first one is a Marxist theory that posits that since the 16th century the capitalist system has increased its dominance mainly from the U.S.A. and Western Europe into the peripheries mainly through imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. The picture is then completed by a third group of countries that would be the semiperiphery which transmit surplus value to the First World (based mainly on Wallerstein) . This thesis is precarious and based on the notion that hegemonic powers accompanied by military and economic supremacy impose peace as in the case of the ‘Pax Britanica’ or the ‘Pax Americana’ on the rest of the world. It is what President Bush did when he proclaimed his ‘New World Order’ where the less developed countries had to accept their role as cheap labour force and strategic locations for the great powers. The second theory speaks of a balance of powers and claims that peace may be achieved through force and persuasion, in competence for the ‘national interest’ of each country. It does not seek to upset the ‘status quo’ and for this reason it fully endorses the intervention in the Gulf War and the World Wars . Lastly, the third theory, the ‘collective security’ one is based on the creation of international institutions that assure the security of everyone such as the UN.

As to the ‘positive theories’ of peace, they advocate the use of justice and only some of them admit the use of violence under specific circumstances. We may speak of three schools: the theory of ‘international law’, that of ‘international integration’ and the theory of ‘nonviolent resistance’. The first one is based on papers on international disputes . The second theory is that of ‘international integration’ or ‘the spiderweb theory’ that contends that although international law has delegitimised the use of force, it has not ruled out its use. This international school believes in an interdependency between nation states that have maximised the costs and minimised the benefits of the use of force and for this reason it is also known as the neorealist or the interdependency theory . Finally, the non-violence theory is based on the premises of Gandhi , which is where the “nonkilling” notion would fit in.

A “nonkilling” methodology integrated in the history of Peace[edit]

Historiography has paid more attention to war and conflict, thus contributing to the legitimisation of militarism, violence and the destructive power as unavoidable forms of progress. Within this approach, war is seen as the driving force of history and as a teleological element to which and by which humankind would advance. Within this set of principles, the notion of peace arises from that of war, where there is a pre-concept of peace associated to altruism, co-operation, solidarity or love.

The construction of a history of peace is something complex. Research for peace frames the history for peace and its methodological assumptions along with the new analytic categories and study instruments within a great interdisciplinary effort. The history of peace balances the historiographical dysfunction between the value and the extent that has been given to war with respect to peace on the one hand and the crisis situations solved violently in comparison to many experiences of peaceful resolution of conflicts on the other. It also contributes to understanding the present and planning the future through the knowledge of the past to take us to the great challenges of our time: the peaceful coexistence of the billions of inhabitants of the planet .

Historians have a great responsibility in the construction of imaginaries, of cultural and social landmarks, of political parameters and their education is essential for the construction of peaceful futures where science (i.e. history) and ethics are connected, which is, to a great extent, the axis on which this paper hinges , as the demands for peace and ‘nonkilling’ arise from the commitment and from the victims themselves.

Research for peace has gradually made itself a niche within the discipline of history. And this niche is not only confined to the proposals and beliefs of pacifist social movements, the non-violence, the importance of alternative groups and the historical construction of peace but it also concerns the way the very historical problems are approached: the vision of conflicts, the actors, the methodology, the contradictions that may surface between the anthropological model used and the results or the excessive importance of some actors (such as the U.S.A) to the detriment of others.

Humans must face the fact that conflict is part of the process of social interaction but that once it arises it can also be solved. Social relations and socialisation create inequalities between individuals and societies. Humans are not violent or pacifists but may solve their problems peacefully or violently, although it should be noted that violence is part of the Western, Eurocentric historical conception. History is full of conflict but pacific regularisation has also had much influence. In all kinds of experiences and places there has been conflict resolution and negotiation resulting in a peaceful resolution: the signing of peace treaties, solidarity, co-operation, etc.

What this paper is addressing is the development of onkilling in historiography and history, for which purpose it must be associated to two notions in which it collaborates very closely. They are, on the one hand, the notion of a ‘positive peace’, that is to say, a peace constructed as history happens and accumulates in relation to a set of beliefs based on justice, equality and conflict resolution. On the other hand, there is the idea of ‘structural violence’ which is any violence within society, in the very community of historians and in all power relations.

With these ideas a renounce is made of the notion of an ‘absolute peace’, a Utopian and teleological idea very often used in a manner that favours violence. The objective is rather the regulation, transformation and resolution of conflicts by humans both collectively as individually as they appear.

In another sense, it is also necessary to take into account that the notion of war has always been presented as an ‘absolute’ notion. When historiography speaks of the ‘War of the Hundred Years’, of the ‘War of the Thirty Years’ we are taking for granted that during all those years there was confrontation, which is not true. The same goes for the First or Second World War or the Cold War, where the whole of the world population was not involved.

Going back to the notion of nonkilling, it should be taken into account that the foundations for this proposal based on the ideas of professor Glenn D. Paine advocate that if the roots of violence are in human biology, we should change them; if they are in the family or in the socialisation process, we must alter it; if it is in economic structures we must rectify them; and if it is part of culture we must create alternatives. Paige proposes that society must keep nonkilling in mind so that technology is not designed to kill or to culturally justify killing, at the same time that neither social nor economic conditions should perpetuate the use of violence . In other words, it would be about collaborating from history and historiography in the creation of a global society where ‘nonkilling’ is feasible. In this regard, it is necessary to point out that people can kill but most people have not done it and that the exercise of power requires ‘masters’ but also ‘slaves’ and without the latter the former are nothing, so that the coercion exerted by power may be perfectly deactivated if society has different mechanisms of operation.

The construction of a teleological peace in the Middle Ages[edit]

In the Europe of the Early Middle Ages (8th-9th cent.) the idea of peace was used to seek a political balance, a social harmony and the opposition to plundering and violence and was even fundamental for spiritual rearmament. It was this that prompted the so-called ‘Peace of the King’, which was a legal notion of Germanic origin that appeared in the Early Middle Ages and which initially referred to the legal protection of the person of the sovereign. It spread then to the places the king inhabited and the roads he travelled down. Later, it was used to protect markets, fairs, persons and places. This kingly peace led to the notion of territorial peace.

The Church also spearheaded important movements in favour of peace as they had habitual clashes with feudal lords that were reflected in constant episodes of rebellion, disobedience and war. They tended to crop up in times of crisis, though, and did not fundamentally challenge the sources of established power.

Within this context different notions of peace are recovered. The Peace of God (Pax Dei), is one such notion that entailed limiting violent actions against ecclesiastics and their estate as well as against the poor (later it spread to the whole of the population). This protection consisted in applying for a sort of safe-conduct for all non-combatants and their properties. In Germany, some sort of public peace was achieved while in Southern France the authority of kings was in marked competence with the power of feudal lords, which explains why the ‘peace of God’ was successful there. This was all reflected in the deliberations and terms of the debates on pactum pacis, constitution pacis, retauratio pacis et justiciae, pax reformanda, etc. of the councils of Charroux-en-Poitou (989), Puy-en-Velay (990), Limoges (997) and Poiters (1000). Robert ‘the Pious’ proclaimed it in France in 1010-1011 and different sanctions were envisaged for those who should violate it.

Also important was the Truce of God that limited the time for conducting violent actions, thus preventing Christians from fighting certain days of the week or in certain dates. These propositions were first found in Provence but they spread to other places in France (Aquitaine, Burgundy, Normandy, Besançon, etc.). Finally, these events had their repercussion in the whole of public powers, notably kings and princes, as it went from a personal, temporary peace to a territorial peace in which private law proclaimed its victory over private law. This movement was not confined to ecclesiastic authorities but political authorities and different social movements (brotherhoods, municipalities) also participated. This evidences the permeability of these ideas and their possible interaction in decision making. A practical manifestation of the all these issues in found in the groups of heretics: Cathars, Hussites, Valdenses , which take the interpretation of the truce and peace of God to its logical conclusion as they opposed to any form of war, to the killing any fellow men and they even preached the ‘non-violence’ and love as the central axis of political co-existence. . In a similar vein is the creation of knights of peace and the creation of militias of peace, which originated in the opposition against feudal lords and against the powerful.

In all these manifestations, peace is portrayed as a spiritual value associated with equity and justice. On the other hand, it does not challenge the forms of violence, whether institutionalised or not, as well as wars (they defend the term ‘fair war’), economic, social inequality, etc.

Apart from this, peace was also found in the different treaties and the different designs of peace plans such as that found in the work of Pierre Dubois (De Recuperatione Terre Sancte, 1306), Dante Aligheri (De Monarchia, 1310), Marsilio de Padua and Juan de Jandum (Defensor Pacis, 1324), etc.

In spite of this, the 13th-15th centuries are dominated by a diversity of wars in Western Europe. To a certain extent, war was the cause and the consequence of the demographic, agricultural and social crisis; of the differences between feudal lords in spreading their power and the reticence by both peasants and urban workers as well as of the will to eradicate all heresies by resorting to resistance and force. The outbreak of the Plague in Europe in mid 14th century also contributed to all this . Of this situation as a whole the conclusion was reached that war was beneficial for their participants as it can be seen in different late Middle Ages chroniclers (Honoré Bouvet, Christine de Pisan or Geoffroy de Charny)

In this regard, the year1000 has prompted great historiographical debates on whether its significance was that of a great change (Duby) or one of continuity (Barthélemy), a controversy that is associated to a series of fears regarding the end of the world and the second coming of Christ, that would bring eternal peace . Although a consensus has not been reached, some writers favour the notion that the year 1000 was an intense moment, of great violence by lords amidst agitation that resulted in the feudal mutation; some others contend that it is merely a time of social tension exacerbated by the instauration of a new feudal order. Other interpretations claim that there was neither feudal nor scatological mutation. In any case, Cluniac monk Raoul Glaber speaks of a new world full of optimism.

The Antichrist has a fundamental importance in medieval imagery and cataclysms and other calamities are associated to it. Early Christians fixed his coming in 500, although it was later “postponed” to 800, 970, 981, 992, 1065 and 1250. Abbot Odon of Cluny was convinced of the coming of the Antichrist in the 12th century; the first Crusades took place under the threat of an imminent end of the world. The concern for the Antichrist does not disappear during the 13th century. Different movements of penitents and flagellants appeared in Italy in 1260. The Plague of 1348 revived the anxiety and prompted a new movement of flagellants. Also during the great schism that divided the Church between 1378 and 1417 the Pope is branded the Antichrist. All this is addressed by theoreticians such as Reinhart Koselleck, who claims that it is a strategy to integrate scatology in present times as an element of the stability of the Church and its dominance.

In this vein and connected to this, a number of apocalyptic movements - heretic and millenarian - which were greatly influenced by the Apocalypse of Saint John, which had a great repercussion on medieval culture both as regards theology and art. In this case, the Apocalypse does not only concern the end of the world but the past, present and future of the Church and a number of social movements. This results in millenarianism interpretations (variants of the scatology) that predict a future associated to the final phase of universal history, although far from heralding the end of time and the destruction of the world they promise the preamble of the kingdom of Christ on earth, establishing for all mankind a heavenly order of peace and justice. Although a great debate on the issue has erupted, some following Saint Augustine, and the La Cité de Dieu associate the millennium to that historical moment while other, more literal interpretations of the sacred Word underscored the notion of a Future yet to come. Saint Augustine believed that peace is an asset and that there nothing more valuable and useful. His idea was ‘fight for the truth without violence’ and for heretics ‘fight with discussion and prevail with reason’

Another key author for the notion of millenarianism was Joaquín de Fiore, the abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Calabria and who speaks of the making of a spiritual church. His ideas were very popular among Franciscans and Dominicans. However, the peak of medieval millenarianism because of its popular support and the use of force was the Hussite insurrection, a movement led by Jean Hus. Millenarianism allows the manifestation of the radical social transformation

In any case, both theories have a great teleological component as they seek peace as an end and as an external organiser of the very historical and historiographic events. War and peace in the Middle Ages have a strong component of force and abuse. Violence entails exerting a moral or psychological force to impose, restrict, force or impose and the Church used it for its purposes by resorting to theoretical constructions with a deep social impact such as millennialism, Apocalypticism, or the notion of the end of the world.

The history of present as an excuse for historical determinism[edit]

The end of the Cold War brought about an interest in underscoring the victory of capitalism against socialism in a strategy to integrate it in a finalist and teleological perspective. Within these parameters we may associate the thinking of Francis Fukuyama and his thesis of ‘the end of history’, that of Samuel Huntington on the ‘clash of civilisations’ and that of Robert Kagan regarding the ‘trans-Atlantic breach’

Different interpretations were put forward to explain the new situation:

a) A single world of euphoria and harmony. It was an explanation accepted by both politicians and intellectuals who hoped that the UN had a renewed importance within a framework of peace . However, this thesis was a mirage and ethnic conflicts multiplied, far-right and far-left groups cropped up and religious fundamentalism intensified. In 1989-91, the U.S.A., once the Cold War had been ‘won’, unmasked themselves and declared the ‘New World Order’ where with the acquiescence of the UN a new military age commenced that would result in the Gulf War.

In the case of Fukuyama, his thesis on ‘the end of History’ presented a world of peace between the great western democracies, although not perhaps within them , - what he called post-history-, but could be, and indeed was, a world of war for the Third World (where Iraq was given as an example from the beginning ). The new situation could be defined as a ‘hot peace’ , i.e., with the threat of terrorism, poverty, political repression and tragic, focalised wars, external debt, chaos, excess of power, government and State inefficiency, political and currency instability and the ecological problem. We could speak of a ‘formal peace’ but a very ‘hot’ one as regards undeclared conflicts (all of the above) and those declared (notably in the Third World), That notion of ‘hot peace’ was based on the return to unilateralism by the U.S.A and a new North-South bipolarity.

b) Two worlds: we and them, which was mapped onto the world in a bipolar fashion between ‘zone of peace’ and ‘zone of conflicts’. The West and the rest of the world; rich and poor countries. Among the writers that advocated this interpretation were Max Singer, Aaron Wildavsky and Robert O. Keohane or Kishore Mahbubani with “The West and the Rest”. This explanation is too simple for a too complex world.

c) 184 States, i.e. a world based on the ‘realist’ theory of international relations, where States would be the main actors in world matters and would seek to maximise their power to ensure their survival and security. When a State feels threatened, it allies or reinforces its power to defend itself .

d) Chaos. This explanation underscores the collapse of government authority, the disintegration of States, the intensification of tribal, ethnic and religious conflicts, the emergence of criminal mafias, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the spread of terrorism, etc. His proponents were Zbignew Brzezinski, Daniel Patrick Moynihan or Robert Kaplan . This explanatory strategy is of little usefulness and lacking in theory to explain the situation.

e) The theory of the ‘clash of civilisations’ advocated by Huntington essentially held that states associate in accordance with their common or similar culture and that conflicts among states occur as a result of their cultural differences. Huntington believed that his explanation included all four above as, to his mind, his argumentation was compatible with the rest while incorporating elements from them. Here the problem was what he understood by civilisation and how he explained what it was. This thesis led Robert Kagan to propose his ‘trans-Atlantic breach’ which forecast a clash of the West (U.S.A) with the West (Europe).

These five interpretations were grouped in four schools. Firstly, the school of ‘the end of history’; another one that glimpsed the beginning of a less threatening world; a school known as ‘of continuity and change’ and finally one that forecast a war scenario. The first one would explain the world in terms of peace, boredom and inertia where U.S. values prevailed. The second would insist on the fact that with decline of the great superpowers nuclear and military threats would disappear (this is an euphoria thesis): the third one preferred to look back on the past to find commonalities and innovations in history ; and the last one was based on a scenario of conflicts (the clash of civilisations).

A ‘Hobbesian democratic peace’[edit]

As to what was been discussed so far, there are different theories to explain peace in the international scenario:

a) That of economic liberalism which considers that the requirements for peace are not based on military precepts but on economic ones: a desire for prosperity, the interdependence of States and international co-operation between regimes. The problem posed by this theory is apparent. The international system is anarchical and does not exclusively respond to the economic stimulus but to others such as the social and the economical ones.

b) A thesis that holds that ‘traditional’ wars are a thing of the past (something self-evidently wrong if we look around at the current conflicts).

c) The contention based on a presumption toward peace as characteristic of democracies, also known as the’ democratic peace’ thesis which is held by, among others, Michael Doyle , and which writers such as Fukuyama (who reached Kant through him) built on. This thesis shows how the Kantian essay Perpetual Peace could be used as a coherent explanation of two important irregularities in world history: the tendency by liberal states towards peaceful relations between them and their belligerent tendency in their relations with non-liberal States.

Doyle makes an interpretation of Kant’s opuscule Perpetual Peace. This opuscule put forward the creation of democratic governments, the instauration of a federation of Free States and the creation of a cosmopolitan law . For many writers, despite the change in the historical framework and the necessary reformulation required, the basic concepts of the essay remain valid . But, what were those principles? The Kantian project of ‘Perpetual Peace’ incorporated numerous elements from earlier doctrines - albeit re-elaborated – which may be traced back to the Reformist wake of Bodin, Grocio and Vattel advocating for a new International Law created by States and binding for them. Against this idea was the Hobbesian notion based on the defence of the Nation-State which is established as an exclusive actor in international relations. In this regard, Kant also believed in the importance of the State but oriented towards peace both internally and externally. Kant proposed the union of different States in a Federation whose purpose would be to ensure the liberty of its members. He was thus the first to attribute legal reality to the notion of a federal State at a world level, where each of the confederate members would organise internally in a democratic fashion, although Kant himself would water down his claims due to the suspicion it caused in order to achieve so great and perfect levels of peaceful coexistence .

The thesis of ‘democratic peace’ gained relevance after the end of the Cold War, recovering three of its axes: a) historically, liberal democracies never or almost never have made war on one another; b) liberal democracies are not more prone to war than non-democratic States but there are not less prone either; c) although liberal democracies do not make war on one another they have had armed conflicts with non-liberal States.

This thesis is intimately related to liberal ideology. The search for a theory that explains why democracies do not go to war with each other may turn into a theory that explains why liberal States have been so successful in organising force. Liberal States have gone to war everywhere and have been responsible of a great level of militarization of the world while contributing to conflicts between non-democratic States . Another key problem of this thesis is how it meshes with the Third World and the precariousness and imposition of some of their democracies. On the other hand, it is evident that this theory suited the needs of some American conservatives to tally their geopolitical designs, not to mention that there has been some exceptions to this thesis throughout history (like the clash between the U.S.A and the U.K during the crisis of Venezuela in1895, etc.). To this it should be added that there have been few democracies in the last two hundred years and we should not lose sight of the existence of the so-called “state terrorism’ where many democracies have acted against elected governments in developing countries. Lastly, the thesis has a great number of different constraints originating in the notion of (representative) democracy it uses. We are, therefore, before a union between peace and democracy that considers liberalism, and not democracy, that the hinge for peace between democracies, which is in turn inserted in a globalisation based on the ‘Washington consensus’.

In parallel to this view, there are other conceptions of democratic peace as that of B. Russet who insists more on the term democratic culture and is more pacifist or the constructivist school that holds that conflicts between States are not the consequence of power distribution in the international system but are socially constructed and are the consequence of the learning acquired through interaction.

This thesis of ‘democratic peace’ was to a certain extent defended by authors such as Kagan or Fukuyama, who built on Hegel, and who, in turn, denied Kant’s proposal of a universal peace. Fukuyama holds the notion of ‘state of nature’, that is, a Hobbesian and Hegelian one, where States do as they suit their interests.

Altermundism as a potential framework for nonkilling[edit]

In 1999 with the demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle the antiglobalisation movement came into being thus allowing the social lefts to give shape to a transnational civil society based on these movements and on the notion that ‘another world is possible’. This gave the other globalisation, that of poverty, of the 80% of population and where 33% are starving a say. On the other hand, globalisation has eroded national governments and has generated superimposed regionalisation processes.

These movements certified the end of the idea that there are no alternatives, checkmating the existing model of globalisation. Altermundism ideas support and encourage the implementation of specific campaigns on limited objectives, proposing a non-teleological strategy. Individual persons and society are thus defended, along with their fundamental rights such as a participative democracy, a reorganisation of the great international institutions and the creation of a world parliament that would result in a pacific society where ‘nonkilling’ would be feasible.

The development of nonkilling in a non-teleological historical account[edit]

As this paper has shown, history – from a traditional perspective – has a teleological structure oriented towards a specific point whether from an individual level (development of individual objectives) or a collective (Utopian societies either liberal or socialist), cultural, economic, political and social level based on a specific notion of progress and with several ‘organisers’ that are always fixed.

Teleological conceptions are largely a reflection of a social crisis and manifest with such expressions as ‘the end of the world’, ‘millenarianism’ or ‘end of History’. They tend to be a justification of an existing society and of the development reached in some area as the most complete and rational. All that teleological constructs achieve is privileging a particular history. The theory and the practice: the philosophy and the practice are intimately related and there is a feedback between both. Therefore, historical evolution is open to a never ending process.

What has become clear is that history is made up of different and disparate processes which are neither coherent nor directional that are governed by a notion of progress or regress that is the consequence of the individual and collective work of human beings and which respond to some changing, mobile ‘organisers’ on the basis of specific objectives rather than great goals. In this sense, and within that theoretical and methodological framework, is where the ‘nonkilling’ can operate perfectly as it is a conception based on a resolve and a practical objective (not killing) and not on a grand Utopia such as universal peace or the ‘great peace’.

A) Abandonment of linearity. There is not such a thing as a single final order of things or a pre-established one. Let us not forget that the notion of dominant class has always been the mirror thanks to which the image of an order has been constructed. The renounce to linearity entails moving away from Eurocentrism and determinism, which are associated to capitalism. In other sense, it helps to understand the existence of different pasts, presents and (possible) futures.

B) A ‘new notion of progress’, one that is more synthetic, less dogmatic with a wider perspective and a strong moral and ethic stamp. A new, non-teleological notion of process with continuities and breaks and that places the human being at the centre of history. It is a notion of progress with several avenues, devoid of determinism and with different options .

C) The driving forces of history should be plural and adapted to each time: the common political action, the social movements, the human beings, the nations, the States. Just like there are no permanent driving forces in History, there is not a historical determinist either but a historical probabilism where risk is something unavoidable. This makes it possible to move from an amoral science to an ethically responsible science, from a human-dominating technology to one to the service of mankind and from a legal-formal democracy to a living democracy that guarantees freedom, justice and nonkilling” .

D) All these issues open up the possibility of new, alternative modernity(ies), constructed with all these bases of interchange and methodological blending and taking into account that it must be pluriversal, decolonial and non-Eurocentric. This is essential to shed all teleological explanations and embrace other, more contingent ones with a view to operating with several ideas at the same time in a dialogical and complex manner.

E) Nonkilling is a tactic and a social and political strategy that leads to peaceful assumptions. It originates in the assumptions of the history of peace and of the experiences of peaceful regulation throughout history to turn them into philosophy and theory of the practical action committed with social change. It intends to be a system and a most useful and efficient instrument to achieve peace. It entails resorting to peaceful means to solving conflicts peacefully, looking for meeting points with others but without harming, damaging or ruining their adversaries. It is a creative and constructive way of doing history. The history of ‘nonkilling’ is feeding the history of peace. ‘Nonkilling’ is found in philosophical, religious and ethical currents where persons deserve the most respect, persuasion is used before coercion all of which is done in a consistently manner.


This paper has been written within the framework of the postdoctoral fellowship of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of the government of Spain I am conducting at the EHESS (Paris, France) in the GAHOM group under the direction of Jérôme Baschet. Keegan, John, Historia de la guerra, Planeta, Madrid 1995. See Bobbitt, Philip, The shield of Achilles. War, peace and the course of history, Anchor Books, New York, 2002. See Mahatma Gandhi, Política de la no violencia, Catarata, Madrid, 2008. The Manchester Collage peace study programme has been under way for 60 years now (see Peace and World Order Studies: a curriculum guide). See Neil H. Katz, George A. Lopez, “Peace studies: past and future”, The Annals of the American Academy of Political an Social Science, July 1989 vol 4, 504, pp.14-22. The epistemological approach to peace has been taken to scientific and research domains such as Universities, specialised institutes, specific centres and, generally speaking, to the scientific community as a whole, see Wallerstein, Peter, Peace Research. Achievements and challenges, Boulder, 1988. Within this trend are the Center for Global Nonviolence de Hawaii and the Instituto Galego de Estudos de Seguranza Internacional e da Paz. See TEHRANIAN, Majid, “Restructuring for Peace: A Global Perspective” en TEHRANIAN, Katharine and Majid (eds.), Restructuring for world peace. On the threshold of the twenty first century, pp. 1-19. WALLERSTEIN, Inmanuel, The Capitalist World Economy, Cambridge University Press, 1979. See MORGENTHAU, Hans, Politics among Nations: the Struggle for Power and Peace, Alfred K. Knopf, New York, 1978. FALK, Richard, Frederich Kratochwil and Saul Mendlovitz, International Law, A Contemporary Perspective, Westview, Boulder, 1985. See BURTON, John, Global Conflict: The Domestic Sources of International Crisis, University of Maryland, College Park, 1984. KEOHANE, Robert O. and Joseph S. Nye Jr, Power and Interdependency, Glenview, 1989. GANDHI, M. K., An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Penguin, 1984; UNNITHAN, T. K. N., Change Without Violence: Gandhian Theory of Social Change, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabab, 1987. Francisco A. Muñoz y Mario López Martínez (eds.), Historia de la Paz. Tiempos, espacios y actores, Instituto de la Paz y los Conflictos Universidad de Granada, Granada, 2000, pp 1-10. Thanks to Joám Evans Pim for “lending” me this idea. See Paige Glenn D., Nonkilling Global Political Science, Center for Global Nonviolence, Hawaii, 2002. See Baschet, Jérôme, La civilisation féodale. De l´an mil à la colonisation de l´Amérique, Flammarion, Paris, 2006, pp. 300-310. See Biraben, Noël, Les Hommes et la Peste en France et dans les pays européens et méditerranéens, Paris-La Haye, Mouton, 2 vol., 1976. See Fernandez, Jon A., “Guerra y sociedad en Europa occidental durante la Baja Edad Media (ss XIII-XV)”, en AA.VV., La guerra en la historia, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, 1999, pp.45-97. On the terrors of the year 1000, Georges Duby, L´an mil, Paris, Gallimard, 1980; Dominique Barthélemy, La mutation de l´an mil a-t-elle eu lieu?, Paris, Fayard, 1997; Sylvain Gouguenheim, Les Fausses Terreurs de l´an mil, Paris, Picard, 1999; and Robert Moore, La Première Révolution européene (X-XIII siècle), Paris, Seuil, 2001. See Norman Cohn, Les Fanatiques de l´Apocalypse, Paris, Payot, 1983 and Claude Carozzi, Apocalypse et salud dasn le christianisme anciene et médiéval, Paris Aubier, 1999. Huntington tells by way of anecdote that the president of the most important university in the world vetoed the appointment of a professor on security studies because it was no longer necessary. Ver HUNTINGTON, S., El choque de civilizaciones y la reconstrucción del orden mundial, Paidós, Barcelona, 1996, p . 35. Inspired by BUARQUE, Cristovam, The end of Economics? Ethics and the disorder of progress, Zed Bokks, New Jersey, 1993, p. 152. Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky, The Real World Order: Zones of Peace, Zones of turmoil, Chathan, Nueva Jersey, 1993; Robert O Keohane, Nye and Stanley Hoffmann (Comps.), After the Cold War: International Institutions and State Strategies in Europe, 1989-1991, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1996; James M. Goldgeier y Michael McFaul, “A Tale of Two Worlds: Core and Periphery in the Post-Cold War Era”, in International Organization, nº46 (spring of 1992). See WALTZ Kenneth, “The Emerging Structure of International Politics”, International Security, nº 18, Fall 1993, pp. 44-79; MEARSHEIMER, John J., “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War”, International Security, nº15, summer of 1990, pp. 5-56. BRZEZINSKI, Zbigniew, Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twentyfirst Century, Scribner, New York, 1993; MOYNIHAN, Daniel Patrick, Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993, KAPLAN, Robert, “The Coming Anarchy”, Atlantic Monthly, nº 273, February 1993, pp. 44-76. THOMPSON, Kenneth W., Traditions and Values in Politics and Diplomacy. Theory and Practice, pp. 323-329. In such writers as Richard N. Cooper, Ernst B. Haas, Joseph S. Nye, Robert O. Keohane , David Mitrany among others. Notably in his essay “Kant, liberal legacies, and Foreign Affairs”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 12, nº3, summer 1983, pp. 205-235 y “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, part 2", Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 12, nº4, Fall 1983, pp. 323-353. For further discussion see DOYLE, M. W., “Reflections on the Liberal peace and Its Critics”, en M. E. Brown, Sm. Lynn-Jones y S. E. Miller (eds), Debating the Democratic Peace, Cambridge, 1996. See also: DOYLE, Michael, “Liberalism and World Politics”, American Political Science Review, Vol. 80, nº4, December 1986, pp. 1151-1169. Kant introduced along with state law and international law, cosmopolitan law. For a critical review, see: VELASCO ARROYO, Juan Carlos, “Ayer y hoy del cosmopolitismo kantiano”, Isegoría, nº16, 1997, pp. 91-117. For a further elaboration of the review, see: HABERMAS, Jürgen, “La idea kantiana de paz perpetua. Desde la distancia histórica de doscientos años”, Isegoría, nº16, mayo 1997, pp.61-90. HERMOSA ANDUJAR, Antonio, “La concepción kantiana de las relaciones internacionales”, Revista de Estudios Políticos, nº64, Abril-Junio 1989, pp. 163-189. See also LATHAM, R., “Democracy and War Making: Locating the International Liberal Context”, Millenium. Journal of International Studies, vol. 22, nº2, 1993. VALENTI, Esteban, “Dos globalizaciones”,, 15 de julio de 2002.[1] See François Houtart y François Polet, El otro Davos. Globalización de resistencias y de luchas, pp. 54-55. BARROS, Carlos, “La historia que viene” en Actas Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate, Santiago de Compostela, 1995, Tomo I, p. 101. KÚNG, Hans, Proyecto de una ética mundial, Trotta, Madrid, 1991. See Paine Glenn D., Nonkilling Global Political Science, Center for Global Nonviolence, Hawaii, 2002.