The Peaceful Societies website entered the social world of Facebook on May 27th. Recent visitors to this website may have noticed the Facebook logo and a link to the new “Fan Page.” Each week, the Facebook Peaceful Societies page will carry links to news and reviews as soon as they are posted here in this website.
Other news and information relating to the concept of building peacefulness in contemporary communities is also being covered in Facebook. Members of Facebook can indicate that they “like” the new page and receive notices whenever anything new is posted there.
The fundamental beliefs, social structures, psychological constructs, and daily habits of peaceful societies of course vary. Religious backgrounds, histories, and environmental conditions differ from one community to the next. But each in its own way demonstrates that peacefulness is an attainable goal.
Many argue that peace can only be achieved through coercion, force, and violence. The examples of the peaceful societies, both the ones portrayed in this website and others around the world, suggest the opposite: that the best way to build social harmony is through quiet, gentle means. The development of more peaceful societies, particularly in major nation states, will not happen overnight, but all of us can be inspired by the examples of peoples who have already learned how to live more or less without violence.
The purpose of this website since December 2004 has been to review the scholarship, and follow the news, about a selection of societies that scholars have suggested are, or were until recently, nonviolent. More broadly, the website has also covered research about conditions that foster peacefulness. While the website will retain its serious, scholarly orientation, our presence on Facebook should broaden the discussion.
The Facebook page allows—encourages, in fact—posts and ideas from others. Links to news, reviews, and miscellaneous information about building peaceful societies from whatever sources are welcome. Discussions about building peaceful communities are important, as long as they are respectful of the opinions of others.
Conversations about international issues, contentious events, or broader peace issues, important as they certainly are, should be confined to blogs and websites that focus on them. The Peace and Justice Studies Association fan page in Facebook is an excellent place for discussions about those broader issues. Hopefully, fans of the new Peaceful Societies page in Facebook will inspire others to build more harmonious communities and societies.