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The Peace System - As a self-referential communication system

Author(s): Gorm Harste

Journal: Nordicum-Mediterraneum
ISSN 1670-6242

Volume: 8;
Issue: 3;
Start page: B2;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: peace | diplomacy | communication | system theory | Luhmann | war

Peace communication as diplomatic communication is an often neglected phenomenon in social and political theory that concerns problems of international order, justice and peace. Political philosophy seldom embarks on the theme with more than a few comments. Yet, throughout history, diplomacy has a strong record not only for negotiations but also for social learning processes about communication codes. Many codes of respect, trust, expression and listening have a top-down history from aristocratic circles to broader social layers. However, the article argues that communication codes of peace developed in opposition to violence and war exactly when they transgress dividing lines allowing for cross-cultural and even cross-stratified communication. The article’s main point is to describe how such communication codes about peace and diplomacy can be described in recent social theory of communication, and to get some added value in this respect, Niklas Luhmann’s theory of self-referential communication systems has been applied.
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