​​Galtung, Johan & Dietrich Fischer (2013) Johan Galtung, Pioneer of Peace Research. Heidelberg: Springer Briefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice. xii, 190 pp.

​ISBN 9783642324802

Hans-Henrik Holm

Danish School of Media and Journalism

​In collaboration with Johan Galtung, Dietrich Fischer has produced a short book that encapsulates much of Galtung's contributions as a 'Pioneer of Peace Research'. Fischer provides a twenty-page introduction to Johan Galtung's life and thinking and a twenty-page bibliography of his 165 books from the period 1953–2012. The main part of the book is 150 pages of key texts by Johan Galtung himself. The selected texts focus on Galtung's work as a concept builder, with detailed exposition on the concepts of violence, peace and human rights. They detail his work in conflict mediation in all walks of life from interpersonal conflicts between husband and wife to international mediation in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador. The texts detail Galtung's "Transcend method", which is based on the medical concepts of diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. It attempts to create a bridge from current conflict to a new reality where preferred alternatives are found for all the parties to the conflict. Galtung's thinking is based on the fundamental idea that more entropy means more peace and he thus argues that while cultures need to be respected they cannot be limiting and thus an individualistic culture needs to be supplemented by a 'we' culture, Eastern culture by Western etc. Multiple actors are needed to achieve peace. States need local actors and organizational actors as part of the governing structures. More trans-disciplinary, trans-national and trans-level approaches and understandings are required as well as more holistic thinking. This short book provides an excellent summary of this unique approach.