Congo and Structural Violence: Helge Hveem

Book chapter

Reinton, Per Olav (2022) Congo and Structural Violence: Helge Hveem, in Lives in Peace Research: The Oslo Stories. Singapore: Springer (135–144).

Read the book chapter here (Open Access)

“It was a significant day for me when … doctor Denis Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.” In this interview, Helge Hveem (b. 1941) recounts how his stay in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960s put him on a path towards the kind of theory-driven, policy-oriented empirical research he later pursued at PRIO and the University of Oslo. His research has exposed the exploitative practices of transnational companies.

This open access book explains how PRIO, the world’s oldest peace research institute, was founded and how it survived through crises. The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is the world’s oldest independent peace research institute. In this book, a great number of its researchers and associates, including Johan Galtung, Ingrid Eide, and Mari Holmboe Ruge, who founded the institute back in 1959, tell the stories of their roles in inventing and developing peace research. They reflect on their personal experiences with peace and conflict, tell what drove their peace engagement, and discuss the balance sought in the field between the cold dictates from academic rigor and the hot pursuit of peace, a desire for research to make a positive difference. Most of the chapters are interviews where one colleague interviews another. Some are self-reflective essays, while others are memorial essays written about a peace researcher who has passed away. Taken together, the book presents a lively picture of a thriving world-leading research environment and a wealth of conflicting or mutually reinforcing perspectives on war, violence, conflict, conflict management and resolution, negotiations and mediation, peacemaking, peace building, and the contested concept of peace.

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