Ecology of peace

TitleEcology of peace
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsBritto, P. R., I. Gordon, W. Hodges, D. Sunar, C. Kagitcibasi, and J. Leckman
EditorLeckman, J., C. Panter-Brick, and R. Salah
Peace is a state of being that encompasses harmonious international as well as intra- and interpersonal relationships, directly impacting an individual’s safety and prosperity. For an individual, peace is a positive “state of mind” conditioned by our histories and context. The concept “ecology of peace” is introduced to capture these vast interconnected ecosystems that extend from our internal biology to our subjective sense of self (i.e., our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) to the environments in which we live. It is our thesis that positive, stimulating, and harmonious early childhoods can contribute to peace and human security, and that early-life interventions have transformative power which may help lay the foundations for conflict resolution and peace in future generations. As such, we posit that these interventions can contribute to “ peacebuilding” (actions that promote sustainable peace by supporting the prosocial skills needed for peace) as well as “ peacemaking” through the enhancement of positive reciprocal communication within families, communities, and nations. This chapter reviews (a) neurobiological foundations of peace, including genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, developmental, and social factors that shape young brains; (b) the importance of parenting and early learning for peacebuilding; and (c) the place that early childhood can play in bridging the gap between peacebuilding and peacemaking. Evidence from available developmental neurobiology as well as social and economic studies suggests that change in favor of peace can be initiated not only from the top down, through official policies and agencies, but also from the bottom up, by supporting the physical, emotional, and social development of children and the well-being of their families and communities.
Title Ecology of peace
Publication Title Pathways to peace: The transformative power of children and families
Publication Type Book Chapter
Published Year 2014
Publisher MIT Press
Authors P.R. Britto; I. Gordon; W. Hodges; D. Sunar; C. Kagitcibasi; J. Leckman
Editors J. Leckman; C. Panter-Brick; R. Salah
Section 3
Grant List


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