Peaceful societies are contemporary groups of people who effectively
foster interpersonal harmony and who rarely permit violence or warfare
to interfere with their lives. This website serves to introduce these
societies to students, peace activists, scholars and citizens who are
interested in the conditions that promote peacefulness. It includes
information on the beliefs of these peoples, the ways they maintain
their nonviolence, and the factors that challenge their lifestyles.
A list of peaceful societies is never completely finished or accurate.
However, social scientists have convincingly described at least 25
societies around the world in which there is very little internal violence
or external warfare. Generalizations are difficult to make accurately,
except that most of the time these peaceful societies successfully
promote harmony, gentleness, and kindness toward others as much
as they devalue conflict, aggressiveness, and violence.
While scholars have clearly identified a small number of societies in
which people rarely act aggressively, it must be emphasized that
no stamp of approval is intended for the societies included in this website.
None of them are utopias. They share many problems with the rest
of humanity. That said, however, most of the time they interact in a
highly pro-social manner and they successfully avoid both violence
within their own societies and warfare with other peoples.
Popular writers and casual observers have also described many other
societies as “peaceful,” but often in a more general or romantic sense.
This website focuses, instead, on societies where there is significant
scholarly literature to support the claims of peacefulness, and where
the evidence provided by those scholars appears to be quite convincing.
Part of the fascination of this scholarly literature is the way readers can
compare the extent of peacefulness and violence in these societies.
Their differing ways of developing social, psychological, ethical and
religious structures that foster peacefulness should inspire—and challenge
anyone interested in the processes of peace building. This literature
suggests several questions:
* Why are some societies highly opposed to both aggressive behavior
within the community and warfare with external enemies, while most
other peoples tolerate or even encourage such violence?
* How are these peaceful societies able to maintain their pro-social
values and their nonviolence even when challenged by aggressive outside forces?
* How do peaceful societies raise their children to support harmonious
social interactions, to devalue violence, and to transmit firm commitments
to nonviolence to following generations?
* What sorts of psychological strategies do they employ to reinforce
their values and beliefs in peacefulness?
* How do the religions, systems of belief, and worldviews of the peaceful
societies foster their nonviolence?.....http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/