Peace in Non-Western Theory

Polat N.

in: The Oxford Handbook of Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, and Peace Formation, Oliver P. Richmond,Gëzim Visoka, Editor, Oxford University Press, London , Oxford, pp.190-203, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, London 
  • City: Oxford
  • Page Numbers: pp.190-203
  • Editors: Oliver P. Richmond,Gëzim Visoka, Editor


This chapter looks critically into the exhortations in recent peace thinking to accommo­date visions of peace outside European modernity, called the West. The discussion prob­lematizes the premise of a radical distinction in cultural terms between the West and the non-West, questioning for each front the notion of a linear cultural transmission from an­cient times onward. The binary, the chapter argues, is premised effectively on an oblivion of hybridities, especially in the Mediterranean basin, already before modernity and, later, under modernity, of the virtual recasting of much of what has been out there in the pe­riphery, however named or classified, in the image of modernity. The chapter then consid­ers some of the characteristic oversimplifications in peace research around the theme, which, albeit with a strong anti-ethnocentric posture to begin with, end up largely repro­ducing the classical Orientalism in its reductionisms.

Keywords: cultural authenticity, cultural reductionism, ethnocentrism, European modernity, Islam and the West, multiple modernities, non-Western concepts of peace, Orientalism, Western intellectual heritage