Peace research focuses on the empirical dimensions of violent conflict and provides assessments of, and recommendations for, the effectiveness of peacebuilding diplomacy and agreements. The Kroc Institute’s own Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) project is a global leader in this latter area.
In this issue of Peace Policy, we add an epistemological layer to the analysis of violence and its potential remedy. Specifically, our contributors examine the co-mingling of the two existential crises of our time: the threat of nuclear war and potential planetary destruction through climate change. And they bring different tools to our understanding of this unique and danger-filled moment.
Rachel Bronson notes that in the 20th century, nuclear war posed the singular existential threat for the globe. But when scientific research about the earth’s warming through human action documented a cascade of negative impacts that now threaten human survival, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists used a resetting of its famous icon, The Doomsday Clock, to illustrate why this dual existential crisis defines the 21st century.
Beyond this graphic indicator of the duality of existential threat, Drew Marcantonio and Kristina Hook document the entangled relationship between environmental disaster and several ways in which nuclear security is at risk in the highly destructive Ukraine war.
Gerard (Jerry) Powers provides a synthetic analysis of the manner and substance by which Pope Francis has connected the acute need to deal with the climate crisis and to achieve nuclear disarmament. Powers explains Pope Francis’ condemnation of human over-reliance on technology alone to solve our problems because it cannot succeed without assuming full moral responsibility for each crisis, and the ethical imperative to solve them.
These essays complement each other, providing a more holistic perspective on the dual existential threat of our era. The authors also coalesce around the need for contemporary citizen movements and global leaders to respond to meet these challenges, in ways that are strategic and increasingly urgent.
George A. Lopez, guest editor
“We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices,” warned the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in the January/February 2007 issue of its magazine of the same name.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 is one of most monitored conflicts in the history of warfare. From remote sensing satellite imagery to signals intelligence to social media monitoring, copious data are being collected and analyzed in real time.
Climate change and nuclear disarmament are two legacy issues for Pope Francis. Like the prophets of old, on each issue he has been characteristically outspoken in his blunt, provocative moral judgements.
who we are
Research-based insights, commentary, and solutions to the global challenge of conflict and systemic violence
Searching for Policy Solutions to Pressing Global Issues
Each issue features the writing of scholars and practitioners who work to understand the causes of violent conflict and systemic violence and who seek to contribute solutions in service of building more just and peaceful societies.
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