Peace-Oriented Development and Its Components

Document Type : Research Paper


Professor, Faculty of Law & Political Science, University of Tehran, Iran


Peace, democracy, and development are considered three important concepts in social science, and are extremely relevant to the problems of  both developed and developing countries. Nevertheless, the experiences of modern capitalist world with neo-liberal and market-oriented policies have shown that creating harmonious relations between state, society and economy is problematic and challenging. As a result, a large group of the poor people in the global community have not enjoyed the benefits of peace, democracy, and development. In fact, we are witnessing all kinds of problems such as insecurity, violence, war, extremism, authoritarianism, oppression, environmental problems, poverty and lack of welfare for the majority of nations in the international system. The root causes of these problems can be found in the philosophical foundations of modernity and capitalism in which concerns with peace, mortality, human rights, and environmental protection are left to market forces, and the state and non-state actors such as companies which are dependent on them.
The author intends to explore peace-oriented development as an alternative paradigm with a critical, holistic political economy approach in which the three pillars of state, capital, and civil society are linked together for all human beings both nationally and globally in order to deal with the problems related to peace, democracy and development. It is argued that development must address strategies for reduction of poverty, unemployment, and inequality at the national and global levels through structural change and industrialization. The achievement of development goals, however, requires a culture based on peace, tranquility, tolerance, fortitude, participation, rationality, as well as democratic institutional mechanisms.
In this paper, the author seeks to answer the following research questions: 1. What is the nature of peace-based development? 2. What elements does it consist of? 3. How can this model of development help democracy? Since peace, democracy and development are the three main pillars of the peace- at
based development paradigm, therefore, in the research hypothesis, it is argued that the constructive interaction of government, businesses, and civil society based on the peace-oriented development approach increases the probability of balanced development  and democracy at both national and global levels. Peace and security increase the chances of poverty reduction and welfare. Development through structural changes and industrialization leads to the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of unemployment and inequality at national and international levels. However, the realization of development goals requires the culture of peace and tolerance together with active civil society and robust social movements which work towards solving the socio-economic and political problems such as insecurity, gender inequality, environmental degradation with the help of strong institutional arrangements needed for creating a climate conducive to constructive change which is beneficial for all.
The findings suggest that using a holistic and critical approach which  takes into account the linkages between peace, development and democracy may help in ending the misery which continues to wreak havoc on the lives of the poor people in the world, particularly under conditions of uncertainty characterized by the failure of neoliberalism to deal with the persistent economic and political problems which have been intensified by the renewal of the great-power rivalry and the Covid-19 pandemic.


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