Oppositional constructions of peace and war and simplistic equations of peace with justice obscure the importance of activities primarily geared toward the limitation of harm. The medieval and patristic legacy of thinking with peace restricts peace to variants of a singular concept that dictates the diplomatic and domestic policy of modern states. At the same time, secular political theory has moved away from medieval clerical acknowledgment of compatibilities between turbulence and peace, producing temporally bounded categories of peace and war that facilitate damage or at best allow harm to endure. In this discourse, social disruption must act as signifier for more general (structural and systemic) violence—but then is repressed on exactly the same terms, making it difficult to arrive at solutions for conflict on the ground without renouncing calls for justice and equity in the long term.

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