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American Psychological Association

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Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology

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DOI: 10.1037/pac0000541


In 2020, individuals, societies, and the international community were presented with a myriad of challenges that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social bonds were stretched thin, racial inequity was brought to the forefront, and political polarization deepened. This context heightened the need for effective theoretical frameworks, strategies, and understandings of how to support positive and negative peace and build cultures of peace across varied contexts. In this special section, we present a compendium of articles highlighting various ways that psychologists support these efforts through peace education. The section developed in a pre-COVID context from Christie and Wagner’s (Handbook on peace education, 2010, Psychology Press) call in this journal for peace psychology to be central to peace education. Although the articles themselves do not directly address COVID-19, the racial pandemic, or political polarization, they offer insights into how the intersection of peace psychology and peace education can be used to promote harmonious relations and societies in a post-2020 world. In this introduction, we define peace education and its connections to peace psychology and then summarize each of the articles in the special section while drawing applications to the challenges that emerged in 2020. The rich and diverse articles in this section discuss innovative approaches to peace education that are designed to promote and maintain cultures of peace. This work must continue and accelerate, and more psychologists must invest in advancing such approaches to enhancing the quality of life of individuals and groups worldwide.


Accepted version. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Vol. 27, No. 2 (May 2021): 103-108. DOI. © 2021 American Psychological Association. Used with permission.

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