World Peace through the Town Hall
Introduction to 2015 edition A Strategy for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace

World Peace through the Town Hall


1) The difference between "peace" and "culture of peace" and a brief history of the culture of war

2) The role of the individual in culture of war and culture of peace

3) Why the state cannot create a culture of peace

4) The important role of civil society in creating a culture of peace

--Peace and disarmament movements

--Ecology movement

--Movements for human rights

--Democracy movements

--Women's movement

--International understanding, tolerance and solidarity

--Movements for free flow of information

--The strengths and weaknesses of civil society

5) The basic and essential role of local government in culture of peace

--Sustainable development

--Human rights

--Democratic participation

--Women's equality


--Transparency and the free flow of information

--Education for a culture of peace

--Security and public safety

--Some ongoing initiatives

6) Assessing progress toward a culture of peace at the local level

--Culture of peace measurement at the level of the state

7) Going global: networking of city culture of peace commissions

8) The future transition of the United Nations from control by states to popular control through local governmental representatives

9) What would a culture of peace be like?


During the seven years since publication of the 2008 edition, the world has continued to move rapidly towards a collapse of the old order based on the culture of war.

The global movement for a culture of peace has advanced much more slowly, although there are an enormous number of actions that contribute to it. Many of them are described in the pages of the Culture of Peace News Network and my newest book, "Embrace the Fire; Cultivate a Culture of Peace."

I remain convinced that we need to develop a global network of culture of peace cities and towns that could take the place of the culture of war nation-states that established and continue to dominate the United Nations.

Unfortunately, I have been disappointed by the lack of progress by culture of peace cities. The city peace commissions that looked so promising in 2008 have failed to continue developing, and in the case of Brazil, they have fallen backwards.

Meanwhile, I have gained experience with a Peace Commission in my hometown of New Haven (CT) in the United States. As a result of this experience, I have found that the process of establishing an annual assessment of progress towards a culture of peace is much easier than I thought in the 2008 edition. Hence, I have completely revised that section of the book.

Continued on next page

To take part in a discussion about this page, click below on the Culture of Peace Dialogues:

discussion board

The History of the Culture of War

What is culture and how does it evolve

Warfare in prehistory and its usefulness

The culture of war in prehistory

Data from prehistory before the Neolithic

Enemy images: culture or biology

War and the culture of war at the dawn of history

--Ancient Mesopotamia

--Ancient Egypt

--Ancient China

--Ancient Greece and Rome

--Ancient Crete

--Ancient Indus civilizations

--Ancient Hebrew civilization

--Ancient Central American civilization

Warfare and the origin of the State

Religion and the origin of the State

A summary of the culture of war at the dawn of history

The internal culture of war: a taboo topic

The evolution of the culture of war over the past 5,000 years: its increasing monopolization by the state

--1.Armies and armaments

--2.External conquest and exploitation: Colonialism and Neocolonialism

--3.The internal culture of war and economies based on exploitation of workers and the environment

--4.Prisons and penal systems

--5.The military-industrial complex

--6.The drugs-for-arms trade

--7.Authoritarian control

--8.Control of information

--9.Identification of an "enemy"

--10.Education for the culture of war

--11.Male domination

--12.Religion and the culture of war

--13.The arts and the culture of war



Summary of the history of the culture of war