Galtung, groundbreaking professor in ‘peace’, passes away

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Kathmandu, 18 Feb: Johan Galtung, a revered Norwegian Professor and towering figure in the realm of Peace and Conflict studies, passed away at the age of 93 on Saturday.

Internationally acclaimed as the ‘father of peace studies’, Galtung was the founder of the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) in 1959-world’s first of this kind. He subsequently established the Journal of Peace Research in 1964.

‘Gandhi’s Political Ethics’ co-authored with Arne Naess, published in 1955, was Galtung’s first academic book. “From the beginning, Galtung has been dedicated to identifying the necessary and sufficient causes for peace and equity. This was the successful outcome of the internalization of Gandhian Ethics by the mind of a scientist,” says Galtung Institute.

Galtung, born on 24th October 1930 in Oslo, Norway became world’s first professor of Peace Research at the University of Oslo in 1969 that spanned a decade till 1978. After he left the University of Oslo, he moved to his international career.

In his academic career of over 70 years, he has more than 150 books to his name. A nonagenarian, who was the first recipient of the Humanist Prize of the Norwegian Humanist Association in 1988, gave to the field of peace and conflict various of its key concepts.

Galtung remains a regularly invited expert in conflict situations at all levels, all over the world. Notable cases include the peace agreement between Ecuador and Peru, another recent case he helped resolve was the dispute between Denmark and the Muslim world over the cartoons depicting Mohammed in a degrading manner according to Galtung Institute.

“His pioneering spirit, coupled with his unwavering commitment to promoting nonviolent conflict resolution and social justice, leaves an enduring legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. Though he may no longer walk among us, his spirit lives on in the countless lives he touched and the transformative impact of his work,” notes Scott Smith in an obituary to Galtung.