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Anthropological insights for creating non‐warring social systems

Douglas Fry (Åbo Akademi University and University of Arizona)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 16 July 2009



Cross‐cultural studies show that most, but not all, human societies engage in warfare. Some non‐warring societies cluster as peace systems. The existence of peace systems, and non‐warring societies more generally, shows that warfare is not an inevitable feature of human social life. This article considers three peace systems in some detail: Brazil's Upper Xingu River basin tribes, Aboriginal Australians, and the European Union. A primary goal is to explore features that contribute to peace in each of the three non‐warring systems. What do these peace systems suggest about how to prevent war? Provisionally, key elements would seem to be the promotion of interdependence among the units of the peace system, creation of cross‐cutting links among them, the existence of conflict resolution procedures, and belief systems (including attitudes and values) that are anti‐war and pro‐peace.



Fry, D. (2009), "Anthropological insights for creating non‐warring social systems", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 4-15.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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