What are the connections between men and masculinity on the one hand and peace and war on the other? What are the best ways to change the traditional perception of masculinity to make it more favourable to peace? In what ways can we best educate boys and young men to embrace the spirit of a culture of peace? How should peace-building strategies handle questions of masculinities? These are crucial questions that have, until now, rarely been tackled.
The chapters in this book take as a point of departure the expert group meeting entitled 'Male Roles and Masculinities in the Perspective of a Culture of Peace', which was organized by UNESCO in Oslo in 1997. The objective of the meeting was to pool the talents and energies of experts in this field to formulate practical suggestions for change from the deep-rooted patterns of the culture of war to a gender-sensitive culture of peace.
The chapters vary from regional case-studies from three continents to social-scientific research on the connections of traditional masculinity and patriarchy to violence and peace-building. The focus is on approaches that favour masculine peace-building capabilities rather than those that dwell on destructive capacities. The Culture of Peace initiatives in this book show how violence is ineffective, and the book contests the far-too-frequent views in the socialization of boy-children that aggressiveness, violence and force are an acceptable means of expression and could contribute to sustainable solutions to conflicts. These initiatives point towards an exciting gender-balanced, post-patriarchal society for the millennium.