New S+F issue: The Logic of Peace – Concept, Practice, Criticism

Dr. Patricia Schneider

The neologism “logic of peace” was created to counteract the replacement of the term “peace” by a broader term of “security” in scientific, political, and social discourses. Even in peace research, one can find advocates of a broader concept of security. However, the supporters of the logic of peace approach want to explain that peace and security are following different immanent patterns which can be described as logics or grammars. Obviously, it makes a theoretical, analytical, and practical difference, if e.g. flight and migration are constructed as challenges for security or for peace politics. In various contexts, “logic of peace” has become established as a catchphrase at least; some parts of the concept have been further detailed so far. “Peace and Security”, this issue edited by Sabine Jaberg, wants to make its contribution to the logic of peace debate, because the approach has the potential to reflect the journal’s two keywords in their peculiarity and their complicated interplay.

The first three articles explain the concept of the logic of peace. Christiane Lammers outlines not only the concept but also its genesis within the context of the German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management, a civil network. It becomes clear that the logic of peace approach was the civil society’s reaction on the ongoing securitization of German politics. Hanne-Margret Birckenbach and Sabine Jaberg merge their approaches in a common article on the project’s heuristic dimension for the first time. Jaberg relies both on Hegel’s theory of concept and on conceptual history, whereas Birckenbach refers to a globalized discourse in peace politics and peace studies. Subsequently, Sabine Jaberg addresses the potential relevance of the approach.

Sophia Abou El-Komboz looks at the concept from an academic guided social practice. She elaborates its five principles and dimension of action with regard to local integration policies, which differs from the logic of security’s perspective driving the federal migration policy. Despite all problems, the author remains optimistic because some logic of peace elements can be found on the local level.

The last three articles look at the logic of peace approach in a critical manner. In particular, they find the distinction between a logic of peace and a logic of security too dogmatic and too dualistic. Therefore, Klaus Ebeling stresses the fact that the recognition of the peace norm (respectively its logic) does not include an absolute obligation for its immediate and complete implementation. Instead, the normative targets have to be translated into indications for a process transformation. Thereby, the author wants to prevent both an unpractical dogmatism and an arbitrary pragmatism. He illustrates his argumentation with the debate on nuclear deterrence. Relying on Fritz Riemann’s depth psychology, Susanne Luithlen re-adjusts the relationship between the logic of peace and the logic of security as different ways of dealing with fear. In this perspective, the opposite to the logic of security – reconstructed as a logic of defence – is the logic of surrender. As a consequence, the logic of peace holds a constructive position in the middle. Wilfried Graf’s critique is going still further and deeper. For him, the problem seems to be located on the wrong level. The decisive distinction does not run between the one logic of peace and the one logic of security but between the metatheories behind in which both logics can be constructed. 

Outside the thematic focus, analyses Cindy Marcela Melo Rincón the role of indigenous and afro-Columbian organizations in the Columbian peace process. Kobby Gomez-Mensah seeks to answer the question why irregular Ghanaian and Nigerian Migrants in Germany fail to return home even when their asylum requests are denied.

Contact the editorial team: Patricia Schneider,
Further information on the issue can be found here: