Description: Everyone loves the concept of peace, but no one agrees on just what it means. The field of international relations was established in the aftermath of the WWI to provide a way to resolve conflicts peacefully, but quickly became a vehicle for projecting American power around the world after WWII. The shadow of nuclear war helped to promote a Journal of Conflict Resolution, which was established in 1957, but it now publishes mainly on the causes of war. For more than a century the Nobel Peace Prize committee in Oslo has attempted to award the person who has done “the most or best to advance fellowship among nations” with what we call a peace prize, but still we bitterly disagree on what peace might mean. This is a problem because we now face challenges on a global scale from climate change to cyberwar to great power nationalism to global pandemics that will require our collective use of our moral imagination on a scale not seen since the gilded age of the nineteenth century when the peace prize was invented.
In this project I build on the history of these attempts of the Nobel Committee to celebrate and promote peace by examining the words and deeds of the 135 Nobel Peace laurates. Projecting the lessons of these remarkable examples into the future, we discover that if we would fight for peace today, we will have to learn to deal with the internal tensions in the concept that point us to at least three big questions:
1) If you want to change the world, what is your primary objective? Are you trying to build trust between adversaries, tell the truth about past wrongs, repair the damage of abusive power, or bring people together?
2) Where do you begin? Peace has to be for everyone, but you have to start somewhere and with somebody. Do you work primarily with leaders and decision makers, moving from the top down? Perhaps you are cynical of elites and want to go straight to the people, building mass movements, change on the ground and shifts in public opinion, moving from the bottom up? But have you thought of what it would mean to break with both of these metaphors, turning to the creation and support of with networks of professional actors with shared agendas? This would be change from the middle out.
3) What is the root of the problem you are trying to solve? Are you concerned most about stopping the violence, mayhem and physical insecurity that comes from war and social disorganization? Perhaps you would stand against the arbitrary power of oppressive governments and human rights abuses? Are you most concerned about the role of selfish elites and economic exploitation both within the countries of the global north and/or between the rich and poor countries? Or maybe you worry most about hate, racism, and threats to identity and diversity? We all care about all of these things, but they are distinct and overlapping concerns that feed on different institutional networks of social power.
If you care about the future of the politics of peace and want to act to bring the world into some kind of moral order, you will have to provide your own answers to these three big questions that generations of scholars and activists have tried to answer, only to leave the questions to us in this increasingly dangerous world. The towering examples of the Nobel laureates provide us at least with models of what form those answers must take. In the Big Peace project I try to learn from these examples and share the lessons with you.
His research is focused on the role of ideas, ideologies and intellectuals in public confrontations, formal politics and violent conflict. He specializes in the study of narrative, radical disagreement, reconciliation, and discourse analysis. He is the author of several books, including his most recent, “Root Narrative Theory and Conflict Resolution: Power, Justice and Values.”
UW PACT currently has five active, FDA-approved cell therapies in Phase 1 clinical trials. These include two trials using Cytomegalovirus virus-stimulated T lymphocytes (CMV-VST), another trial for solid organ transplant, a fourth trial for patients xerostomia after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, and a trial for bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients.
Dr. Meyers contributes expertise in GMP Biomanufacturing, drug product quality testing oversight, and documentation preparation and review to PACT. He led the Waisman Biomanufacturing Quality Control program operations at UW-Madison from June 2011 to June 2019 and a team of analytical method validation scientists at the Madison, WI Pharmaceutical Products Development GMP laboratories from February 2006 to June 2011. Dr. Meyers adds over three decades of leadership and technical drug development experience to PACT in the performance, education, training, management and supervision of cell and tissue culture, analytical small molecule, protein and nucleic acid chemistry, vaccine development, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, drug target validation, molecular interaction analysis and cell and in vivo-based bioassay development.
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H