- 연구원소식 - Jeju, Island of World Peace 컨텐츠
Jeju, Island of World Peace 컨텐츠
Titles [Jeju, Island of World Peace] (No.3 | April 2019)_Jeju’s Strategy for Peacebuilding
Writer JPI  (admin)
2019-04-04 오후 1:55:02


Douglas Yates

Professor of Conflict Resolution at the American Graduate School in Paris


This essay is influenced by an older article by one the most prolific thinkers in peace studies, Johan Galtung, whose h-index of 72 gives him an incontestable name in the field: “Three Approaches to Peace: Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and Peacebuilding” (1976) is a work still cited four decades after its original publication. Galtung’s basic idea was that conventional approaches to ending violent conflict through “peacekeeping” (interposition of international forces to separate armed belligerents) were not sufficient to lasting peace, because they only acted on the immediate effects of violent conflict, but did not resolve the deeper causes of war.  He also found insufficient the by-then fashionable business school “peacemaking” approach (third-party mediations and negotiated settlements) which acted on the conflict attitudes beneath the violent behavior of the parties, but did not change structural sources underlying the dispute.  Violent conflicts may be based on violent attitudes, he felt, but those attitudes are in turn based on real world contradictions.  “Conflict should not be confused with manifestations of conflict in terms of attitude and/or behavior.” (291)  Galtung proposed adding a third option – “peacebuilding” – to address these underlying structural issues and long-term relationships between the conflict parties.


In February 1988, South Korean President Rho Tae Woo announced his intention to normalize diplomatic relations with communist states to isolate North Korea. Thus, in September 1990, South Korea and the Soviet established formal diplomatic ties.  In consideration of North Korea’s shocked reaction to this move and, the first summit between the two countries in April 1991 was held on Jeju, an international resort island, rather than Seoul, the capital and political center.  The meeting of Rho and Mikhael Gorbachev was a milestone in the ending of the Cold War. As a result of its contribution to efforts to build peace, the Korean government declared Jeju an “Island of World Peace” on Jan. 27, 2005.


The declaration wasn’t based solely on Jeju developing as a Mecca for summit diplomacy. Seoul also considered Jeju islanders’ will for reconciliation and human rights in light of the tragic April 3rd Uprising, also known as the 4.3 (“Sasam”) Incident. In 2008 the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park was established as a memorial to this peacemaking process. The “Island of World Peace” designation was also based on recognition several folk traditions of self-reliance and pride, symbolized by Jeju island’s so-called “three absences” (no beggars, no thieves, and no gates) that embody Jeju islander’s cultural traditions for a peaceful community life.


One of the component parts of peacebuilding is peace education.  As the development of the field of peace studies has demonstrated, techniques of conflict resolution go well beyond the military doctrines of ceasefires and the schools of strategic studies which tend to dominate the field.  In order to the preconditions for a lasting and genuine positive peace, the structures of peaceful coexistence and non-violent dispute resolution mechanisms must be taught.  For as Immanual Kant said in his famous essay On Perpetual Peace (1795): “The state of peace among men living side by side is not the natural state (status naturalis) the natural state is one of war. A state of peace, therefore, must be established.”


Jeju Island has been a host to numerous heads of state, and its international profile as an “Island of World Peace” has risen ever since the first Jeju Peace Forum was held in 2001. In the final proclamation of that forum it was suggested that a separate peace institute be founded on the island, and two years later ground was broken for the Jeju International Peace Center. The Jeju Peace Forum has been held regularly on a biennial basis ever since, and the Jeju Peace Institute remains committed to furthering peace studies and promoting regional cooperation. Jeju Peace Institute is a South Korean think tank created in 2006 as a research institution devoted to the study and promotion of peace on the Korean Peninsula and to foster regional cooperation in East Asia. 


The Jeju Forum is a regional multilateral dialogue for promoting peace and prosperity in Asia. It serves as a platform for discussing visions on sustainable peace in the Asia region. Hosted by the government of Jeju’s special self-governing province with the full support of the foreign affairs ministry in Seoul, the Forum was launched in 2001 as Jeju Peace Forum. Meetings had been held biennially before 2009 and when it became an annual event in 2011, and the Forum was renamed “Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity.” The Forum is held in May each year, in Jeju with scores of sessions, including plenary sessions and various networking opportunities. The Forum mission is to build peace in East Asia by facilitating a multilateral dialogue on peace, diplomacy and security among related stakeholders.


The twelfth forum in 2017 attempted to formulate a common vision for Asia’s future. Under the theme of “Reengineering Peace for Asia,” the thirteenth forum in 2018 focused on viable and reasonable measures to establish peace on the Korean peninsula transcending the historic summit talks between the leaders of United States, North Korea, and South Korea. As Galtung theorized, the structure of peace must be broad in scope, with many types of exchange, not just political, not just economic, of a large domain, with more than two parties, and possess a superstructure, an annual conference or organizational framework for the system, like a permanent secretariat or rotating capitals.  The Forum fulfills all three of these ideal elements of peacebuilding.


Douglas A. Yates is a professor of conflict resolution at the American Graduate School in Paris, and a professor of Anglo-American Law at the University of Cergy-Pontoise.  For the past three decades Yates has been researching and writing books and articles about francophone sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on the so-called “resource curse” which affects oil-dependent countries in that region.  His most recent books include The Scramble for African Oil (London: Pluto Press 2012), and the Historical Dictionary of Gabon, 4th ed. (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).