Towards a geography of peace: pacific geopolitics and evangelical Christian Crusade apologies
Author: Megoran, Nick
Source: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Volume 35, Number 3, July 2010 , pp. 382-398(17)
Abstract:Geographers have been better at studying war than peace. Critical geopolitics in particular has proved adept at uncovering and explicating the circumstances and techniques whereby geopolitical reasoning constructs and reinforces divisions and thus underwrites exclusion, fear and ultimately violence. However, it has been much weaker at exploring the conditions whereby these processes might be reversed. It is thus important that geographers move beyond oppositional critiques and develop the tools to identify and explore transformative possibilities for peace. This is here termed `pacific geopolitics', defined as the study of how ways of thinking geographically about world politics can promote peaceful and mutually enriching human coexistence. This is demonstrated with reference to the Reconciliation Walk, a grassroots US evangelical Christian project that retraced the route of the First Crusade in apology for it. It catalysed a remarkable transformation in its leaders' geopolitical understandings of Arab-Israeli disputes. This points to the power of intimate geographical knowledge to challenge abstract geopolitical visions, exemplifying the potential contribution of pacific geopolitics.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2010-07-01