”Generic peace” and “The peace”: a discourse
The study of peace as a concept, and in practice, has gained momentum since the end of the Cold War. Studying peace and teaching peace has become almost a fashion with a number of people identifying themselves as peace workers, Students of peace, and peace researchers. This implies that there are others who are peace employers, peace instructors, and peace funders and donors. In the process, the word peace has tended to lose its true meaning because perpetrators of violence have managed to expropriate the jargon of peace and have subsequently justified their atrocities in the name of peace. Mercenaries, for instance have been portrayed as peace enforcers or messiahs in chaotic situations. At the same time, there have been developments in the intellectual arena as to the meaning of peace or the varieties of peace, meaning that peace can be plural rather than simply singular. Whether one talks of peace in singular or peaces, there are levels of peace in terms of conception and practice. It is the question of levels that creates the distinction between generic peace and The Peace. This distinction is political and has a class base, separating the rulers from the ruled or the subjects. This separation can be applied at the domestic or local political level or at the international level when it comes to dealing with matters of states. This brings up the notion of four peaces lumped into two categories of generic peace and The peace with each category having an international and a domestic dimension.
Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 218-228