Without sustainable peace building, it will be close to impossible to prevent and resolve the interlocking crises in the 21st century.
Intellectual solidarity is of vital importance; it’s necessary to reduce and eradicate epistemic violence.
Epistemic violence is furthered by: (1) the existence of a rough and unleveled playing field, (2) a reductionist research process, (3) gaps in the research, and (4) efforts to block critical research and restrain academic freedom.
Each century has its up’s and downs, its crises and achievements. The 21st century will be very different. First, because of the relentless ongoing globalization of trade, financial transactions, information and communication and of awareness. The increasing global awareness gives raise to clashes between different perceptions and feelings and to changes in the global political- psychological climate. The relative deprivation and the double standards cause considerable tension. A deeper understanding of international relations demands more attention to these soft realities. Dominique Moïsi , for example ‘ points to three emotions that characterize today’s international landscape : hope in Asia; fear in the West, and humiliation in the Muslim community. Second, we are confronted with several interlocking crises, which could transform into a mega crisis. They relate to competition over resources , weapons of mass destruction , terrorism and anti-terrorism , militarism and weaponisation , financial transactions , population , food shortages , climate change , water, and the marginalization of the majority . The lack of sufficient international cooperation and of good governance at the global level make the prevention and management of a mega crisis very difficult. Third, it is becoming clear that there are limits to growth, warfare, aid, free market, liberal democracy and to scientific analysis. It took decennia before the message of the Club of Rome was put on the political agenda. The limits of warfare to remove unfriendly regimes and control energy and water resources are now patently obvious in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. These wars are fought by rich and powerful democracies. The latest financial debacle exposed the defects of an uncontrolled free market. The imposition of liberal democracy on the third world contributed to weak and failed states, anocracy, instability and internal violence. The limits of scientific research will be discussed later in this paper.