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A geopolitics of peace

Denise Pumain
Cet article est une traduction de :
Une géopolitique de la paix

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1Having already paid tribute to a Nobel Prize in Economics in these columns, our European journal could not contain its delight when, on October 15th, 2012, the Norwegian Academy awarded the Nobel Peace Price to the European Union. Jean Monnet said that nothing is done without men, but nothing lasts without institutions. Whether one is for or against the European Union, whether one approves or disapproves of the options it announces, whether one is impatient with or becomes alarmed by the slow progress in its power of integration--in geography, we must salute its construction. A territory that invents itself, no longer by conquest, nor by intimidation, but in the patient weaving of links between all of its component parts, by the play of multiple actors on every level of its organization, in accepting that this self-organized co-evolution brings about the emergence of an entity that would not be totally predictable, but always adaptable-perhaps the conditions of durability are united here.

2Above all, this product of the collective intelligence that Victor Hugo had dreamed of, tends to strongly recommend, of course without completely achieving it, the resolution of conflicts through negotiation, the protection of persons against the abuses of exploitation and the arbitrary nature of authorities, the consultation with and integration of forms of knowledge and action, the respect of geo-diversity in languages, cultures, landscapes. These tendencies, perhaps insufficiently affirmed, are necessary for the successful achievement of durable development, difficult among all parties for guiding the objectives of economic performance, of preservation of the environment for future generations, and of social cohesion in this way—these tendencies are contradictory in terms of the individual and collective values invented up to the present time. Geographers, with their intimate conviction of the necessary geo-diversity of the world, with their instruments continually being improved with multiple sensors and multiple grids to explore the dynamics and evolutions of complex systems in order to bring them about, could figure among the privileged actors in this territorial construction, of its interpretation and its evaluation. And they could well conclude provisionally concerning the European Union that, as Magritte might have said, “this is not a model”. But all Europeans whose families and networks of connections were amputated by the wars might continue to think “peace is without a price”.

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Denise Pumain, « A geopolitics of peace », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 12 octobre 2012, consulté le 19 avril 2018. URL :

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