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Kathleen Malley-Morrison, Ed.D.

Department of Psychology
Boston University

  "Thinking about State Aggression and the Right to Peace"

The Group on International Perspectives on Governmental Aggression and Peace (GIPGAP) has been collecting qualitative responses to the Personal and Institutional Rights to Aggression and Peace Survey (PAIRTAPS) from ordinary people around the world for approximately five years. The survey includes both rating scale and open-ended items designed to assess people's views concerning such issues as the extent to which governments have a right to invade another country, torture prisoners in times of war, and disobey international laws and agreements. The survey also includes items asking whether individuals have the right to protest against war and in favor of peace, and whether they and their children have the right to live in a world of peace. Thousands of participants from every continent except Antarctica have responded to the survey. In coding their qualitative responses we have been particularly interested in how they frame justifications for war and torture as well as how they frame rejection of government-sponsored aggression. We have found George Lakoff's work on framing to be quite useful, along with Albert Bandura's work on moral disengagement and engagement.

In this talk, I will focus on insights from these theoretical approaches, and the extent to which they help us understand the level of tolerance for inhumane behavior that we often find in U.S. responses as compared with those from many other nations.


Wednesday, November 3rd, 4:15 p.m.
Science Center 101

Co-sponsored by Dept. of Psychology, the Intercultural Center, the Alumni Relations,
Dept. of Political Science, Dept. of Religion, Educational Studies, and Peace & Conflict Studies