Prof. Elise M. Boulding


July 6, 1920 — June 24, 2010


Professor Elise M. Boulding was a Norwegian-American sociologist, peace activist, and scholar. She was a prolific author of conflict resolution and is considered a foremother of modern Peace and Conflict Studies. Boulding served as a Professor at Dartmouth College and was nominated for the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. Largely unknown to younger generations, she is an early Professor of Peace and the most recent Pioneer of Peace.

 Essential Thoughts


Peaceableness is an action concept, involving a constant shaping and reshaping of understandings, situations, and behaviors in a constantly changing lifeworld, to sustain well-being for all. This is a far cry from stereotyped notions of peace as a dull, unchanging end state.  Cultures of Peace


Precisely because women are marginal to public decision making in the existing social order, they are freer to develop new approaches.  Cultures of Peace


What the field of peace research is trying to do is to move our energies and our attention and our capabilities away from … deterrence … toward more powerful collaborative types of solutions to international problems. … The nuclear deterrence mode … has no future … The best it can do is continue indefinitely. — "Visioning the Possible"


There is no such thing as a conflict-free society. Conflict is ubiquitous. That ubiquity stems from the basic fact of human individuality and difference in the context of limited physical and social resources. Conflict itself should not be confused with violence.  Cultures of Peace


One important [thing] which you have to be brave to try to do in our society …  is daydreaming, fantasying, visioning, being utopian. Now those are all bad words in our society and yet historically that’s what’s moved the human race ahead. … Daydreaming does not change things in the present but what the daydreaming and the fantasying and the visioning does — it begins to create pictures in the mind that then, one can see … what do I do in the present to bring it about? — "Visioning the Possible"