The Ecology of Peace

VIDEO | The Ecology of Peace: Formative Childhoods and Peace Building

View to learn about the interrelated links between early childhood development and peace building.

The Ecology of Peace Conceptual Framework

The Ecology of Peace, presented in the video, is a conceptual framework that provides a model for exploring the multiple relationships between early childhood development and peace building. Both of these constructs are complex and expressed at several interrelated levels: individual, family and community. For example, previous work has identified impulsivity (at the individual level), poor child-rearing practices (at the family level), and poverty (at the community level) as factors that can be modified in efforts to reduce violence. However, the associations among these factors are varied and elaborate.

The Ecology of Peace framework provides a set of hypotheses to illuminate the associations between early childhood development and peace building. To connect bio-behavioral models with socio-ecological models of development, we identified 5 components: 

  1. The neurobiology of peace, 
  2. Affiliative bonding, 
  3. Parenting and peacemaking, 
  4. Early learning and peacemaking, and 
  5. Peacemaking to peace building. 

The aim of this segmented analysis is to provide a brief description of each component and the association between the constructs therein. This approach allows for detailed discussion of the five distinct facets of the framework, and the existing scientific theories that support each of them, without diffusion or conflation of critical concepts. By dissecting the framework in this way, we highlight the hypothesized key elements, processes, or pathways associated with early childhood development and peace building. The overview presented in this paper is not exhaustive, but serves to establish a framework for discussion and to guide our systematic review.

Recommended Reading 

Britto, P.R., Gordon, I., Hodges, W., Sunar, D., Kagitsibasi, C., & Leckman, J. (Nov 2014). Ecology of peace: Formative childhood and peace building. In J. Leckman, C. Panter-Brick, R. Salah (Eds.), Pathways to peace: The transformative power of children and families (pp. 64-85). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.