Hiding in Plain Sight: Positive Peace – A Missing, Critical Immeasurable in PA Theory
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This paper explores the notion of positive peace as applied to many aspects of public administration. The easily measured concept of “negative peace” or the absence of war dominates research in the study of peace. Positive peace, which incorporates a vision of society where justice flourishes, diversity is encouraged and conflict is transformed is a richer, yet more difficult to measure concept. In support of this argument, we begin by exploring “what is positive peace?" After exploring the concept of positive peace, we examine where we find the concept hidden in existing Public Administration theory: in the writings of Jane Addams, traditional PA rubrics like POSDCORB, and in Harmon and McSwite's proposed ethic of relationship. Third, we explore how the concepts and skills of peacebuilding could help along the public administration frontiers of social equity (Frederickson, 2005; Gooden, 2014) and complex collaboration (O'Leary et al., 2010). Finally, we briefly review several ways that public administration concepts and skills could help peacebuilding as a field.