Peace cultures thrive on and are nourished by visions of how things might be, in a world where sharing and caring are part of the accepted lifeways for everyone.

Elise Boulding

The purpose of this website is to promote peacefulness through the study of societies that are already peaceful. It opened on the Web as an independent, scholarly website in January 2005 and eleven years later, in January 2016, it moved under the umbrella of the Department of Anthropology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In May 2020 it moved to the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The website supports the goals of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at UNCG and its dedication to knowledge development and high-quality, professional training in conflict transformation and peace building. The heart of the Peaceful Societies website, the Encyclopedia of Peaceful Societies, provides brief descriptions of 25 groups chosen because they have been able, either at the present time or in the recent past, to effectively diffuse anger, avoid and resolve conflicts, build respect for others, take their beliefs in nonviolence seriously, and cherish the other essential ingredients of peacefulness within and between communities. The site includes an archive of news and review articles, posted weekly by Bruce Bonta until his death in September 2021, which expand and modify our understandings of the ways nonviolence plays out in the real worlds of those 25 societies. The website also contains an extensive bibliography on peaceful societies.

Website Founder

Bruce D. Bonta (1941-2021). MLS, 1969 (University of Maine). Associate Librarian Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University. Book: Peaceful Peoples: An Annotated Bibliography (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1993). Several journal articles and papers about peaceful societies. Obituary