Our scientific understanding of peaceful societies – and of the conditions and processes conducive to sustaining peace in multicultural societies in general – is fragmented at best. This paper addresses this gap, presenting a case study of a multicultural society often hailed for its high levels of peacefulness– Mauritius. Through a systematic review of the literature on Mauritius and qualitative interviews and focus groups with a wide range of Mauritian stakeholder groups, the study focused on gleaning insights from the lived experiences of a broad swath of Mauritian society around what it takes to maintain peace in a multicultural context. The study is one component of a comprehensive, multi-method project on sustaining peace, which combines theory development, empirical validation, complexity visualization and mathematical modeling with grounded insights of citizens living in peace in resilient communities and societies around the globe. Findings from this study provide support for the necessity of employing a complexity lens in understanding peace, and offers a nuanced understanding some of the contradictions evident in how everyday peace is often maintained in these societies.

Author Bio(s)

Naseem Aumeerally is a faculty member in the English Department of the University of Mauritius. She has published on multiculturalism, anti-discrimination policies, South Asian diasporic literature and Bollywood cultures. Her research interests are in minority Muslim cultures, Muslim popular culture, and Creole publics.

Allegra Chen-Carrel is a Program Manager for the Sustaining Peace Project at the Earth Institute’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity at Columbia University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Organizational Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and her research interests include intergroup dynamics.

Peter T. Coleman is a professor at Columbia University and Teachers College, the Executive Director of the Earth Institute’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity at Columbia University, and the Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University. His current research focuses on conflict intelligence and systemic wisdom, including projects on adaptive negotiation and mediation dynamics, cross-cultural adaptivity, justice and polarization, multicultural conflict, intractable conflict, and sustaining peace.


sustaining peace, peaceful societies, Mauritius



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