Peace History Society

Officers and Board
 PHS Conferences
Peace and Change
Peace and Change blog
Elise M. Boulding Prize

DeBenedetti Prize

Scott Bills Memorial Prize

Lifetime Achievement Award

  Other Resources on the Web
Announcements of Conferences, etc. of Interest to Peace Historians

PHS Photograph Archive

PHS History

PHS Bylaws



Founded in 1964, the Peace History Society encourages, supports, and coordinates scholarly research on peace, nonviolence, and social justice; it also communicates the findings of this scholarly work to the general public.  PHS members seek to broaden the understanding and possibilities of world peace.  They include historians, anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, economists, literary scholars, and others interested in international and military affairs, transnational institutions, nonviolence, and movements for peace and social justice.  Many members teach related course in universities, colleges, or secondary schools; others are students, peace activists, and members of the general public. Drawn not only from North America but from around the world, PHS members are concerned with making peace research relevant to scholarly disciplines, policy-makers, and their own societies.

In the aftermath of the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy and amidst the dimly seen beginnings of the Indochina War, a group of historians organized in December 1963 with the realization that little effort had been made in their field to study peace—and its causes.  Originally named the Conference on Peace Research in History, the organization became the Peace History Society in 1994.  The PHS is an affiliated society of the American Historical Association and a member of the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, the International Peace Research Association, and the International Congress of Historical Sciences.  It is also recognized as an NGO by the United Nations.

The PHS periodically sponsors or cosponsors major conferences.  Their subjects have included “Peace and Sovereignty”; “War and Society”; “The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era”; “Peace and War Issues: Gender, Race, Identity, and Citizenship”; “The Politics of Peace Movements: From Nonviolence to Social Justice”; "Peace Work: The Labor of Peace Activism, Past, Present, and Future”; “Peace Activism and Scholarship: Historical Perspectives of Social, Economic, and Political Change”; “Historical Perspectives on Engendering War, Peace and Justice”; “War And Its Discontents: Understanding Iraq And The U.S. Empire”; “Toward a Peaceful World: Historical Approaches to Creating Cultures of Peace”; “The Inter-personal as Political: Individual Witness for Peace and Justice in Global Perspective”; “Confronting US Power after the Vietnam War: Transnational and International Perspectives on Peace Movements, Diplomacy, and the Law, 1975-2012”; “Envisioning Peace, Performing Justice: Art, Activism, and Cultural Politics in the History of Peacemaking”; and Historical Perspectives on War, Peace, and Religion.” Through these conferences, the PHS seeks to establish a continuing dialogue among its members and with other scholars and activists.

The PHS also works to ensure that peace research is featured at conferences sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the International Peace Research Association, and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.  In addition, it gathers and distributes papers to members and interested libraries and compiles lists of relevant research in progress. 

In numerous ways, the PHS anchors the field of peace history. It awards the Charles DeBenedetti Prize (for an outstanding article in peace history) and the Scott Bills Memorial Prize (for an outstanding first book or dissertation in peace history); works with H-Peace; distributes PHS News; and publishes Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research, the major journal in the field.

Virginia S. Williams, "The Peace History Society: An Affiliate of the AHA since 1963," Perspectives on History (November 2009).
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