Blog

Blog2017-12-03T23:31:46+00:00

Welcome to my blog! Every week, I will post at least one article on something involving wicked problems either in peacebuilding or comparative politics. I define those fields very broadly, so you’ll probably be surprised by some of the topics I end up covering.

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Conflict Mapping

Systems mapping is a key skill in conflict analysis and resolution. Unfortunately, we rarely explain why it is to our students. As a result, they often see constructing those diagrams as a waste of time. So, here is a quick introduction to why and how we use systems maps to understand the way a given conflict evolves and then how we could go about doing it.

By |September 17th, 2018|Categories: Creative, Design, Ideas|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Conflict Mapping

When Peacebuilding Doesn’t Work

Peacebuilders have historically shied away from the fact that our tools and techniques won’t and can’t solve all of the world’s problems. Because we will be covering the topic in our textbook and our students are already asking us, here’s a first look at the circumstances in which peacebuilding doesn’t work and an even more worrisome discussion of what happens when we don’t use peacebuilding principles in our actions.

By |September 10th, 2018|Categories: Current Events and Trends, Examples, Ideas, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on When Peacebuilding Doesn’t Work

Understanding Conflict

This week, my friend Doug Irvin-Erickson is off in Norway for a conference on genocide prevention, so I get to teach his class on the nature of conflict. Since he actually covered much of that topic the first session, I decided to cast a very broad net to set the analytical and political agenda for the course—and for the rest of the students’ lives.

By |September 3rd, 2018|Categories: Creative, Current Events and Trends, Events, Examples, Ideas|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Understanding Conflict

Teaching Peace in the Time of Trump

This week begins a new school year in which I’ll be playing a small part in teaching an introductory course on conflict in our world at George Mason University. I’m not the lead instructor, and I’ll mostly be listening and learning, looking for material to use in the textbook I’m writing with Doug Irvin-Erickson, who is the actual instructor. Still, I can’t NOT worry about the challenges and responsibilities that come with teaching about peace and conflict studies now that we are almost two years into the Trump administration. Some of the questions I ask are the same ones that have been around since I was on the other side of the professorial desk in the 1960s. Some of them are new.

By |August 27th, 2018|Categories: Current Events and Trends, Examples, Ideas|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Teaching Peace in the Time of Trump