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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This week's blog post deals with the role that models and theories should play in peacebuilding, especially for practitioners. Rather than developing theory for theories sake, use of theories of change embedded in systems models can make a world of difference.
Over the last twenty years, I’ve spent most of my time as a peacebuilding practitioner. However, I recently found myself spending more time in academia again. That got me thinking about how the ways we train young peacebuilding professionals affects the field and vice versa. Musings turned into serious thinking when I was asked to write an introductory textbook on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It really got serious when I was asked to blurb Agniezka Paczynska and Susan Hirsch’s new book, Conflict Zone, Comfort Zone.
I have long been fascinated by evolution. Here, I try to explore how expanding peacebuilding is our next evolutionary challenge.
What follows are some tentative ideas about the possibility for a popular movement in support of peacebuilding that could lead to dramatic shifts in public policy here in the United States and beyond. Before digging into those ideas, I want to emphasize the disclaimer that appears at the bottom of all of my blog posts. There are my ideas and my ideas only. At AfP and in the other communities I hang out in, people are just beginning to think in terms of movements. So, this post is the beginning of a discussion, not an end. Ideas are always welcome by email.
In the last few years, I’ve become a late adopter and zealous convert to video teleconferencing software. It’s only surprising that it took me this long.
There are people who do what they call peace journalism and cover stories that, well, deal with peace. Here, I present the ideas of another set of journalists who may offer us even more, because they are grappling with the best ways to cover conflict that can lead to more constructive options.