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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AfP’s PeaceCon 2018

The Alliance for Peacebuilding held its annual conference last week. With more than 600 attendees at an open day at the United States Institute of Peace and more than 300 at two more days for our members, it was by far the largest such event we’ve ever put on. We also learned more than we have in any other year. Some of that came in larger sessions, some of which had keynote speakers. These will appear on the AfP web site sooner rather than later.

By |October 29th, 2018|Categories: Current Events and Trends, Events, Examples, Ideas|Tags: , , |Comments Off on AfP’s PeaceCon 2018

PeaceCon 2918

The Alliance for Peacebuilding will be hosting its annual conference, PeaceCon this week, October 24-26. As usual, the first day is held at USIP and is open to the public free of charge. The other two days are at FHI360 and does have a registration fee. Over 450 people are registered to attend at least one of the three days. Also as usual, the conference will include plenary talks, working groups, and lots of discussions in the hallway. It is a time for professionals in the field to learn about cutting edge practices and to address some new challenges that are usually presented in the plenary sessions.

By |October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Events|Tags: , |Comments Off on PeaceCon 2918

Opting Out of War

In 2013, Mary Anderson and Marshall Wallace published Opting Out of War. The book chronicles and analyzes thirteen places where average citizens and their leaders consciously decided not to take part in a war that was swirling around them. Last week, Doug Irvin-Erickson had his introductory students work with their ideas, and they came up with some ideas that we all should consider because they can be applied back to countries in crisis today, including the United States.

By |October 15th, 2018|Categories: Creative, Examples, Ideas|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Opting Out of War

A New Initiative

I attended the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) conference last week in order to learn more about up-to-date tools used by mediators for my book and to begin the soft launch of a new initiative being led by ACR, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, George Mason's School for Conflict Analysis and resolution, and Rowman and Littlefield publishers. We have all decided that we need to expand the work that is being done so that win/win conflict resolution and the like become more central components of everything from our popular culture to our political decision making. We have a pretty good idea of what the problems we face happen to be. What's less clear--and what this initiative will address--are the unique skills we "bring to the table" and how we can best put them to use. While there, I listened a lot and gave two short talks which I've summarized here.

By |October 8th, 2018|Categories: Current Events and Trends, Ideas|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on A New Initiative

A Fiftieth Reunion

I just got home from planning my fiftieth reunion at Oberlin College. I owe pretty much everything I am politically and professionally to the place, so I do what I can to help the place. In this case, I had two sets of reactions that seemed worth sharing on the six hour drive my hybrid and I had coming home last night.

By |October 1st, 2018|Categories: Creative, Events, Ideas|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on A Fiftieth Reunion

Beyond Identity

Peacebuilders’ interest in social psych has a long history. During the Cold War, we learned a lot about concepts like the image of the enemy. After it, we had to deal with qualitatively different kinds of conflicts that revolved around race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, and other “identity” issues. We made huge progress during the 1990s as we developed analytical tools and embarked on programs that attempted to bring people on all sides of these emotionally charged issues together.

By |September 24th, 2018|Categories: Current Events and Trends, Ideas|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Beyond Identity