Ideas

Republic

A Republic, If We Can Keep It Last week, I was lucky to be invited to a conference, A Republic If We Can Keep It organized by Cornell University’s Center for the Study of Inequality and the New America Foundation. There were only about fifty people in the room at any one time, so we had plenty of time to discuss many of the tough issues that some think are putting American democracy in danger. And, we had quite a crew, including some top academics, journalists, and some anti-Trump republicans. The organizers hoped that adding insights from comparative politics experts could help Americanists understand our turbulent times, which is why I was invited. But, as we dug into [...]

Republic 2018-04-16T14:44:05+00:00

Excellence

Excellence and Peacebuilding I had planned to write a series of blog posts about teaching/learning about peacebuilding now that I’m writing the core of an introductory textbook on the subject. Before I heard Tom Peters being interviewed on the NPR program, 1A, I had not expected the first of those posts that I would deal with excellence in the first one I would be writing. Peters is, after all, one of the preeminent business management gurus of the last thirty years rather than a peacebuilder. However, as he talked about the themes in his new book, The Excellence Dividend and its associated website, Excellence Now.  I realized that a number of his points directly carried over into what [...]

Excellence 2018-04-09T14:58:09+00:00

Evangelical Peacebuilders

Evangelical Peacebuilders About fifteen years ago, I was part of a team at Search for Common that was trying to build consensus around some issues in President George W. Bush’s faith based initiative. Because he knew I had colleagues there, my boss asked me to pay a visit to Wheaton College in Illinois which is often referred to as the  Harvard of the Christian colleges and universities. While there, a student gave me an article by Miroslav Volf which, she told me, we could discuss over breakfast. She opened an entire new world to me—evangelical peacebuilding. Learning about that world also has opened the door to the possibility of creating coalitions that could ease the tensions and polarization [...]

Evangelical Peacebuilders 2018-04-02T17:45:22+00:00

Conflict Mapping

I've reached the point in writing From Conflict Resolution to Peacebuilding at which I have to talk about conflict mapping is a necessary tool in either understanding how conflicts unfold or effectively working to resolve them. The need for that was driven home in a course I'm sitting in on when it became clear that few of the students had had much experience in mapping conflicts. So, along with my friend Liz Hume, we began to bring them up to speed with one of two kinds of tools peacebuilders rely on. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and to some degree one needs to use both. First we showed them how USAID's Conflict Assessment Framework could be used to analyze the [...]

Conflict Mapping 2018-03-04T16:24:31+00:00