Current Events and Trends

Peace Education

Peace Education One day last week, I was sitting in undergraduate classes at George Mason University in preparation for writing my peace and conflict studies textbook with the class’s instructor, Doug Irvin-Erickson. The next day, I attended my seven year old grandson’s first grade play which was a musical based on Lynne Cherry's book, The Great Kapok Tree. Both events drove home the importance of peace education, a topic that has not been on my radar screen enough in recent years. It should have been and will be as we write the book and then in how we focus our work afterward. The members of both classes had spent some time discussing how and where their own personal views [...]

Peace Education 2018-04-23T12:53:58+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

Russian Election

Russia's Election and its Political Life I’ve been thinking a lot about Russia these days and not just because Russian meddling and its elections are all over the news . The facts about last weekend's election are widely known, and there is a growing consensus about its interference in American and other elections if not its collaboration with the Trump and various European campaigns. If you want to see my take on all that, visit my update site that  accompanies my textbook, Comparative Politics. If I have anything useful to add to the broader discussion of things Russian, it comes from my reflections on my first experiences in dealing with the then Soviet Union as a teacher, scholar, [...]

Russian Election 2018-03-20T17:41:20+00:00