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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

America and its Guns

America and its Guns On Saturday, my wife and I went to the March for Our Lives in Washington. I haven’t worked much on gun issues over the years. But, like most of the people I know, it’s clear to me that we’ve reached a turning point at which a) we have to do something and b) the political tides have begun to shift enough for things to begin to change. Emphasis on begin. The fact that I’ve never fired a gun should probably suggest where my preferences lie. However, I also know that there is no simple “gun control” answer that could be passed into law, let alone solve the multi-faceted problem of gun violence that [...]

America and its Guns 2018-03-26T15:46:09+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

Are We Family?

Are We Family? I recently read AJ Jacobs’ It’s All Relative and reviewed it on my web site. It made me think a lot (as well as laugh a lot), so I thought I would spend this week’s blog post reflecting on what I take to be his implications for the work I do as a peacebuilder and a student of comparative politics. The book traces the way Jacobs used his global family reunion and its meme, “I am a cousin,” to help people see that we are all connected and, indeed, (distantly) related. Jacobs is a writer, not an activist. So, it is hardly surprising that he didn’t take some of the implications of “we are [...]

Are We Family? 2018-01-07T21:33:57+00:00