Architecture for Peacebuilding in the United States

An Architecture for American Peacebuilding Last week, two of my AfP colleagues and I joined about 70 other people at George Mason University’s Point of View retreat center to take the first steps toward building what we are calling an “architecture for peace” in the United States. The conference was run held using strict Chatham House rules, so I can’t talk much about the specifics of what took place. I can however, talk about What we mean by an architecture for peace Some concrete steps we have already taken and others whose next steps will follow soon and will be discussed in future blog posts I first began thinking of the importance of workshops like this when I attended the launch of Douglas Irvin-Erickson’s [...]

Architecture for Peacebuilding in the United States 2018-05-21T13:03:58+00:00

Doug’s Question

Doug's Question I’ve been sitting in on Doug Irvin-Erickson’s classes in conflict resolution for the last year. They’ve been so good that I’ve asked Doug to write an introductory text book with me, which we’ve tentatively entitled From Conflict Resolution to Peacebuilding. There are lots of reasons why I’ve enjoyed his classes so much that I’ve brought him on board to write the book. None is more important than a tough question he—and others—pose for those of us who are committed to nonviolent forms of conflict resolution. How do you deal with evil? I don’t want to get into definitional squabbles about what evil means here. Doug’s question applies whatever definition you use. So pick an example. Hitler. [...]

Doug’s Question 2018-04-30T15:15:19+00:00

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