Charles “Chip” Hauss is Senior Fellow for Innovation and emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) where he has worked since 2007.
In recent years, he has been part of AfP’s team that builds “space” in which members of the peace building community and the military can work together, which surprises many people because of his past anti-war activism and conscientious objector status. Now, he also works on AfP’s Peacebuilding 3.0 initiative, which attempts to build broader public support for peacebuilding and its efforts to bring systems analysis and complexity theory into peacebuilding.
After majoring in ending the war in Vietnam, Hauss largely took a sabbatical from activism and advocacy while launching his academic career. In the 1980s, however, he became active in the Beyond War movement, facilitating hundreds of workshops, and spending a year on its national staff. After moving to Washington (with a sojourn in the United Kingdom), the peacebuilding component of his career took off after two trips to train young Palestinian professionals in conflict resolution which, in turn, led to six years at Search for Common Ground beginning in 2000. At Search, Hauss was part of a team that pioneered consensus building approaches to public policy making in the United States on such issues as health care, President Bush’s faith based initiative, HIV/AIDS, prisoner reentry, and a nearly successful effort to create a federally funded United States Consensus Council.
In everything he has done, Hauss has tried to be a political bridge builder who brings “strange political bedfellows” together to help solve problems that can only be effectively addressed if people with different viewpoints work together. In that work, he relies heavily on complexity theory and other holistic approaches that stress the long-term costs of actions that harm others and the potential long-term gains that can be achieved through collaboration.
After four decades focusing on global politics, his emphasis has shifted toward changing the way Americans deal with conflict. In 2016, he began representing AfP in a number of initiatives designed to enhance peacebuilding and democracy in the United States.
Hauss is also a veteran author. The tenth edition of his Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges was published in October 2017. The volume long has long been one of the market leading texts in the field. Each new edition includes as much new material as a standard trade press book on politics. He also is the author of three books on conflict resolution and peace building and three more on French politics. Comparative Politics.
Security 2.0: Dealing with Global Wicked Problems is the lead volume in a series published by Rowman and Littlefield and the Alliance for Peacebuilding which he edits. The book explores why we need a paradigm shift in the way we govern ourselves, what such a new mindset would like, and, more importantly, initiatives people around the world have already begun that could be “taken to scale” and turn what many think of as pipe dreams into realities.
He is currently beginning work on an introductory textbook tentatively entitled From Conflict Resolution to Peacebuilding which explores the way peacebuilding has evolved in our VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. Though it draws heavily on the work of AfP, its member organizations, and its global partners, the book will give equal weight to interpersonal and other “micro” level initiatives. And, it places the field in an historical context that traces the field from its origins in “getting to yes” and similar initiatives, its expansion to include intractability conflicts at the interpersonal and international level, and its current evolution into complexity science and analysis which has also taken it into new substantive arenas, including those he already works on and others.
Last but not least, Hauss is an early adopter of information technology tools. Therefore, he is creating www.charleshauss.info which will be a site at which serious discussion of serious issues can take place as well as serve as a “one stop shop” for his own work. It will be fully operational in November 2017. A (very) rudimentary beta version is available.
Although no longer teaching, Hauss spent almost forty years in the classroom, most notably at Colby College, George Mason University, and the University of Reading (UK). He has taught a wide variety of courses in comparative politics, international relations, and conflict resolution. In one form or another, each explored aspects of the political implications of globalization and ways individuals can take personal as well as political responsibility for their lives and for the world.
In addition to his professional life, Hauss volunteers for Oberlin College. He has served on its Alumni Council and the Washington DC regional steering committee for the college’s recet capital campaign. He is also providing seed money for and helping direct the planning of the Oberlin Social Capital Fund that will help college students fund internships in organizations that could help launch careers in any area of social change.
Hauss holds a BA in Government form Oberlin College and a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Gretchen Sandles, live inside the infamous Beltway in Falls Church VA. In his spare time, he reads mystery novels, watches entirely too much sports on television, and enjoys explaining the rules of soccer, cricket, and rugby (both codes) to bewildered Americans.
He can be reached at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @chiphauss and is an active blogger on Medium, Linkedin, the PCDN and other sites that try to translate the norms of long form and critical journalism to the Internet.