Charles “Chip” Hauss wears four professional hats as
- Senior Fellow for Innovation and emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)
- Visiting Scholar at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Resolution
- Writer and blogger on peace/conflict studies and comparative politics
- He is an admittedly small scale investor in peacebuilding and related projects
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. Among other things, he facilitated hundreds of workshops, helped lead the movement in New England, and spent a year on its national staff as part of its academic outreach team. 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. That experience convinced him that he had to make a professional commitment which 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 2006, he moved to the Alliance for Peacebuilding where he serves as its Senior Fellow for Innovation and serves as an emeritus (but active) member of its Board of Directors.
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. He began his writing career as a political scientist and enjoyed success with his textbook, Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges, the tenth edition of which was published in 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.
In the last thirty years, he has focused on peacebuilding and conflict resolution. 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.
In 2019, he published 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 their 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.
He is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Connecting the Dots: Building the Next United States which he expects to finish in 2022. It will build on his expertise in political science, peace and conflict studies, and innovation and will be anchored in the professional and political networks he has helped build since the late 1960s.
Last but not least, Hauss is an early adopter of information technology tools. Therefore, he has created www.charleshauss.info, 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.
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 the most recent addition to his professional life, he has become a small scale investor in peacebuilding and related startups through the Sandles-Hauss Family Trust. It provides seed funding for new projects at AfP and the Mary Hoch Center in the United States, helps fund at least one new peacebuilding initiative a year, and serves as an initial institutional investor in the Zebras Unite coop.
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 recent capital campaign. He also contributed startup funds for 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 is an active blogger on Medium, Linkedin, and other sites that try to transfer the norms and forms of long form and critical journalism to the Internet.