Over the last twenty years, I’ve spent most of my time as a peacebuilding practitioner. However, I recently found myself spending more time in academia again. That got me thinking about how the ways we train young peacebuilding professionals affects the field and vice versa. Musings turned into serious thinking when I was asked to write an introductory textbook on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It really got serious when I was asked to blurb Agniezka Paczynska and Susan Hirsch’s new book, Conflict Zone, Comfort Zone.
What follows are some tentative ideas about the possibility for a popular movement in support of peacebuilding that could lead to dramatic shifts in public policy here in the United States and beyond. Before digging into those ideas, I want to emphasize the disclaimer that appears at the bottom of all of my blog posts. There are my ideas and my ideas only. At AfP and in the other communities I hang out in, people are just beginning to think in terms of movements. So, this post is the beginning of a discussion, not an end. Ideas are always welcome by email.
In the last few years, I’ve become a late adopter and zealous convert to video teleconferencing software. It’s only surprising that it took me this long.
I had planned to write about ideas peacebuilders could draw from the business world until I spoke at (and mostly listened) a workshop organized the Rondine Cittadella del Pace. I was blown away and decided to put off dealing with the business world until next week. The staff along with a number of current and former students came to the United States and Canada to launch their Leaders for Peace. The idea is simple. Rondine is asking the 193 UN member states to redirect part of their defense spending toward training young leaders for peace, the way it has for the last twenty years.