I just ended a hectic month of traveling with two conferences in the space of a single weekend. I presented a paper on corruption and peacebuilding at the Northeast Regional meeting of the International Studies Association that wasn’t half as interesting as a panel on gendered approaches to international relations which I’ll write about next week. Far more interesting in the short run was the day I spent with a group of community college teachers who were attending an annual conference organized by David Smith. I try to attend whenever I can, but this year I had to drag myself onto the Metro yesterday morning, because I was exhausted from all of the travel and meetings….
Peacebuilders have historically shied away from the fact that our tools and techniques won’t and can’t solve all of the world’s problems. Because we will be covering the topic in our textbook and our students are already asking us, here’s a first look at the circumstances in which peacebuilding doesn’t work and an even more worrisome discussion of what happens when we don’t use peacebuilding principles in our actions.
For the book Doug Irvin-Erickson and I are writing, I was looking for an example of a state of the art peacebuilding project we could build a chapter around. It didn't take us long to settle on a decade-long project that John Paul Lederach helped lead for the McConnell Foundation in Nepal.
Leadership and Disruption I’ve been thinking even more about leadership than I usually do. And I’ve always done it a lot given the fact that I started out as a political scientist. It’s been on the top of mind since the 2016 election, but it has become even more important to me in the last weeks for four new reasons. First, I read Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon’s new book, Think the Unthinkable, whose red cover depicting blindfolded leaders seemingly aimlessly wandering around. Second, my friend Fred Krawchuk has spurred to think about the related field of design thinking. Third, AfP’s CEO, Melanie Greenberg, took a new job and we have to think about the kind of leader [...]