Review: Beyond Conflict – 20 Years of Putting Experience to Work for Peace

5 Star, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class

cover beyond conflict5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable, Substantive, Inspiring and a Bargain, February 24, 2014

I love this book. I received it as a gift and it is NOT “just a coffee table book.” This is a serious book, of very high quality in terms of both content and quality of construction. The photographs are superb, the white space is perfect, the use of enlarged quotes to make important points very powerful.

Created by the Project on Justice in Times of Transition [now renamed Beyond Conflict] the book reflects some extraordinary networks of influence that the Project has developed. The dedication, for example, is signed by Vaclav Havel (Czech Republic), David Ervine (Ireland), and Leonel Gomez (El Salvador).

The books focus is on successful conclusions to war, snap-shots of specific situations where peace was finally achieved. There are eight alternative measures that have been mixed and matched, with a case study for each.

01 Imagining the Possibility of Change

02 The Power of Shared Experience

03 Confronting Dictatorship

04 Recognizing the Need for Change

05 Changing Mindsets

06 Building Trust Among Enemies

07 Compromising with the Other

08 Confronting the Past

The book ends with a review of project accomplishments over past decades.

I have voted for a couple of the other reviews that do what I normally do, offer a lengthy summary of the book to help those who cannot afford the time or money to buy the book, and as memory aides for those who do buy and read the book. Over-all there is a lot of good in the reviews, and I would come down strongly recommending purchase and sharing of the book. It’s an excellent choice for neighborhood discussion groups, academic seminars, and chamber of commerce outreach networks. This is not just a book about peace, but about civil communication among groups that might have been raised in isolation or in alienation from other groups.

Here are ten other books I recommend generally associated with my interest in peace and prosperity:

The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World
Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics)
A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict
Recovering Nonviolent History: Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual to Changing the World
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025
The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam
The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change

Normally I donate books to the libary after I am done with them but this one merits multiple looks over time. It is an excellent “starter” book. A follow-on volume might look at the field of humanitarian technologies (e.g. Crisis Mappers) and the emergence of public intelligence sources and methods that challenge corrupt governments, corrupt corporations, and corrupt non-profits that deliver less than 20% of all donated funds to the intended receipients.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability (2010)

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