Category: Book Review

The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution

Bernard Mayer (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000,263pp.) From his long experience as a mediator, Bernard Mayer writes “What makes a successful peacemaker or conflict resolver is not a set of processes, methodologies, or tactics; it is a way of thinking, a set of values, an array of analytical and interpersonal skills, and a clear focus.” It is worth looking at some of the analytical and interpersonal skills he mentions. The first analytical skill needed is the ability to understand the relative power and authority of the persons or groups involved in a conflict. Groups do not have equal power, as power can […]

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The Shifting Grounds of Conflict and Peacebuilding: Stories and Lessons

John W. McDonald with Noa Zanolli, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008, 341pp. This book is an increasingly used form of oral history collection — sometimes transformed into a book, sometimes kept as oral archives usually in university libraries.  John McDonald, US diplomat, UN administrator, and Track II diplomacy pioneer is interviewed by Noa Zanolli on the different stages of his life and what lessons can be drawn, especially for Track II-citizen diplomacy efforts.  Track I is official government-to-government diplomacy among instructed representatives of the State.  Track II is a non-official effort, usually by a non-governmental organization (NGO), academic institutions, sometimes […]

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Tools for Transformation

by Adam Curle, Hawthorn Press, 1990 ‘So we must discover how to recognizeand then up-root the weapons in the mind:the hates and irritations, fears and cravingsfor petty things that change to monstrous luststhat mobilize the hates, stir mobs to kill,and blight the tender flowers of compassion.‘ Adam Curle, basically a sociologist first concerned with education in newly independent Africa in the 1960s, became the first chair of the School of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK, in the early 1970s.  He had been active in mediation efforts in conflicts in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, usually on behalf […]

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