5 Books to add to your Peace Bookshelf

A small library that helps to provoke thinking about how we are promoting peace within communities, nations and internationally.

The question of how we can build more peaceful societies is the key focus of Vision of Humanity. In our complex and evolving world the best strategies and practices for promoting peace are also developping. Hence, we have compiled a list of books that look to provide citizens, communities, peace building practitioners and policymakers with insights into these issues. We hope this list helps to continue thinking on how we are promoting peace within communities, nations and internationally.

A Crucial Link: Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding

In his work, Andries Odendaal pursues an exploration of the efficacy of local peace initiatives across the globe, comparing local peace committees from different countries. From a position of practical experience, he seeks to understand whether these programs work in building peace from within the community, and their connections to securing sustainable peace on a national level.

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Across the Lines of Conflict: Facilitating Cooperation to Build Peace

Across the Lines of Conflict looks to unearth under what conditions local, interactive peacebuilding initiatives can be successful in resolving conflict within countries’ communities with cases from: Burundi, Cyrpus, Estonia, Guyana, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan.  Through comparing six initiatives the work explores how these techniques can help bring harmony to communities through analysing when the approach is effective, and questions of audience and methodology.  The book is edited by Michael Lund and Steve McDonald.

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Making Peace Last: A Toolbox for Sustainable Peacebuilding

In his book Robert Ricigliano looks to reinvigorate peacebuilding, by challenging our practices for creating sustainable peace. Making Peace Last employs systems thinking to make our attempts at peacebuilding effective and durable, presenting readers with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to make peace last.

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Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison

Security and Development in Global Politics questions how closely the agendas of security and development should be merged. The book pairs experts in both fields to assess the dynamics between security and development through international issues affecting both areas. Through this comparative structure the connectedness of security and development agendas is problematised and whether this relationship should be deepened is assessed. This book is edited by Joanna Spear and Paul D. Williams.

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Opting Out of War: Strategies to Prevent Violent Conflict

Through analysing what are described by the authors, Mary B. Anderson and Marshall Wallace, as “non-war” communities, Opting Out of War reveals lessons about preventing violent conflict with resonances beyond the local to international situations. The authors analyse the choices, and strategies employed by 13 communities which facilitated their separation, and differentiation from violent conflicts in their surrounding communities.

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Top picks from our researchers

We asked our researchers for the titles of the best books they keep on their desk for constant reference.

  • The Moral Imagination by John Paul Lederach
  • Why Civil Resistnace Works by Erica Chenoweth an Maria Stephan
  • Do No Harm by Mary Anderson
  • Obstacles to Peacebuilding (Global Institutions) by Graciana del Castillo
  • The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge Studies in International Relations) by Séverine Autesserre

  • Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa: Preventing Civil War Through Institutional Design (National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century) by Alan J. Kuperman 

  • Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis by Kazuaki Tanahashi

  • Global Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace by Sean Kay

  • The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution by Gabrielle Rifkind

  • Positive Peace in Schools: Tackling Conflict and Creating a Culture of Peace in the Classroom by Hilary Cremin