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Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies

Houston Wood

Publication Date - 13 October 2017

ISBN: 9780190299781

240 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Accessible, contemporary readings on key controversies and debates in peace and conflict studies


Designed for introductory courses, Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies presents fifty readings drawn from major publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Science, and The Washington Post. Addressing theoretical, methodological, and practical issues, the selections include scholarly readings that introduce students to key debates in the field along with more informal readings that help students to engage with the material and see how it relates to their daily lives.

An excellent stand-alone text, Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies is also a perfect companion to the editor's textbook, Invitation to Peace Studies, or David P. Barash's Approaches to Peace, Fourth Edition. Each section includes a short introductory essay and discussion questions that guide students in their reading.


  • Offers a wide variety of selections from academic and journalistic sources, most of which originally published in the last decade
  • Each section includes a short introductory essay and discussion questions that guide students in their reading

About the Author(s)

Houston Wood is Professor of English at Hawai'i Pacific University.


"This book will be a great asset for students of peace and conflict studies." --Nahla Yassine-Hamdan, Wayne State University

"Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies is a pathbreaking complement to the small but growing literature on peace studies." --Clement E. Adibe, DePaul University

"This book's advantage is precisely its contemporaneity. It uses recent texts and data to expose students to some of the most important issues in peace studies." --James Woelfel, University of Kansas

Table of Contents


    Part One Concepts and Causes

    Section 1 Debates about the Meanings of Peace

    Elise Boulding, selections from Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History.
    David Cortright, selections from Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas.
    Catia C. Confortini, selections from "Galtung, Violence, and Gender: The Case for a Peace Studies/Feminism Alliance."
    Institute for Economics and Peace, selections from "Global Peace Index 2015."

    Section 2 Debates about the Origins of Violence

    David P. Barash, selections from "Do Human Beings Have an Instinct for Waging War?"
    Robert J. Burrowes, "Why Are Humans Being Violent?"
    Frances Moore Lappé, "Could Our Deepest Fears Hold the Key to Ending Violence?"

    Part Two War and Security

    Section 1 Debates about War

    Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack, selections from "The World Is Not Falling Apart."
    David Swanson, selections from War No More: The Case for Abolition.
    Andrew J. Bacevich, selections from "The Revisionist Imperative: Rethinking Twentieth Century Wars."

    Section 2 Debates about Security and the Effects of War

    Ian Morris, "In the Long Run, Wars Make Us Safer and Richer."
    Martin Longman, "Orwellian Piece by Ian Morris."
    Tom Engelhardt, "Post-9/11 US Foreign Policy: A Record of Unparalleled Failure."
    Christopher Holshek, "People Power: The United States has the Blueprint for a Smarter Way to Make Peace."

    Part Three Gender

    Section 1 Debates about a Gender Perspective

    Cynthia Enloe, selections from Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.
    Cynthia Cockburn, selections from From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis.

    Section 2 Debates about Gender- and Sex-based Violence

    Gayle S. Trotter, "Senate Hearing Testimony: What Should America Do About Gun Violence."
    Public Health Watch, "The Gun Violence Threat That No One Is Talking About - And Why Women Should Be Concerned."
    Valerie M. Hudson, "What Sex Means for World Peace."
    George Lakey, "Lessons from the LGBT Equality Movement."

    Part Four Religion, and Terrorism

    Section 1 Debates about Religion

    James W. Jones, "Sacred Terror: How Religion Makes Terrorism Worse."
    Sean McElwee, "Stop Blaming Religion for Violence."
    William T. Cavanaugh, selections from The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict.

    Section 2 Debates about Terrorism

    Max Abrahms, selections from "Why Terrorism Does Not Work."
    David Rothkopf, "Our Reaction to Terrorism Is More Dangerous Than the Terrorists."
    Scott Atran, "Why ISIS Has the Potential to Be a World-Altering Revolution."
    Maria J. Stephan and Shaazka Beyerle. "How to Stop Extremism Before It Starts."

    Part Five Nonviolence, Forgiveness and Restoration

    Section 1 Debates about Nonviolent Action

    "Violence: Is it the Answer?"
    Simone Sebastian, "Don't Criticize Black Lives Matter for Provoking Violence. The Civil Rights Movement Did, Too."
    Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, selections from "Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works."
    Maciej Bartkowski, "Countering Hybrid War: Civil Resistance as a National Defence Strategy."
    Michael N. Nagler, selections from The Nonviolence Handbook: A Guide for Practical Action.

    Section 2 Debates about Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Restoration

    Andrew Moss, selections from "Responding to Retributivists: A Restorative Justice Rejoinder to the Big Three Desert Theories."
    Desmond Tutu, selections from No Future Without Forgiveness.
    Ted Wachtel, "Restorative Justice Is Not Forgiveness."
    Molly Rowan Leach, "Six Boys, One Cop, and the Road to Restorative Justice."

    Part Six Climate Change and Environmental Justice

    Section 1 Debates about the Effects of Climate Change

    Bill McKibben, selections from Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.
    Solomon M. Hsiang, Marshall Burke, and Edward Miguel, selections from "Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict."
    Rune T. Slettebak, selections from "Don't Blame the Weather! Climate-Related Natural Disasters and Civil Conflict."

    Section 2 Debates about Environmental Justice

    Wen Stephenson, "Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Climate Justice Movement."
    Randall Amster, selections from Peace Ecology.
    Maria Mies, selections from Ecofeminism, 2nd Ed.

    Part Seven Visions and Personal Peace

    Section 1 Debates about Peace Visions

    BigPictureSmallWorld, "Price of Peace: Abundance for All."
    Douglas P. Fry, selections from "Cooperation for Survival: Creating a Global Peace System."
    Kent Shifferd, Patrick Hiller, and David Swanson, selections from A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.
    John Arquilla, "Noosphere and Noopolitik: Our Transcendental Destination."

    Section 2 Debates about Personal Peace, Prefigurative Politics and Pedagogy

    Christina Michaelson, "Cultivating Inner Peace."
    Cynthia Boas, "Must We Change Our Hearts before Throwing off Our Chains?"
    Mark Engler and Paul Engler. "Should We Fight the System or Be the Change?"
    Tony Jenkins, "Transformative Peace Pedagogy: Fostering an Inclusive, Holistic Approach to Peace Studies."