Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding: A Vision And Framework For Peace With Justice (Justice and Peacebuilding)

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9781561484270: Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding: A Vision And Framework For Peace With Justice (Justice and Peacebuilding)
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          So we'd all like a more peaceful world—no wars, no poverty, no more racism, no community disputes, no office tensions, no marital skirmishes. Lisa Schirch sets forth paths to such realities. In fact, she points a way to more than the absence of conflict. She foresees justpeace—a sustainable state of affairs because it is a peace which insists on justice.      Schirch singles out four critical actions that must be undertaken if peace is to take root at any level) — 1.) waging conflict nonviolently; 2.) reducing direct violence; 3.) transforming relationships; and 4.) building capacity. From Schirch's 15 years of experience as a peacebuilding consultant in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A title in The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding Series.

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About the Author:

     
     Lisa Schrich is a professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and prgram director of the 3D Security Initiative (www.3Dsecurity.org), which promotes conflict prevention and peacebuilding in U.S. security policymaking. With colleagues in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU, Schirch consults with a network of organizations involved in peacbuilding activities throughout the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. She has worked in over 20 countries. 

     
     A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch has written four books and numbrous articles on conflict preventions and peacebuilding. She is a frequent public speaker and has TV and radio experience discussing U.S. foreign policy.  

     
     She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

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Introduction
A group of people affected by violence in their community meet together to talk with each other and plan their response. A police officer works with community members to patrol the streets at night to prevent crime. A women's group blockades the exit in the negotiation room where rebel groups are trying to withdraw from peace talks. A researcher interviews government ministers about the effect of civil society actors like churches, development organizations, and women's groups on recent democratic elections. These are among the thousands of people who engage in building peace. They work not just to end violence but to create structures that contribute to a just and sustainable peace.
The field of peacebuilding is wider and more complex than most people realize. It encompasses actors in many different arenas: community members searching for a better life; nonviolent activists pushing for human rights; peacekeepers separating groups in conflict and demobilizing combatants; religious leaders encouraging their followers to make peace with neighbors; relief workers bringing aid; community mediators and restorative justice practitioners who facilitate dialogue between conflicting parties; business leaders giving material aid to victims; and government leaders initiating change through public policy. These are just a few actors in peacebuilding.
These actors use different languages to talk about their values and describe their activities. They have different theories of how social change happens, and they have different roles and responsibilities in society. For example, some speak of the need for law and order, others of spiritual healing, human rights and social justice, a return to traditional values, conflict resolution skills, development, education, or a combination of all of the above. In practice, they may work in the same region, yet they may never coordinate their approaches. Building a just and sustainable peace requires that the various actors and actions are coordinated into an overarching framework.
Why this Little Book?
This Little Book is an attempt to bring together the various fields and activities related to peacebuilding to integrate them into one conceptual framework. At the core of this framework is the idea of strategic peacebuilding, an interdisciplinary, coordinated approach to building a sustainable justpeace -- a peace with justice.
Strategic peacebuilding requires clear goals. While the concept of justpeace is growing in popularity, few writings lay out the vision and practice of it. One aim of this book is to promote the concept of justpeace as an overall goal or vision for peacebuilding.
Strategic peacebuilding also requires coordination. While some peacebuilding scholars focus on how to directly affect the people in conflict, this book adds a focus on how people working for peace need to network with each other. It attempts to synthesize and summarize the values, relational skills, analytical frameworks, and practices of a wide range of peacebuilding actors. This synthesis aims to create a common language for talking about peacebuilding and to increase awareness and appreciation of the important and diverse roles involved.
The framework presented here has emerged out of the thoughts and experiences of thousands of people and networks from around the world who are connected to the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University. It gathers wisdom from progressives and conservatives, from Northerners and Southerners in the global community, from actions of the past and voices of the future in an attempt to fit these diverse paths into a coherent peacebuilding map.
I hope that this book can serve as a primer for students and others who are interested in learning about the field of peacebuilding. It is also written for practitioners and academics who may know about one part of the peacebuilding puzzle but would benefit from learning more about other approaches and how these fit together.
In short, this Little Book attempts to provide a more unified and strategic vision of peacebuilding. It seeks to show how the various approaches to peacebuilding connect and together contribute to addressing violence while bringing about long-term structural change.

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