George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

The Contemporary Conflict Resolution Reader

by Christopher Mitchell

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  • Published Date: March 2015
  • Publisher: Polity
  • ISBN: 978-0745686776


Armed conflict may appear to be in long term decline, but the intractability and destructiveness of contemporary conflicts make conflict resolution as urgent and necessary as ever. The Contemporary Conflict Resolution Reader is the first comprehensive survey of the field as it has evolved over the last fifty years, bringing together the seminal writings of its founders with the cutting-edge interventions of today’s leading exponents and practitioners.

Drawing on their extensive experience and knowledge of conflict and peace research across the world, the editors have selected a rich and illuminating set of readings that offer a unique and accessible overview of the many different aspects of conflict resolution. The chapters range across prevention, nonviolence, constructive approaches, mediation, negotiation, reconciliation and peace-building. Each one is framed by an editorial introduction and the readings are helpfully broken up into the following sections: reflective pieces, guides to practice, case studies and tools for learning.

Covering classical and contemporary ideas, the Reader includes extracts which mark the continued innovation, relevance and dynamism of the field globally. Whether used on its own or as a companion to the hugely popular Contemporary Conflict Resolution, this Reader will be an invaluable resource for students and teachers of peace and conflict research, politics and international relations, as well as practitioners working in the field. While acknowledging the scale of the challenges ahead, this inspiring collection suggests a hopeful and practical vision of the way forward for conflict resolution in the 21st century. 


"This book is an absolute must-have resource for anyone interested in the birth and history of conflict resolution as a field of study, as well as a lexicon of fundamental documents that are currently shaping thinking and practice in the peacebuilding field. It is a unique and inspiring testimony to many of the challenges the field has faced, as well as demonstrating the strategic import of todays scholars and practitioners about how better to address the resolution of conflicts around the world today."
- Mari Fitzduff, Brandeis University

"This book is indispensable for all teachers, researchers and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution and peace-building. It brings together seminal, defining texts so that readers can discern the genealogy of our interdisciplinary academic discipline. But it also directs our attention to a whole series of tried and tested practical measures for dealing with deep division and violence. By combining the readings into theory ,praxis , peace-building and reconciliation this collection reminds us that this field is not only deeply analytical but also normative in intent. It does not succumb to the paralysing consequences of realist pessimism nor fall into any false idealist position. It analyses violence critically and provides hard and tested solutions to deep rooted and intractable problems. I will be ordering it for myself and my library. It will find its way as a key text in our field."
- Kevin Clements, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,University of Otago, New Zealand

"Once again, Woodhouse et al. have produced an incredible resource for the conflict resolution field. I have been using various portions of Contemporary Conflict Resolution in my graduate classes for years, and this new book complements it beautifully. It brings together in one volume an array of primary theories in the field with current writing that highlights both questions and challenges. My students are always asking ?is there a basic set of readings in conflict resolution?? and I?ll now be able to point them in the direction of this great new book!"
- Eileen F. Babbitt, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Other Contributors

Edited by Tom Woodhouse, Hugh Miall, Oliver Ramsbotham

Centers and Publications