The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts
From War to Peace
by Mari Fitzduff, Chris E. Stout, ed.
December 2005, 1088pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98201-0
$163, £121, 141€, A221

This remarkable collection reveals the psychological intricacies of war, conflict resolution, and peace, from the effects of civil war to the process by which everyday people are transformed into perpetrators of genocide, from what primates can teach us about peacemaking to what it takes to create and maintain a stable peace.

A team of top experts from across the nation and around the world presents issues of war, conflict resolution, and stable peace. They explain how men and women are transformed into perpetrators of genocide, how neighbors become sworn enemies, the cultural and psychological origins of war, and even the neuropsychology of conflict. Considering these elements together allows us to understand more clearly the violent world that surrounds us, and it serves as a precursor for examining models for resolving conflict and building peace. Finally, an exploration of what a successful war means for stakeholders holds profound implications for what a victory in the war against terrorism would look like.

These books bring attention to a variety of elements that will inform military studies, psychology, and sociology scholars and students. It will also inform researchers in many fields and at many levels who aim to understand the underlying causes of longstanding and emerging conflicts and the methods that may finally bring resolution and peace.


"Among the many multi-authored works on political violence published since 9/11, this is one of the best and most expansive. Fitzduff and Stout bring together 36 valuable contributions by 51 authors (all psychologists) exploring the issues of war and conflict resolution. Volume 1 offers diverse perspectives on the causal factors of political violence; volume 2 focuses on the role of group and social factors in causing peaceful or violent outcomes; and volume 3 outlines the modalities of intervention to stop conflict and promote reconciliation and peace. Fitzduff's introductory chapter provides helpful overviews of the main theoretical and practical issues. Her conclusion reiterates the increasing utility of psychology in identifying both the causes of wars and violence within states and the means to move toward peace. She includes in these volumes a 15-point summary of the findings and suggestions, which she hopes will inform the decisions of policy makers. Although this idealism is laudable, policy makers have little interest in sound scholarship or translating academic wisdom into practice. But this is must reading for those concerned about a peaceful future. Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above."—Choice, December 1, 2006

"[T]he real value for the military professional is the perspective each volume provides on such issues as warring, conflict, and peace. This set will make an invaluable contribution to the library of any military professional, defense intellectual, or academician concerned with the conduct of war, peacekeeping, or stability operations."—PARAMETERS, April 1, 2006

No greater challenge faces humanity in the 21st century than that of turning war into peace. Much has been written on war as a political and economic phenomenon; comparatively little is known about the social psychology of war. The invaluable contribution of this comprehensive three-volume set edited by Mari Fitzduff and Chris Stout is to present a rich and insightful sampling from a host of distinguished scholars in the field of social psychology on what causes war and what we can do to prevent it. The conclusions deserve close study by leaders and citizens alike.—William Ury^LHarvard University^Lauthor of ^IThe Third Side^R

The lessons that Mari Fitzduff, Chris Stout and their collaborators have drawn from a variety of experiences are insightful. Practitioners, policymakers and academics can profit by reflecting on these lessons.—Matthew Hodes^LDirector, Conflict Resolution Program^LThe Carter Center^LAtlanta, Georgia

There is no topic more worthy of our attention today than finding ways for humankind to live together in a diverse world, and there is no exploration, deliberation or discussion more important than how to end violence and war. This book takes it all on, head on, presenting a broad picture of current thinking, and providing an invaluable resource for academics, policy makers and thoughtful citizens.—Susan Collin Marks, Executive Vice President, Search for Common Ground and author of ^IWatching the Wind: Conflict Resolution During South Africa's Transition to Democracy^R

Mari Fitzduff and Chris Stout have brought forward an important set of books which will benefit all of us struggling with the problem of building resilient societies and bringing conflict into the structures and practices of peaceful procedures.—Ragnar ^DAngeby^LAmbassador for Prevention of Violent Conflict^LFolke Bernadotte Academy^LSwedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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