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The Frontlines of Peace

An Insider's Guide to Changing the World

Severine Autesserre Leymah Gbowee

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Oxford University Press Inc
17 May 2021
At turns surprising, funny, and gut-wrenching, this is the hopeful story of the ordinary yet extraordinary people who have figured out how to build lasting peace in their communitiesThe word peacebuilding evokes a story we've all heard over and over: violence breaks out, foreign nations are scandalized, peacekeepers and million-dollar donors come rushing in, warring parties sign a peace agreement and, sadly, within months the situation is back to where it started--sometimes worse. But what strategies have worked to build lasting peace in conflict zones, particularly for ordinary citizens on the ground? And why should other ordinary citizens, thousands of miles away, care? In The Frontlines of Peace, Severine Autesserre, award-winning researcher and peacebuilder, examines the well-intentioned but inherently flawed peace industry. With examples drawn from across the globe, she reveals that peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances. Contrary to what most politicians preach, building peace doesn't require billions in aid or massive international interventions. Real, lasting peace requires giving power to local citizens.

The Frontlines of Peace tells the stories of the ordinary yet extraordinary individuals and organizations that are confronting violence in their communities effectively. One thing is clear: successful examples of peacebuilding around the world, in countries at war or at peace, have involved innovative grassroots initiatives led by local people, at times supported by foreigners, often employing methods shunned by the international elite. By narrating success stories of this kind, Autesserre shows the radical changes we must take in our approach if we hope to build lasting peace around us--whether we live in Congo, the United States, or elsewhere.
By:  
Foreword by:  
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 243mm,  Width: 166mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   506g
ISBN:   9780197530351
ISBN 10:   0197530354
Pages:   240
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Foreword by Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Preface - War, Hope, and Peace PART I - PEACE POSSIBLE Chapter 1 - Island of Peace Chapter 2 - Role Models PART II - PEACE, INC. Chapter 3 - Insiders and Outsiders Chapter 4 - Designed Intervention PART III - THE NEW PEACE MANIFESTO Chapter 5 - Peace by Piece Chapter 6 - Recasting Roles Chapter 7 - The Home Front Appendix - Sources Acknowledgements

Severine Autesserre is an award-winning author, peacebuilder, and researcher, as well as a Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of The Trouble with the Congo and Peaceland, in addition to articles for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. Autesserre has been involved intimately in the world of international aid for more than twenty years. She has conducted research in twelve different conflict zones, from Colombia to Somalia to Israel and the Palestinian territories. She has worked for Doctors Without Borders in places like Afghanistan and Congo, and at the United Nations headquarters in the United States. Her research has helped shape the intervention strategies of several United Nations departments, foreign affairs ministries, and non-governmental organizations, as well as numerous philanthropists and activists. She has also been a featured speaker at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reviews for The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider's Guide to Changing the World

...the book is worth mining for serious scholars of peacekeeping. -- Paul F. Diehl, International Peacekeeping Severine Autesserre's The Frontlines of Peace is a story above anything else. It is a story that encompasses other mini-stories from different areas in the world that have suffered different kinds of conflict and violence... While providing well-thought but yet simply structured answers... Autesserre's book also contains her witty and sharp sense of humor... What makes this page-turner even more worth reading is the fact that Severine Autesserre not only criticizes what doesn't work, but she also gives readers and practitioners great examples of what works. -- Shadi Rouhshahbaz, Peacemaker 360 A fascinating book. -- Colette Braeckman, Le Soir Severine Autesserre tells the story of ordinary women and men who manage to reduce violence in their communities every day, whether in the Congo, Colombia, or the United States. It's a captivating and inspiring story that invites readers to act. I hope it will encourage you to get more involved in the fight against violence and impunity, and to build peace at home and for our common humanity. --Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Peace is possible but difficult. No one is omniscient about what turns swords into ploughshares, and it's essential that we always question our assumptions, learn from experience, and listen to experts who know both the big ideas and the facts on the ground. The Frontlines of Peace offers new insights into one of humanity's most noble endeavors. --Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now Severine Autesserre combines a scholar's rigor and an activist's passion. With authority gained from hard experience, she shows how true peace must be built from the ground up and the inside out. A world in flames should heed her message. --Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs Peacebuilding rests on the courage and wisdom of those people closest to conflict, and we must invest in them in ways that dignify their work and commitment. Severine Autesserre's book makes clear how to do this. The Frontlines of Peace is a must-read. --John Paul Lederach, Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding, University of Notre Dame In this remarkable book, Severine Autesserre draws on decades of experience in conflict zones and offices of international organizations to show how meaningful peace depends on local peacebuilding initiatives. Building on her inspiring and sometimes heart-breaking encounters with local activists about their work to address violence, redress suffering, and manage emergent conflict, it offers compelling recommendations for how to effectively support the necessary work of activists on the ground. --Elisabeth Jean Wood, Crosby Professor of the Human Environment, Yale University Not just another book about international politics. It will change the way you see the world around you. --Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


  • Winner of Finalist, CRS Book of the Year Prize, Conflict Research Society.
  • Winner of Winner, CRS Book Of The Year Prize, Conflict Research Society.

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