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The Fog of Peace: How to Prevent War

The Fog of Peace: How to Prevent War
Giandomenico Picco, Gabrielle Rifkind

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Institutions do not decide whom to destroy or to kill, whether to make peace or war; those decisions are the responsibility of individuals. This book argues that the most important aspect of conflict resolution is for antagonists to understand their opponents as individuals, their ambitions, their pains, the resentments that condition their thinking and the traumas they do not fully themselves grasp. Gabrielle Rifkind and Giandomenico Picco here present two very different experiences of international relations -- Rifkind as a psychotherapist now immersed in the politics of the Middle East, and Picco as a career diplomat with a long and successful record as a negotiator at the UN. Developing links between psychology and politics, the authors explore what lies behind the aggressive facade of negotiations and how, underneath the mask, there is a human being. Should we talk to the enemy? What happens if the protagonists are nasty and brutish, tempting policy-makers to retaliate? How do nations find the capacity not to hit back, trapping themselves in endless cycles of violence?Presenting a unique combination of psychological theories, geopolitical realities and first-hand peace-making experience, this book sheds new light on some of the worst conflicts in the modern world and demonstrates, above all, how empathy can often be far more persuasive than the most fearsome weapons.

By exploring the question of intervention versus non-intervention, and examining how the changing nature of warfare and technology has both armed the warmonger, whilst empowering the individual through social media, this is a highly topical, comprehensive overview on international diplomacy and the complexities of peace-making."

Author Info

Gabrielle Rifkindis the Director of theMiddle East programme at Oxford Research Group. She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution immersed in the politics of the Middle East. Rifkind combines in-depth political and psychological expertise with many years' experience in promoting serious analysis and discreet dialogues with groups behind the scenes. Giandomenico Picco worked for the UN for over 20 years and served as a UN negotiator on conflicts, focusing on Iran Iraq and Afghanistan. He was personally involved in securing the freedom of a number of individuals, illegally detained in 4 different countries. As a UN Undersecretary he led the initiative referred to as the Dialogue Among Civilizations."

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784536800
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Height: 216
Width: 127

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