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Preface to The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the World

Autesserre, Severine

Preface to "The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider's Guide to Changing the World" by Séverine Autesserre. The Frontlines of Peace tells the stories of the ordinary yet extraordinary individuals and communities that have found effective ways to confront violence. Drawing on 20 years of work in peacebuilding, including in-depth research in 12 conflict zones around the world as well as comparisons with social initiatives in North America and Europe, it shows that peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances, with the help of the most unlikely heroes. The book opens our eyes to the well-intentioned but systematically flawed peace industry, shedding light on how typical aid interventions have been getting it wrong, and—more importantly—how a few of them have been getting it right. Contrary to what most politicians preach, resolving conflicts doesn’t require billions of dollars in aid or massive international involvement. Real, lasting peace requires giving the power over to ordinary citizens. There have been many successful examples of peacebuilding in the past few years, all involving innovative grassroots initiatives led by local people and at times supported by foreigners, often using methods shunned by the international elite. So, rather than focusing on handshakes between presidents, abstract peace agreements, and endless negotiations between governments and rebel leaders, The Frontlines of Peace details the concrete, everyday actions that make a difference on the ground. The implications are clear: We must radically change our approach if we hope to end violence from war, address conflicts in our communities, and build lasting peace around us—whether we live in Congo, the United States, or elsewhere.


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Also Published In

The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider's Guide to Changing the World
Oxford University Press

More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science (Barnard College)
Published Here
March 29, 2022


Keywords: peacebuilding, peacekeeping, war, violence, peace, conflict resolution, local, grassroots, humanitarian intervention, Congo