Must We Fight: From The Battlefield to the Schoolyard - A New Perspective on Violent Conflict and Its Prevention / Edition 1

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Overview

Kosovo . . . The World Trade Center . . . Rwanda— we areshocked as reports of these horrific tragedies capture theheadlines on an all too regular basis. But how is it possible tointervene to end these tragic conflicts if, as many have longbelieved, that violent behavior is said to be as much a part ofhuman nature as DNA?
In this landmark book, William Ury— best-selling author anddirector of the Project on Preventing War at the Program onNegotiation at Harvard Law School— and a stellar panel ofexperts from several scientific disciplines debunk the commonlyheld notion that violence is a predictable part of the humancondition and outline an innovative paradigm for preventing violentconfrontations. Must We Fight? presents compelling newresearch and insights into human nature which clearly demonstratethat humankind is not doomed to continue the seemingly endlesscycle of violent conflict. With intelligence and sensitivity, Urydescribes a brilliant program for personal and communityempowerment called The Third Side. As he explains, in mostconflicts between two parties there is actually a third entity-thecommunity in which the combatants, and their dispute, are embedded.The Third Side is a proven model for ending conflict that shows howto mobilize communities to stop and, in some cases, preventindividual and group violence.
A practical resource for helping to resolving real life conflicts,Must We Fight? includes a simulation of an actual racialincident at a public high school. Readers are challenged to putthemselves in the place of an administrator dealing with thisincident and are presented with a series of questions and ThirdSide activities that can help them find a resolution to thiscomplex community conflict.
Contributors to this volume, including such well-known scholars asFrans de Waal, R. Brian Ferguson, Steven Wikinson, and ChrisWinship detail the factors that have enabled communities to besuccessful, to overcome obstacles, and to curtail and preventviolence through mobilization of Third Side interventions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Ury, co-author of the bestselling Getting to Yes and a director at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, observes that, in most cases, conflict between two parties involves a "third side"-"the community in which the combatants, and their dispute, are embedded." Whether the conflict takes place in inner-city Boston, between Hindus and Muslims in India or in apartheid South Mrica, Ury argues that the solution to "containing, resolving, and preventing" violence lies in activating this third group, whether it means involving independent witnesses, having "community talks" or mobilizing the media and the clergy. Two other writers from different fields contribute to the book's attempt to debunk the commonly held belief that violence and war are part of our primate and prehistoric heritage. Frans de Waal, a Jeading primatoJogist, argues that aggression in primates occurs in a social context and that mechanisms for cooperation are as natural as aggression. Brian Ferguson, an anthropologist of war, asserts that archeological evidence shows a history of limited flare-ups of carefully planned violence that benefit elites rather than a regular constant pattern of violent conflict. While the authors make a strong, persuasive case, arguing for more open societies and community involvement rather than increased policing, the format of the book is disappointing and will limit its audience to academe. The book consists of edited transcripts (including question-and-answer sessions) of two symposia held at Harvard in 1999 and 2000 and one "workbook" section in which readers are asked to put themselves in the place of an administrator faced with a simulated racial incident at a school. (Jan.) (Publishers Weekly)
Publishers Weekly
Ury, co-author of the bestselling Getting to Yes and a director at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, observes that, in most cases, conflict between two parties involves a "third side" "the community in which the combatants, and their dispute, are embedded." Whether the conflict takes place in inner-city Boston, between Hindus and Muslims in India or in apartheid South Africa, Ury argues that the solution to "containing, resolving, and preventing" violence lies in activating this third group, whether it means involving independent witnesses, having "community talks" or mobilizing the media and the clergy. Two other writers from different fields contribute to the book's attempt to debunk the commonly held belief that violence and war are part of our primate and prehistoric heritage. Frans de Waal, a leading primatologist, argues that aggression in primates occurs in a social context and that mechanisms for cooperation are as natural as aggression. Brian Ferguson, an anthropologist of war, asserts that archeological evidence shows a history of limited flare-ups of carefully planned violence that benefit elites rather than a regular constant pattern of violent conflict. While the authors make a strong, persuasive case, arguing for more open societies and community involvement rather than increased policing, the format of the book is disappointing and will limit its audience to academe. The book consists of edited transcripts (including question-and-answer sessions) of two symposia held at Harvard in 1999 and 2000 and one "workbook" section in which readers are asked to put themselves in the place of an administrator faced with a simulated racial incident at a school. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Promoting a conceptual framework called the "Third Side," Ury (director, Project on Preventing War at the Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School) and collaborators reflect on the origins of violence in humans and examine violence prevention initiatives. Drawn from two public symposia organized by Ury's Project, seven papers from an interdisciplinary group of authors examine primate aggression, discuss anthropological evidence of violence in humans, look at a Boston program against youth violence, and discuss how some Indian cities avoided the ethnic riots that killed hundreds in other cities. Finally a simulation of a racial incident at a public high school is presented to demonstrate the "Third Side" model, in which the general community is considered the third side in a conflict between two parties. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787961039
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/2/2002
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

William L. Ury is director of the Project on Preventing War at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and a member of its steering committee. He is the coauthor of the best-selling Getting to Yes and author of Getting Past No.

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