Manage episode 346546920 series 3305636
While wars and other violent conflicts dominate the news, it is easy to overlook that the majority of conflicts are actually resolved peacefully. In his highly acclaimed book “Why We Fight The Roots of War and The Paths to Peace”, author Chris Blattman draws on his expertise in economics, political science, and history to explain the five reasons why conflicts (rarely) turn violent and how to interrupt that deadly process.
Chris Blattman is an economist and political scientist who uses field work and statistics to study poverty, political engagement, the causes and consequences of violence, and policy in developing countries. He is a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
Greg and Chris discuss what can be learned from the commonalities and differences of conflicts of all levels, from interpersonal disputes to street gang violence to warring states and how peacemakers can avoid emotional and strategic mistakes to develop non-violent conflict solutions that last.
There’s no 10-step plan for peace
48:11: There's no 10-step plan for peace. I think there is a pretty simple set of ideas that can help us diagnose better, but then it's like being a doctor... (49:03) When we are asking our leaders to solve problems of development, change our cities, solve racism, or solve conflict, which is much more complex, we have this different set of expectations. We kind of want them to come to us and promise that Tylenol and radiation therapy are the answer and all we need is more of them, and all situations are alike. Tylenol and radiation therapy worked for that country, or this city, or that people. So it must work for us. And I don't know why we have that, why we accept that, and why we're like that in these two different spheres of life. And I think we just have this amazing ability to forget how hard and complex a problem is in a lot of social change.
What makes a good mediation?
12:37: Everything that helps resolve conflict or keep us from not breaking out into violence, which we avoid most of the time, is something that helps us pay attention to the costs and not go down one of these paths that made us choose this—the costly worst option, which is to try to bargain through bloodshed.
- Faculty Profile at the University of Chicago
- Professional Profile on Center for Global Development
- Chris Blattman’s Website
- Chris Blatmman on LinkedIn
- Chris Blattman on Facebook