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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $41.99

240 pp.
6.125" x 9.25"


Publication date:
March 2021

Imprint: OUP US

The Frontlines of Peace

An Insider's Guide to Changing the World

Severine Autesserre
Foreword by Leymah Gbowee

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 communities.

The 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, Séverine 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.

Readership : General readers, students, scholars, and aid workers interested in global politics, conflict studies, peacebuilding, international aid, and human rights.

Foreword by Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Preface - War, Hope, and Peace
1. Island of Peace
2. Role Models
3. Insiders and Outsiders
4. Designed Intervention
5. Peace by Piece
6. Recasting Roles
7. The Homefront
Appendix - Sources

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Séverine 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, as well as 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.

World Peace - Alex J. Bellamy
The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth - Michael Mandelbaum
The Drone Age - Michael J. Boyle
The Sit Room - David Scheffer
Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Savior - Peter Tinti and Tuesday Reitano
Road Warriors - Daniel Byman

Special Features

  • Written in a friendly and accessible voice by a leading authority on peacebuilding with over 20 years of experience working in and conducting research on international aid throughout the world.
  • Draws on in-depth field research in 12 different conflict zones, comparisons with social initiatives in North America and Europe, and interviews with peacebuilders, warlords, victims, survivors, politicians, and local civilians.
  • Focuses on success stories in an ultimately positive and hopeful narrative that encourages readers of all backgrounds to create peace in their own communities.
  • Challenges popular beliefs and scholarly ideas about war, peace, and conflict resolution that the diplomatic elite and the general public alike take as fact.