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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: $31.95

288 pp.
153 mm x 234 mm


Publication date:
September 2019

Imprint: OUP UK

World Peace

(And How We Can Achieve It)

Alex J. Bellamy

For as long as there has been war, there have been demands for its elimination. The quest for world peace has excited and eluded, political leaders, philosophers, religious elders, activists, and artists for millennia. With war on the rise once again, we rarely reflect nowadays on what world peace might look like; much less on how it might be achieved.

World Peace aims to change all that and show that world peace is possible. Because the motives, rationales, and impulses that give rise to war - the quest for survival, enrichment, solidarity, and glory - are now better satisfied through peaceful means, war is an increasingly anachronistic practice, more likely to impoverish and harm us humans than satisfy and protect us. This book shows that we already have many of the institutions and practices needed to make peace possible and sets out an agenda for building world peace. In the immediate term, it shows how steps to strengthen compliance with international law, improve collective action such as international peacekeeping and peacebuilding, better regulate the flow of arms, and hold individuals legally accountable for acts of aggression or atrocity crimes can make our world more peaceful. It also shows how in the long term, building strong and legitimate states that protect the rights and secure the livelihoods of their people, gender equal societies, and protecting the right of individuals to opt-out of wars has the potential to establish and sustain world peace. But it will only happen, if individuals organize to make it happen.

Readership : General Readership: for those interested in Current Affairs, International Relations, Peace Studies, War Studies, and International History.

1. The Elusive Quest
2. Dreams of Peace
3. Hard-Wired for War?
4. Why We Fail
5. The State: Warmaker and Peacemaker
6. The Costs of War
7. Leashing the Passions of War
8. Towards World Peace

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Alex J. Bellamy is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is also Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute in New York and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Since 2012 he has served as a consultant for the United Nations Office for Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. For some of his work, he has been awarded a United Nations Association award for "outstanding service" to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. In 2014-2015 and 2017-2018 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. He was the winner of the Ethics Section of the International Studies Association Prize 2013 for his book Massacres and Morality: Mass Atrocities in an Age of Civilian Immunity.

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Special Features

  • Boldly sets out the case for the possibility of world peace.
  • One of the first books on peace to take seriously the ideas and forces that sustain war, and examines and recognizes these forces rather than dismissing them.
  • Identifies the practical steps that can be taken to nudge the world towards peace.