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PIN Book: Preventing Deadly Conflict

Preventing Deadly Conflict

Zartman, I. W. (2015). Preventing Deadly Conflict. Cambridge: Polity Press. United Kingdom.

PIN Book: Preventing Deadly Conflict


The Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) network is pleased to announce the publication of a new book written by one of our members of the steering committee, I. William Zartman, who is also the sole author of the book. Preventing Deadly Conflict, presents a comprehensive account of the study of conflict prevention by building and extending on earlier works covering this subject. Subsequently, it integrates a variety of analyses­— including different case studies and more in-depth research— into a coherent whole by asking questions such as how to ensure preventive efforts are effective, and what can be done when such tried and tested practices fail? By providing clear and authoritative guidelines as to the key challenges of conflict prevention, the book identifies appropriate norms, processes and methods which can be utilized to dampen and diffuse inter and intra-state conflicts in the contemporary world. As such, it fully explores early-stage techniques, including awareness de-escalation, stalemate, ripening, and resolution alongside other late or crisis stage techniques of interruption, separation and integration. As a beginning, the author explains that conflict is inherent to all human and inter-state relations, but that it is not inevitable. Since the end of the Cold-War, the prevention of conflict escalation into violence through management and resolution has become a fundamental objective of the international system of World Order. Prevention, Zartman argues, is a battle that is never won: there is always more work to be done. The search for prevention — necessary but still imperfect — continues into new imperatives, new mechanisms, new agents, and new knowledge, which this book helps discover and apply. Ultimately, what is needed is a change in opinions with respect to both the philosophy and the actions of prevention in order to reinvigorate a sound system of World Order.

About the Author

William Zartman is a senior visiting fellow at Clingendael. He is also Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the John Hopkins University of School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) Program, which is an international research forum on negotiation.