This is a “Capstone Paper” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of International and Intercultural Management at the School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont
May 2000 Capstone Seminar
Dr. John Ungerleider, Advisor
The author hereby grants and encourages distribution of this paper, but requests clear attribution.
Copyright 2000, Jan Passion. All rights reserved.
Passion - 15 May 2000 Capstone Seminar
violence and coercion to control and contain violent
individuals, groups and nation states raises deep
ethical and philosophical questions. How
can one use violence while at the same time condemning
moral dilemma is not a new one -- yet, humanity
has thus far not achieved an effective, large-scale
nonviolent conflict transformation capacity.
is a persistent idea that violent conflicts can
be transformed by third parties, who help change
the dynamic -- from violence and domination to
mutual engagement, cooperation and dialogue. This
Capstone Paper, “Building Nonviolent Intercultural
Peace Teams,” aims to contribute to this idea.
question I wish to pursue is: “How do we, as peace
activists, bring the peace team concept to a new
level of possibility?”
a literature review, and historical examination
of peace team efforts made thus far, an analysis
of problems that have plagued peace teams in the
past, and interviews with peace team activists
and theorists, I propose a model for effective
and sustainable peace teams.
the first part of the paper I explore the research
question in further depth. Next I review
and analyze many of the efforts made towards creating
nonviolent intercultural peace teams, using a literature
review. Subsequent to that I propose an organizational1
and programmatic “blueprint” of an effective and
sustainable intercultural peace team, aiming to
address some of the key areas that heretofore have
proved problematic in the various attempts at creating
a sustainable intercultural nonviolent peace team.
the last part of the paper, I review a current
proposal to create an “International Peace Force,”
analyzing what the current effort is doing well,
what problem areas it may likely encounter, and
thoughts for enhancement in this effort.
In the last century, there have been many attempts in many parts of the world to bring about nonviolent conflict transformation through the use of peace teams (brigades, guards, armies etc.). These efforts are, understandably enough, reflective of the fact the last century has been the most violent century in the history of humankind.
With a few isolated exceptions, these nonviolent efforts have achieved marginal success -- and yet the desire to build a model for an effective nonviolent intercultural peace team persists in the hearts and minds of peace activists around the world. I believe that the reason this question has remained persistent is because of a belief that, as a species, we have the capacity to dramatically reduce our use of violence and coercion -- and move to a place of increased understanding and cooperation -- to move beyond war.
I wish to explore how to expand, enhance and, nurture the possibility and viability of International Peace Teams (IPTs) in transforming conflicts. Given that the previous attempts to build effective peace teams have generally not been successful (that is, not able to build and sustain their initial vision), I wish to consider the question of what kind of model might be both effective and sustainable in the development of nonviolent, international, intercultural peace teams.
Problems that have plagued previous teams were many -- primarily centering on issues of funding, organizational ambiguity, cultural ethnocentrism, internal intercultural conflicts, lack of clear goals and objectives, leadership issues and the lack of an effective ongoing vision. While some of these tensions are somewhat inevitable (e.g. intercultural issues and funding), others are less so (e.g. mission and vision and cultural ethnocentrism). These problems are not insignificant, but it is my hope that with increased international commitment, cooperation and sensitivity, and a strong clarity of purpose, they can be mitigated.
The question I wish to pursue is: “How do we, as peace activists, bring the peace team concept to a new level of possibility?” The world has changed so much in the last hundred years, and the violent inter- and intranational conflicts have changed as well – becoming more lethal, more common within states, more prolific and more expensive (environmentally, financially and spiritually) -- and as a global community, we have not achieved particularly constructive means to address these conflicts. Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. brought the concept of nonviolence to a global consciousness -- resulting in significant numbers of people who know about and subscribe to a nonviolent approach (or at least are open to the possibility of an effective nonviolent approach). Nonviolence as a tool for large-scale social change has been demonstrated well in this past century (notably in India and in the U.S. civil rights movement). As the basic peace team intention is to move beyond war and violence in addressing the conflicts that confront us, nonviolence thus becomes the essential new medium -- both to confront combatants engaged in violence, and to model alternatives to violence in addressing conflicts.
The challenge of peace team activists and theorists is to explore how to create a model of international, nonviolent, intercultural peace teams. These peace teams would provide a substantial infusion of energy, support and encouragement to local nonviolent peace activists when violence appears imminent or has already broken out, and prevent, de-escalate and transform violent conflicts, setting the stage for long-term peacebuilding.
this paper, when I refer to “peace teams” I am
primarily referring to international, intercultural,
nonviolent non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
that choose to go to areas experiencing impending
or actual violent conflicts. Peace teams
work with local nonviolent peace organizations
to stop the violence and create the space for
nonviolent paths to conflict resolution. The
difference between peace teams and traditional
humanitarian organizations is that the peace
teams go specifically to address the conflict
itself, and actively transform it.
difference between peace teams and traditional
United Nations (UN) or military forms of third-party
intervention is that peace teams bring no weapons
-- not even for self-defense. Their only
authority is the moral authority of peace, nonviolence,
encouragement, and the act of bearing witness.
also differentiate between “peacekeepers,” “peacemakers”
and “peacebuilders.” The three categories
are all essential aspects of creating peace, and
build upon each other, yet they are distinct from
each other, and are worthy of brief explanation.
are defined as people who are in the center of
the confrontations, violence, fighting etc. Typically
these individuals do little to create lasting
peace -- their mission is simply to stop the
violence. The work of the peacekeeper is
generally short term, dangerous and generally
are the people who assist in forging agreements
to maintain “the peace.” Mediators, diplomats,
and citizen activists engaged in “multi-track”
(that is, not just at the upper echelons of government,
education and the military) diplomacy are all
examples of peacemakers. Their intervention
might take the form of creating the space for
dialogue between groups or serving as election
monitors and/or providing international accompaniment
to local activists and/or communities whose lives
have been threatened. This work is the
next step in shifting the dynamic towards a lasting
peace, and requires a greater time commitment,
and (hopefully) begins to rebuild a sense of
trust and cooperation.
are people who work towards making lasting peace. They
are the folks who help establish the norms of a
democratic civil society. They assist by
building trust and cooperation for the long term
-- through fostering a strengthening culture, cooperation,
and an appreciation for (or at least a tolerance
of) other cultures in the society.
CPT Christian Peace Teams
GPT Gulf Peace Teams
IPF International Peace Force
IPT International Peace Team
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
PBI Peace Brigades International
SIT School for International Training
WFP Witness for Peace
a part of an intercultural nonviolent peace team
is what I have been dreaming about since I was
a child. Some of my personal history
may provide some explanation as to why I am drawn
to such a calling. Growing up in a chaotic
and occasionally violent household left a longing
in me that some outside group or individual could
have been present that wasn’t caught up in the
chaos and violence in our house, some entity to
hold out a vision of stability and peace and an
alternate way to process the overwhelming feelings
experienced by the “combatants” and the "bystanders." I
was looking for someone to “transform” the conflict(s)
in the midst of the chaos. So here
I am at age thirty-six, returning to the calling
from years past, to build paths for peacemakers
to go into places of chaos and violence, and bring
about peace and transformation.
work in the last fifteen years provides a strong
foundation to step into this new path. As
a peace and justice activist, psychotherapist,
volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT), group
leader for batterers, self-defense course instructor
for women and girls, parent, psycho-spiritual retreat
leader, war tax resister, student leader, refugee
host family and mediator, I have built a broad
experiential base (vocationally, emotionally and
spiritually) to support the transition to intercultural
peacekeeping, peacemaking and/or peacebuilding. Additionally,
returning to college at the School for International
Training to complete my master’s degree provides
a solid bridge to embark on this transition. And
finally, securing an internship assisting in the
development of a new graduate certificate program
in conflict transformation – Conflict Transformation
Across Cultures or “CONTACT” at SIT, working in
the field of conflict transformation, and working
with experts in the Conflict Transformation field:
SIT professors Dr. Paula Green and Dr. John Ungerleider
provides a remarkable opportunity to begin working
in my chosen vocation.
in Dr. Green's class on Conflict Transformation,
assisting in the SIT Summer Institute "Intercultural
Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding" with
thirty-seven peace activists from fifteen countries,
and assisting with John Ungerleider's program
at SIT working with Catholic and Protestant youth
from Northern Ireland has provided me with multiple
opportunities to learn and deepen my understanding
of the dynamics of conflict transformation --
in addition to building my professional network
methodology I have utilized was to complete a literature
and video review and to engage in interviews with
peace team activists. The purpose of the
interviews was to collect first person impressions,
feedback, personal stories and insights to assist
my understanding of the history of peace teams
and to improve the peace team model I propose later
in this paper.
Weber has done an excellent job compiling a history
of peace teams, developing an analysis of each
team and its action, and coming up with multiple
theories as to what the problematic dynamics are
that limit the success and ongoing sustainability
of the peace teams attempted thus far. Recently
published, it includes a wealth of material in
both an historical and contemporary context. In
this work, he does not focus much of his work and
attention on where we go from here.
Duncan and David Hartsough have drafted a well-thought-out
proposal to form an International Peace Force (see
Appendix). This draft is the closest contemporary
work that relates to this Capstone paper, offering
a proposal to develop an International Peace Force
(which is very close to the model presented later
on in this paper). This proposal will be
critiqued and discussed further, later in the paper.
Mahony and Luis Enrique Eguren have chronicled
one of the most effective and sustainable peace
teams created to date: Peace Brigades International
(PBI). This book is invaluable in developing
a theoretical analysis as to what PBI did well,
where it went astray, and how it created a model
of intercultural peace presence that has proved
both effective to its mission, and viable in the
long run. What PBI did extremely well was
to narrow and focus their mission (through trial
and error), and create a sustainable new model
of intercultural support to local peace and human
rights activists through protective “accompaniment.” In
limiting their scope, they addressed one of the
key hurdles of an overly broad or undefined mission
experienced in other attempts at peace team creation. PBI
has broken new ground on how to create sustainable
intercultural peace teams, while keeping true to
their nonviolent mission, and has provided critical
support to organizations, communities and individuals
working for peace and social justice throughout
Paul Lederach writes with persuasion about how,
as a global community, “we need to move beyond
‘traditional’ diplomacy … toward a holistic approach
that stresses the multiplicity of peacemakers …”
This book, while not speaking directly to peace
teams, offers a contemporary analysis of how to
change the way the world interprets and responds
to conflict, and supports both the efforts and
the essentiality of non-governmental intercultural
peacekeepers, peacemakers and peacebuilders.
Sharp’s work, while quite dated, provides a remarkably
comprehensive compilation of nonviolent strategies
and actions which have been attempted -- some
with great success and others not. His
contribution is particularly valuable because
of the breadth of inquiry and analysis. Through
documenting such a vast array of nonviolent conflict
transformations, he demonstrates the viability
of such an approach and lays the groundwork for
building new models of nonviolent intercultural
issue of Reconciliation International, centered
the theme of peace teams, with multiple articles
by a variety of authors. This journal
provides some of the most recent work that I
have found on the current thinking and planning
for nonviolent intercultural peace teams and
provides links to individual authors and activists,
which will prove an invaluable resource in my
reviewing the various peace team efforts, it
is my intention not to engage in a thorough analysis
of each effort, but rather to focus on a short
narrative of what the organization was about,
what it did well and where it struggled. The
list will not be completely exhaustive, but the
major efforts will be represented and bring to
bear the experiences which will help to formulate
a model which will ideally have an increased
chance of long-term viability and success.
Gandhi had for many years sustained a vision of “...
a band of workers who would devote themselves ...
to the maintenance of peace among people.” (Harijan,
4 Apr. 1948). Unfortunately, this idea of
a Shanti Sena, or “Peace Army,” did not come into
being during his lifetime. Ironically, he
had called together a conference to take place
in January 1948 to bring “... together those engaged
in constructive work to plan for future activities” (Weber,
1996, 69), but he was assassinated just before
he was to leave for the meeting. Following
his death, the conference was rescheduled for March,
and over 500 people (including Jawaharlal Nehru,
Vinoba Bhave, Jayaprakash Narayan and many other
central leaders) gathered to address the questions
Gandhi had raised. It was decided at
this conference to create the Shanti Sena, whose
mission would be 1) to work to prevent communal
tension by encouraging peace and cooperation, and
2) if violence did occur, to place themselves in
the middle of the combatants to prevent or reduce
the violence (Harijan). The Shanti
Sena would be different from the police or an army
in that their mission would not be to repress violence,
but rather to prevent and/or transform it -- and
to do so nonviolently.
July 1950, several Shanti Sena units had been established
in different localities around India. Thus
was formed the largest nonviolent peace army in
the history of the World. The Shanti Sainiks
(peace soldiers) were trained in nonviolence, peacebuilding,
first aid, Gandhian thought, community work, physical
fitness, meeting facilitation, and much more.
1959 there were about 1,000 sainiks -- and with
Martin Luther King, Jr. in attendance, the Shanti
Sena was officially inaugurated in the Indian city
story of the Shanti Sena's success was in 1965
when the Sena responded to the "language riots" (fighting
along linguistic divisions) in the city of Gujarat. Through
training’s, patrols, rumor fighting, pamphlets,
community presence and listening, the Sena was
able to play a significant role in ending the rioting. In
fact, they had such a strong impact that when they
felt it was time to leave, the police and the political
leaders requested that they remain (Weber, 118).
Shanti Sena was at its strongest in the late 60s
and early 70s.
Despite their many successful
peacekeeping and conflict-transforming missions,
problems plagued the Shanti Sena from the beginning. According
to Thomas Weber, author of Gandhi's Peace Army,
The Shanti Sena and Unarmed Peacekeeping, the primary
reason for the demise of the Sena was due to the
philosophical differences between Gandhi's political
heir, Jayaprakash Narayan, and his spiritual heir,
Vinoba Bhave. Issues which stemmed out of
the leadership divergence had to do with the amount
of centralized control over the local Shanti Senas,
and whether or not to work within the political
system or to stay out of politics all together
(Narayan wished that the Shanti Sena would use
its members and influence to have a direct impact
on Indian politics and Bhave felt that this directly
diminished the Sena's impartial status).
the Shanti Sena we have an example of an organization,
which was on the one hand remarkably successful
-- establishing itself, and creating structures
(organizational, financial, programmatic) to facilitate
the work of the Sena as well as its expansion. But
on the other hand, the Sena didn't last. Additionally,
as mentioned earlier, it was primarily focused
intranationally (although there were visions of
joining an international nonviolent peace army,
as well as a small effort in Cyprus). Again,
my intention here is not to do an exhaustive inquiry
into the Sena, but rather to take stock of its
success, its limitations, and to learn what we
can from its many achievements and ultimate demise.
1981, at Grindstone Island in Canada, an international
group of nonviolent peace and justice activists
convened to form Peace Brigades International
(PBI). The group was comprised of members
from Asia, the Americas and Europe. Their
founding statement reveals much in common with
the recurrent vision of an international peace
are forming an organization with the capacity to
mobilize and provide trained units of volunteers
. . . in areas of high tension, to avert violent
outbreaks. ... Peace brigades, fashioned
to respond to specific needs and appeals, will
undertake non-partisan missions, which may include
peacemaking initiatives, peacekeeping under a discipline
of nonviolence, and humanitarian service. ... (A)
brigade may establish and monitor a cease-fire,
offer mediatory services, or carry on works of
reconstruction and reconciliation. ... Those
who undertake these tasks will face risks and hardships. ... We
are building on a rich and extensive heritage of
nonviolent action. ... We are convinced that
this commitment of mind, heart, and dedicated (sic)
will can make a significant difference in human
Brigades International Founding Statement, issued
at Grindstone Island consultation, Ontario, Canada,
the founding statement was very broad, encompassing
more of the "traditional" definition
of peace teams, what PBI ended up doing was to
refine their vision and mission and create a model
for sustainable, effective, nonviolent accompaniment. This
refinement of vision and mission appears to have
set the stage for their long-term success.
initially directed its efforts in Central America,
which was a hotbed of both repression and international
focus. Arriving in Guatemala in 1983 without
a particularly specific mandate, PBI established
an office and began to provide the safety for Guatemalan
activists to organize under the protective witness
of international eyes. At the time, nearly
all Guatemalan activists had either been "disappeared" or
were paralyzed by the reign of state terror, and
nearly all human rights and civil society organizations
had been quashed by the military and paramilitaries
(also known as “Death Squads”). PBI assisted
in building both the political and the psychological
space necessary to organize in the face of such
1985 two of the directors of the Grupo de Apoyo
Mutuo or GAM (Mutual Support Group formed to
build support for families of the “disappeared”)
were assassinated in two separate incidents,
along with one member's brother and infant son. At
that point it became quite clear that the international
accompaniment (unarmed, international bodyguards)
was a deterrent factor to violent assaults (as
the murders happened to members when they were
without international accompaniment, and the
murders didn’t happen to members with accompaniment),
and rather than disband GAM, as many were inclined
to do (and indeed many left the organization),
PBI agreed to provide full-time international
accompaniment to the two remaining directors
(Mahony, Eguren, 1997, 26). Thus PBI shifted
its focus away from the broad vision of its founding
statement (which more closely resembled the vision
of the Shanti Sena), and became instead very
good at providing international, intercultural,
nonviolent, protective accompaniment for threatened
human rights activists and groups.
This "organic" strategy
of unarmed, nonviolent accompaniment (or unarmed
bodyguards) became the hallmark of PBI, which,
since its formation in Guatemala, has operated
projects in Sri Lanka, Haiti, Colombia, the United
States, El Salvador and East Timor. Their
vision -- born of nonviolent conflict transformation,
and further refined in the field -- creating a
model of nonviolent, international protective accompaniment
in support of human rights and civil society. PBI
has developed a model for something new, and has
done a very good job documenting its effectiveness
in the book Unarmed Bodyguards, International Accompaniment
for the Protection of Human Rights by Liam Mahony
and Luis Enrique Eguren. Through the process
of having a clear, defined mission, PBI has been
especially successful at creating an effective
and sustainable nonviolent intercultural peace
team. PBI's work has not been without risks
and setbacks; however, they have done something
extraordinary -- opening the door for other groups
to follow, expand, refine and improve the PBI model. Central
beliefs to PBI's work have been the principles
of non-partisanship; nonviolence; independence;
and non-interference. They have found
a way to say, "We will be at your side in
the face of injustice and suffering, but we will
not take sides against those you define as enemies" (Mahony,
Eguren, 236). Their commitment to nonviolence
has been unequivocal. PBI also recognized
that to remain credible, they needed to remain
independent of governmental associations. And
their policy of non-interference stems from the
goal to simply create the space for the local people
to do the work they need to do -- and to resist
the temptation to become "experts" and "advisors" and
thus perpetuate an unequal relationship between
the local activists and their international supporters. Having
such well-defined limits and a clearly articulated
mission has greatly assisted in the long-term viability
areas that PBI has encountered center mainly on
securing adequate funding and volunteers (capacity
building). Some of the factors which, while
understandable and in many ways essential, that
limit PBI’s ability to expand are: the minimum
age of 25 for volunteers; a general requirement
that volunteers be fluent in the local language;
and the lack of sufficient resources to financially
is also struggling with global issues of racism
(white skinned volunteers are often thought to
be more effective deterrents than volunteers of
color) but to submit to such a strategy (even when
it originates from local activists) perpetuates
a global racism, which is contrary to PBI's values. This
dynamic is one that any peace team would be wise
to consider and address explicitly.
is one of the oldest and most effective examples
of a nonviolent, international, intercultural presence
to deter violence and promote peace. They
have done a remarkable job staying focused, thinking
strategically, addressing race dynamics both internally
and externally, keeping if not adequately at least
minimally funded, and building the space for people
to rise out of fear and into constructive action
for social change.
For Peace (WFP) was founded in 1983 “by clergy
and lay people outraged by the Reagan Administration's
policy of ‘low intensity warfare’ directed
toward Nicaragua's civilian population.” (http://www.witnessforpeace.org/about.html,
initial action was in placing volunteer “witnesses”
(also described as “accompaniers”) in villages
in Nicaragua along the Honduras border. Nicaraguan
Counterrevolutionaries (Contras), based in Honduras,
were bombing the Nicaraguan border towns.
activists believed that the contras (largely
funded with U.S. dollars) would be averse to
killing U.S. nationals, and thus began a 17-year
presence in Nicaragua, which is still active
addition to providing a “human shield,” WPF was
especially successful in organizing delegations
to come to Nicaragua for two weeks, see the U.S.-funded
war firsthand, see and feel the pain of the war,
and return home to both educate and organize
-- through slide shows, informational meetings,
letter-writing campaigns, congressional visits,
letters to the editor and the like. Over
1,000 delegates went to Nicaragua from 1983 to
1985. Thus WFP expanded its mission to
include more than accompaniment. They became
peacebuilders in addition to peacekeepers and
as old as PBI, WFP shares PBI’s roots in Central
America, as well as its commitment to nonviolence,
political independence, and facing the threat
of violence directly. Said one WFP volunteer, "We
held candles. We were always surrounded
by Nicaraguans. There was a sense of solidarity,
of standing up to an immense power that was wrong. And
you did it by love, not shaking a fist. It
was a message of love" (Griffin-Nolan,
the U.S. had recently invaded Grenada (in October,
1983), another hope for WFP was to keep the U.S.
army out of Nicaragua. (There was widespread
fear that Regan would use the U.S. military to
intervene in Nicaragua). While it is difficult
to prove the likelihood of invasion (or that
a WFP presence had a deterrent effect), it is
clear that the WFP delegates made the Nicaraguans
feel safer. Sixto Ulloa, a Nicaraguan Baptist
leader, was convinced that “Witness For Peace
. . . made the counterrevolution move away [from
the areas where WFP had a presence]” (Griffin-Nolan,
inclusive of all religious faiths, WFP has a
strong history of Christian orientation. In
Nicaragua, this may have been a useful bridge
between U.S. Americans and the people of Nicaragua,
who are primarily Christian. However, in
an attempt to have a greater impact for coalition
building, recruitment and financial support in
the U.S., WFP felt that decreasing the strong
Christian specific association would be a wise
direction (Griffin-Nolan, 60).
has experience in both interpositioning (as on
the Nicaraguan border) and in accompaniment (as
in with returning refugees to Guatemala), and has
established itself as a solid leader in the emergence
of nonviolent peace team NGOs in the past two decades. As
the violence in Nicaragua and Guatemala subsided,
WPF has transitioned itself into less of a peacekeeping
organization to more of a peacebuilding one: broadening
its work to other countries (Mexico and Haiti);
expanding its mission by focusing on related issues
like poverty, U.S. foreign policy, and the declassification
of human rights and related documents; and publishing
reports, including their most recent, A Crude Awakening:
The World Bank, US policy and Oil in Guatemala.
has established itself as a strong nonviolent NGO
in the Americas, and while it has its roots in
IPTs, it has broadened its original mission to
focus on a multiplicity of issues and campaigns,
moving away from peace team work per se, and into
areas of peacebuilding and more general social
justice and social change efforts.
1984, Ron Snider gave the keynote address at Mennonite
World Conference, calling for the Christians of
the world to band together and form a Christian
peacemaking army that would intervene nonviolently
in situations of conflict” (Moser-Puangsuwan, Weber,
2000, 175). Using WFP as an example, the
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) was founded in
volunteers to Haiti, Iraq, Los Angeles, Canada,
Hebron, Israel, and Washington, D.C., the CPT has
created another model for nonviolent peace teams
and peace activism. The CPT is unique in
that it is clearly aligned with a specific religious
orientation. Self-described as "an
organization committed to ‘Getting in the Way’
-- challenging systems of domination and exploitation
as Jesus Christ did in the first century" (CPT
web site, http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/, 12/26/99),
the CPT provides a vehicle for radical Christians
to come together under their common faith to build
and promote peace.
short success story of the CPT occurred in Hebron
in a volatile area between Jewish settlers and
local Palestinians. Palestinians who lived
in the border areas were unable to obtain municipal
water because the town was afraid of sending
trucks too close to the settlements because of
violence (usually in the form of rocks to windshields). When
the CPT agreed to accompany the water trucks,
the town was willing to send the water trucks. However,
there followed a confrontation between the CPT
volunteers and Israeli soldiers, which ended
up with the arrests of some of the CPT volunteers. This
proved beneficial, because the international
press brought the problem of the water shortages
in Hebron to the attention of both the Israeli
citizens, and the rest of the world, and local
families were supplied with water. (Moser-Puangsuwan,
CPT has established itself as a viable, effective
and sustainable nonviolent peace team, I believe
that an effective global model of peace teams
must be multi-denominational. I do think
that there is a place for the CPT and other peace
teams defined by a specific faith; however, I
don't think a faith-specific organization can
have the large-scale impact that a trans-denominational
organization could have. Of course the
broader it gets, the broader the organizational
challenges; that will be discussed more later.
Gulf Peace Team (GPT) was an idea that occurred
to many different people from many different
nations in response to the imminent threat of
war in 1990 in the Persian Gulf. In October
of 1990, Pat Arrowsmith gathered together a group
of people in England to see what kind of support
there was for this bold idea (Moser-Puangsuwan,
followed was sort of a grand patchwork quilt of
73 peace activists from 15 countries converging
in Baghdad and creating an encampment on the Iraqi/Kuwait
border (on the Iraqi side), with initial Iraqi
governmental permission and minimal support. However,
the GPT was not particularly successful in accomplishing
their initial vision. Because the GPT was
so interwoven with a complexity of problems --
it is admirable that they survived as long as they
did. There was the lack of a clearly articulated
strategy; minimal organizational support; inconsistent
or no required training or selection processes;
and no common language.
to Mary Ellen Britt, U.S. Coordinator of the Gulf
Peace Teams, what the GPT ended up being was a
handful of activists who felt the need to place
themselves on the border between the warring sides. Courageous,
admirable and committed, these activists were ready
to die to promote peace -- but they were not truly
effective at having a dramatic impact on the war.
am impressed with the action of the GPT, and I
think we have much to learn from their efforts. That
such a diverse group of people managed to get themselves
to Iraq, and secure an appropriate site upon which
to form the peace camp, is commendable. However,
according to Robert J. Burrowes, a GPT volunteer
and author of “The Persian Gulf War and the Gulf
Peace Team, (Moser-Puangsuwan, Y and Weber, T),
a significant amount of energy went into internal
processing, attempting to develop an effective
group "culture," and into some individuals
who had special psychological needs, as well as
into such essential issues as securing adequate
food and water. The GPT is remarkable because
considering the almost impossibly stressful conditions
that they were under (living in a war zone, 73
individuals from 15 countries, no common language,
not enough food, not a clear mission, volunteers
with special psychological needs, no ability to
communicate with families or home countries), their
dedication to their collective vision of stopping
the war held strong until they were evacuated by
the Iraqi Government about a month after their
the GPT there exists a recent example of the kind
of courageous commitment that would do well channeled
into a more organized peace team. In the
GPT there was devotion and dedication, but ineffective
planning, structural support and organizational
cohesion. The GPT was a reactive response
to the war. Had an International Peace Team
been established previous to the Gulf War, it is
conceivable that many of the obstacles encountered
by the GPT would been negligible, with structures
and support systems in place, and that the probability
of their having a greater impact would have been
the examples of the Shanti Sena, PBI, WFP, CPT
and the GPT, there is a common thread of a grand
vision of some kind of large-scale brigade (force,
army, etc.), which can move to areas of actual
or impending conflict and transform the conflict
through interpositioning themselves between the
combatants, while simultaneously supporting local
peace efforts. This initial dream is a
monumental one, deeply visionary, requiring great
courage and organization. Despite a common
thread of a vision, these organizations have
not been able to build the breadth and depth
of their initial vision. This is the question
I hope to address in the next part of this paper. We
should, however, be careful not to judge the
efforts as “failures” because of the very important
work that these groups have achieved, and continue
to achieve, in saving lives, promoting peace
and justice, and modeling different paths of
third-party peace intervention. But we
can learn much from their shortcomings and their
achievements, as we contemplate building something
very similar to the imaginations of these early
As a planet, we are reaching our carrying capacity in our ability to sustain the increased environmental destruction caused by war. As our ability to build increasingly effective and destructive weaponry expands, so does our ability to cause increased environmental damage. In centuries past, the consequences of war were much more limited. Now those same consequences threaten our ability to continue to survive at an entirely new level.
It is time to come to terms with the spiritual, economic and environmental folly in spending so much money on weapons, violence and war. It is time to build new models to transform conflicts and to promote cooperation and understanding throughout the world.
In this section I am interested in developing the little known and little used idea of the peace team as a path to building a new model of conflict transformation.
From the earlier parts of this paper, we know that the peace team concept isn’t especially new -- but as a tool for large-scale, international conflict transformation, the vision has not been achieved. Despite many noble, useful, and effective (though "scaled down") creations, the world has yet to build a large-scale, sustainable, effective nonviolent intercultural peace team.
This is a very exciting time, rich with possibilities. As we stand at the edge of the new millennium we have the opportunity to build upon the various nonviolent, social change strategies developed and promoted during the last fifty years -- working for peace, working for justice, adhering to nonviolence in all contexts, and demonstrating new possibilities for successful coexistence. This model comes from my own thinking and imagining over the last fifteen years -- although more fully developed in the last 18 months while pursuing my degree at SIT. This model was developed prior to finding the model being proposed in the “International Peace Force” (see next section and appendix), although the two models are quite similar. The model of the International Peace Team (IPT) has been influenced and enhanced through my research and interviews conducted over the last 18 months -- however, the basic framework has been relatively consistent. Some of the changes in my vision of the IPT try to reflect what I have learned about peace teams -- building on the successes and avoiding the mistakes and errors of previous attempts.
Organizational Structure: The International Peace Team (IPT) would need to be independent of any government, with the one possible exception of the United Nations, or other group of nations (e.g. the Organization for African Unity). The obvious reason for this would be to sustain and maintain political autonomy from any particular nation state.
In all of the work of the IPT, nonviolence shall be a cornerstone practice. The IPT Central Committee would need to be intercultural, international, and inclusive of diverse representation (gender, age, culture, north/south), and would be the governing body of the IPT. The Central Committee would need to be constantly alert and sensitive to issues of structural, financial, cultural and racial domination within the IPT.
Mission: The IPT is formed to promote new methods of conflict transformation, conflict de-escalation and conflict deterrence in both inter- and intranational conflicts. The IPT will strive to aid and assist local peacemakers in transforming their own conflicts, and will need to recognize the essential inherent value of the local peacemakers -- both for short- and long-term peace promotion. The IPT will do this work by sending unarmed volunteers into volatile areas. The specific mission well be well-defined prior to entering into a volatile area and will include local peace groups’ support, involvement and leadership. The Peace Team has the primary mission of sending well-organized, well-trained, well-supplied and well-supported peace teams into conflict areas, war zones and other tense areas to transform the conflicts and build peace -- from the very center of the conflict.
Preparation: Prior to leaving for service, the IPT shall: have established themselves as a cohesive unit; have had extensive nonviolence training; have clearly defined roles; and have a clearly defined mandate for the particular conflict that they will be entering. Mandates may include peacekeeping, peacemaking and/or peacebuilding. Specifically, the peace teams may provide: pre-conflict deployment to minimize the possibility of an outbreak of violence; mid-conflict interpositioning; support of local peace and justice activists; diplomacy; mediation; communication; providing "international witness " to both deter and to document atrocities; and peace and nonviolence training when invited and appropriate. The IPT might also provide post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation. The IPT will strive to provide both encouragement for de-escalation as well as to provide human deterrents to war and violence.
Goals: The initial foundational belief (as yet only sparsely tested -- see earlier section on PBI and WFP) is that an intercultural international peace team response unarmed and in the middle of areas of conflict, will have a de-escalating effect on the combatants. The underlying belief that deterrence would be effective is based on the assumption that most warring entities, however irrational their behaviors may appear, are strategic enough to recognize that if they start killing internationals, the international response will increase exponentially. Thus the peace team shall aim to provide both a calming and a deterring effect on the combatants, and an encouraging and supportive effect on the local nonviolent and peace efforts.
Organizational Ownership: The International Peace Team shall be a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a board of directors representing the diversity of leadership necessary to be clearly unaligned with any particular ideology, religion, class, nation-state, continent, language, race or ethnicity. The common language of the IPT would be English.
Management Team: The management team shall be comprised of several different individuals from several different nationalities with extensive skills and competencies. The management team shall strive to model the Peace Team concept in the world -- demonstrating how a group of international, intercultural, inter-ethnic, multi-gender, inter-religious, multiracial and economically diverse people can find ways to achieve relative harmony working and living together. The IPT will need to have excellent skills on multiple levels, such as strategic planning, public relations, leadership, fundraising, crisis intervention, finance, nonviolence, group dynamics, communication, intercultural understanding and sensitivity, flexibility, languages, technical and logistical details.
Volunteers and Organizational Structure: Volunteers would commit to two years of full-time service. Initially the volunteers would need to commit to a four-month intensive training program: three months to learn basic skills, and an additional month to learn specific skills (communications, logistics, emergency medicine, etc.). In the first three-month training the volunteers would learn skills in nonviolence, group dynamics, conflict theories, and interdependence and would practice simulations of how to function well in high-stress, war-like environments. They would learn how to respond to a multitude of situations and challenges. They would find ways to internalize nonviolence, and experience and practice effective group interdependence and cooperation. All volunteers would need to have fluency in English and be at least 21 years of age.
Recognizing that the structure will need to be fluid, but offering a template from which to work from, I propose the following model: Volunteers would be organized into 10-person intercultural “front-line” groups. Each group would have: two co-leaders; two members skilled in technology and communications; two skilled in logistics, finance and transportation; two skilled in attending to the survival needs of the team (food and shelter, hygiene and emergency medicine); and two others who would have different skills and "float" as needed. Role selections would be designated/chosen during the training process. At least four members of each team would speak the local language, and all would be skilled in group dynamics and internal conflict transformation processes. Each group would be guided and directed by their two co-leaders, and both the co-leaders and the group itself would be attentive to traditional power dynamics of race, gender, people with more traditional education, people from affluent countries, age issues, etc., and would be organized to distribute power in an equitable fashion. Of the two co-leaders, one would focus primarily on internal leadership and one on external leadership.
Each group would develop a very strong degree of trust and internal cohesion, while remaining flexible enough to have individual members leave and enter the group as needed. Norms would need to be established that all group members felt comfortable with (e.g., punctuality, level of direct expression of feelings, interpersonal conflict strategies, etc.). Agreed upon processes for resolving internal conflicts would need to be well developed and well practiced.
At the next level up, would be another group of 10 members. These mid-level groups would be comprised of the external co-leaders from 10 front-line groups. The purpose of this mid-level organization layer would be to achieve communication (horizontally and vertically) and coordination within the IPT. Among this mid-level group of 10, there would be two designated co-coordinators, selected by the 10 mid-level group members.
If there were more than 100 people deployed to a given situation, then the organizational structure could keep going up a level. For example, if there were 1000 people, there would be 100 front-line groups each with 10 members, and for each 10 groups there would be a mid- level group of 10, and above that, another group of 10 representatives of each of the mid-level groups. This would provide for effective communication from each volunteer to the central group as appropriate. This entire structure in many ways resembles a military model -- e.g. strong discipline, tight organization, clear roles and protocols for decision-making and internal processes. However, it is different from a military model in many important ways. Nonviolence, of course, will be both a central value and practice -- but other values would be stressed, including a stronger investment in group harmony, some degree of democratic decision-making, and a diminishment of the polarization between the designated leaders and the regular volunteers.
Tasks and Decision Making: The in-country Coordinating Committee in a given conflict situation would have direct representation from the mid-level groups, direct connection with, and representation from, local peace organizations, and also have direct access with the IPT headquarters, providing information exchange, support-needs identification, public education, etc.
Both the difficulty and the importance of effective intercultural communication issues cannot be underestimated. Creating such an organization within a culture would be a tremendous challenge -- and trying to do this in an intercultural environment is an enormous undertaking. Prior to deployment, the IPT would have had extensive communication with the local peace and justice organizations, to identify the needs articulated and mechanisms for IPT support, and would have developed a clear mandate for what the IPT aimed to accomplish.
The relationship with the local peace organizations would be clear, and the goals of the mission would be transparent, quantifiable, and understood by all. The actual work of the IPT would vary greatly from situation to situation, but would always be consistent with the mission.
Let me experiment with a hypothetical case study. In this example, I will explore how the IPT could be useful in a "vertical" conflict (where there is an aggressor and, by most international perspectives, a "victim"). I wish to use the current conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. As I am only minimally knowledgeable about this conflict, I shall make many assumptions in order to experiment with the peace team intervention idea -- and I hope my assumptions are neither too indicative of my ignorance, nor too unconsciously racist, imperialistic or ethnocentric. Let us also assume, for demonstration sake, that the conflict has dramatically escalated.
As mentioned above, I see this conflict as a vertical one. The geographically larger, more populous, better resourced and more armed country of Ethiopia is demonstrating aggression towards Eritrea and is the provocateur of the conflict. I believe that Ethiopia would have a different description -- but it appears that the general international consensus supports the gist of my assumptions.
If (for the moment anyway) we accept my assumptions, then we can consider the question of how an international peace team might effectively prevent and/or deter violence, war and aggression in this conflict.
In cooperation with, and support of, the local nonviolent peace and justice activists, and in this case with at least the tacit support of the Eritrean Government (by virtue of allowing the IPT volunteers into the country), what if we were able to organize, fund and train 1,000 people into 100 different teams? What if we send 1,000 IPT volunteers to Eritrea and place them along the boarder in small groups, in strategic places -- areas that Ethiopia has been previously bombing? What would happen?
Having the consent of the Eritrean Government would be very complicated. It would on the one hand be immensely useful, but clearly would destroy, or at least significantly diminish any possibility of nonpartisan status. But if this is a vertical conflict, and that is part of our analysis, than perhaps this is a logical consequence anyway. Certainly it is a dilemma worthy of thoughtful consideration, a dilemma that becomes further complicated if the Eritrean Government was bent on a military solution themselves.
At any rate, we now have 1000 volunteers in Eritrea, with the goal of making themselves human shields in designated villages, bridges, airports or other targeted areas. Well-trained, well equipped, well organized, and well funded -- what would happen next?
The IPT Central Committee would have notified Ethiopia of the arrival of the Peace Teams, and would have predetermined the location of each team and have shared those locations with the Ethiopian Government. Ethiopia would then have a strategic and moral dilemma. They would likely be furious at the IPT for intervening in the conflict which heretofore had little international attention and which now would hopefully have significantly increased attention (reflecting the IPT’s media and Internet sophistication). But would they change their military strategy? Would they choose to bomb anyway and kill some of the internationals? Ignore their presence entirely? Back up and regroup? This is a central question for those of us placing hope in the IPT being an effective peacekeeper and conflict transformer. Additionally, even if the IPT stopped the immediate violence, how will the IPT support long-term peacebuilding?
The probability of some of the volunteers being killed is high, either by mistake or by intention. This then must be a cause for which the volunteers are prepared to die. But we must remember the track record of previous attempts, and look critically at the data that exists, to see if the assumptions of deterrence and de-escalation and (relative) safety are correct.
I have a belief, buttressed by the work of previous peace teams, that there are sufficient numbers of people who are prepared to take such risks to promote peace. As part of an orchestrated intercultural coalition I would be willing to take such risks. But these risks would certainly bring up recruitment and retention issues.
Large questions remain to be addressed: How to interface with the local peace organizations both Eritrean and Ethiopian and how to relate to the Governments? In the Gulf Peace Team action (though not identified as a vertical conflict by the peace team) they refused to be formally allied with Iraq (which Iraq had wanted) although they did receive Iraqi support. They were ignored by Saudi Arabia, despite a desire to establish a peace camp on the Saudi side as well. This dilemma appears to be a delicate tightrope to walk, especially in horizontal conflicts (horizontal meaning conflicts where each side has relative equal power). What about the cultural issues? What would it mean to have an outside group intervene in a context where few people had much awareness of the cultural or the deeper implications of the conflict? Certainly part of the pre-deployment training would include a significant training on the culture(s) that will be encountered. (This is something the UN doesn’t currently do for its peacekeepers!). Is this cultural imperialism? Perhaps in this case if the Eritrean Peace Movement invited the Peace Team members (or the Eritrean Government) it would be less complicated ... but what if there was no invitation? Would an international intervention be appropriate? What if the conflict was a horizontal one?
I believe that a nonviolent intervention, as opposed to an armed intervention (using the threat of force as its primary authority) would be a better choice -- largely because of my own belief and commitment to nonviolence, but also because I believe it would build a more lasting peace. When people stop fighting because someone with a larger weapon or larger numbers is telling them to stop, it is paternalistic and coercive. If people stop because they have been persuaded to stop, (perhaps still being “coerced” but using a very different type of coercion), I think their impetus to stop will be more solid, not necessarily a personal transformation, but at least compelled by a depth of analysis which goes deeper than through armed “persuasion.” I also believe a nonviolent response will be cheaper -- both in loss of life and in dollars. Lastly, modeling nonviolence as a method to resolve and transform conflicts leaves a demonstration of something newer and more positive, whereas a military intervention leaves an impression that the biggest, strongest and most armed entity always prevails.
In the case study described above, having an international nonviolent intervention would have a significant effect. Ethiopia would have a much more difficult time waging this war if the eyes of the world were watching (and thus enduring the subsequent political consequences). And if Ethiopia started killing Brazilians, Australians, Indians, Japanese and U.S. Americans, the global reaction would be much more dramatic (although based in part, on the racism of the world, which raises more moral questions...). The costs for such an intervention would be not so expensive. The largest cost would be the possible/probable loss of lives, and the training, travel and logistical support, which would be dramatically small compared to a military intervention. Am I correct in my assessment? Could we recruit volunteers to such an endeavor? Would anyone fund this kind of operation? There are so many questions -- yet such a strong pull to explore, create and innovate.
there is much for me to learn about the peace team
concept and movement. What parts of my dreams
are overly Western or problematically racist and
patronizing? Is it reasonable to think that
enough people would volunteer to put their lives
on the line?
The International Peace Force (IPF) is a bold, timely, exciting and thrilling proposal that is in its developmental infancy. At the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace Conference, peace activists came together to discuss this idea, and to see what was possible.
To provide a deeper context for this section, it may be valuable for the reader to review the IPF proposal (see Appendix).
My analysis has at this time been limited to reading the initial IPF proposal document (see appendix), several e-mail and telephone exchanges with the co-authors, and several e-mail exchanges with one of the researchers. Overall, the vision I have articulated in the form of the IPT and the vision of the IPF are remarkably similar -- summarized as an international, unarmed, nonviolent group of peace force volunteers, who, in support of the local peace and nonviolent efforts, go to conflicted areas of the world to assist in preventing and/or transforming the violence and/or rebuilding and healing the divisions (Hartsough/Duncan, unpublished essay, 1999).
The biggest area of possible difference between the two models is whether or not the teams will be intercultural. In my thinking, this is central to the vision. For the IPF proposal, the authors have received significant feedback that it would be too much to attempt to build intercultural teams, and are considering a model that more closely resembles an international military force -- with separate divisions divided by country lines. The concern is that intercultural teams would become too drained by intercultural issues, be less effective and less able to be focused on the job at hand, and possibly that the intercultural nature would potentially sabotage the mission.
While I understand the rationale for wanting monoculture teams, it saddens me greatly and feels as though it would be a tragic compromise. I believe the IPF should exemplify intercultural peace and cooperation. Most of the violent conflicts of the last decade have been along cultural lines. If the IPF can demonstrate effective interdependence and cooperation within its peace teams, I believe it will be in a better position to encourage cultural pluralism and cooperation. If the IPF teams are monocultural, then I see the message being conveyed is "interculturalism is too hard for us -- but we expect you to be able to figure it out with our help." This is somewhat like the saying, "Those who can't do, teach." Clearly this is a tremendous concern of mine. I hope I shall be able to contribute to this discussion in the IPF proposal prior to its resolution.
In PBI (as in countless other NGOs), we have examples of effective intercultural peace teams. I believe the IPF could replicate this example as well. This would necessitate a lengthier training to address intercultural issues, but I believe this would be a worthwhile effort.
Another major concern I have with the IPF (which they themselves share as well) is that of U.S. American and/or Euro/American domination. Currently the two co-authors are both U.S. White males. Additionally, the majority of those currently quoted in support of the IPF idea are from Europe or the U.S.
I believe that in order to insure global authority and lasting impact, we must make the IPF truly international, developing significantly increased involvement from the Global South, as authors, as part of the "Initiating Group" and in all stages of leadership and development. This is imperative and I suggest that this happen in the very near future.
The IPF is moving forward with surprising speed. I think that attention to forming a structure (even a temporary one) needs immediate attention. The vaguely defined Initiating Group needs to be both defined and developed as soon as possible. And, while sustaining the momentum generated thus far, significant responsibility for leadership should be transferred, or at least shared, with this Initiating Group within the very near future -- ideally by July 2000.
I would also suggest the immediate formation of an Internet listserv for any and all who wish to participate in a dialogue about the IPF idea, so that anyone with Internet access can join in on the discussions. This would harness appropriate technology, require no financial commitment, provide a global forum to create, debate, ponder and vision, and require minimal staff time. I would also suggest forming a second listserv, with members selected by invitation -- to facilitate a dialogue of increased depth and focus.
Additionally, I believe that an exploratory conference needs to be planned to bring together the hearts and minds of the peace team activists in the world to take this proposal to a deeper level. I would have two primary goals for this conference: 1) to shift the "ownership" early on to a more truly international level and 2) to bring the collective wisdom of IPT activists together. This may require two conferences -- an initial conference to follow up on the Hague Appeal for Peace preliminary meetings and begin to develop a collective vision, and then a follow-up conference to share thinking, research, and to formulate the IPF. I think that this first conference should be planned within the month, and occur within one year. I believe the conference should be held in the Global South.
Special attention needs to be placed on long-term thinking for the IPF. How can an organization be built that will have adequate funding, effective long-term leadership, and breadth and depth of vision? What structures can be built that will endure the inevitable internal (many of which will probably be intercultural) conflicts? How will the vision be defined and refined to keep it relevant, focused, achievable, and compelling? What role might the UN play in the IPF?
The vision contained in the IPF Proposal is remarkably well thought out, well defined, and comprehensive. It is (with the exceptions noted above), attentive to cultural sensitivity, profoundly visionary, grounded in reality and full of possibility and inspiration.
Is it just an accident that as we cross into this next global era, that this increase in movement for an International Peace Force is happening? I would like to think not. I would also like to think that it is not an accident that I have chosen this time in my life to return to the calling of years past. We shall see.
Using Kosovo as an example of what "we could have done" had the IPF been in existence a mere five years ago, the IPF becomes increasingly compelling. Think of what we could have done to prevent the tragic structural, physical and spiritual damage; the tremendous loss of life; the huge sums of money spent on the air war; the huge sums of money spent on reconstruction; and the dramatically increased animosity between the Serbs and the Kosovars? All of which will take years, if not decades to heal.
Analyzing Kosovo and other recent conflicts and the potential application of peace teams, is a critical next step. Where and how might peace teams have made a positive impact? And where might they make a positive impact in the future?
Given the solid foothold the nonviolence movement has achieved in the last fifty years, and the recent experiments in peace teams around the world, I believe the time is ripe for the establishment of an International Peace Team (IPT). We must be very mindful to build something strong, solid, inclusive, effective and sustainable.
Certainly there is much hope for the future of IPTs. With decades of experience in both nonviolence and international third-party interventions, and with the development of the Internet to keep our global community more easily linked, I believe the time is rich with potential for the future of peace teams. Through the experiments over the last fifty years we have learned much about the essential nature with regards to involving local peace and justice activists and organizations -- and of the unconscious cultural arrogance international activists can easily slide into.
We have also experienced many concrete successful examples using nonviolence as a tool for large-scale social change (e.g., in India and in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement), of the empirical confirmation of an international presence as a deterrent to violence (e.g., PBI and WFP), and of an increased capacity for national forgiveness and reconciliation (e.g., in South Africa). There is a lot of reason to be optimistic that the world is ready to undergo a paradigm shift in how we respond to, and change, violent conflicts.
Clearly many, many questions remain. Creating sustainable and effective nonviolent intercultural peace teams is such a radical idea that it needs one part stubborn idealistic faith and one part pragmatic realism in order to succeed. Where exactly will we find the millions of dollars necessary to fund this kind of peace work? The total amount required would be more than the combined budgets of the world's peace and justice groups, although considerably less than many individual humanitarian and relief organizations, and monstrously less than the world spends on war (in any given day). Will the teams be able to be intercultural? This is a very significant question and worthy of much more research. Can we use current examples of violent situations and extrapolate how a peace team might positively impact the situation? How would we establish structures that adequately address the power differentials in the world? How would we recruit volunteers? What kind of training would we need to implement? Has humanity really risen to a new capacity for conflict transformation? Will the increase in technology really make a substantive difference? Will we continue to be able to recruit volunteers if volunteers become victims of violence themselves? These are just some of the questions that warrant future investigation and contemplation.
But it is time to move beyond the antiquated notion that killing people who are killing people, shows that killing people is wrong. As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." Let us work together to expand this vision.
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