Michael Allen Fox (SHS class of ’58) recently published ¨Understanding Peace: A Comprehensive Introduction¨ (New York: Routledge, 2014). This book, his seventh, fills the need for an original, contemporary examination of peace that is challenging, informative, and empowering, and that reflectively integrates material from many fields of knowledge.
Fully documented and written in an accessible style, Understanding Peace moves beyond fixation on war to highlight the human capacity for nonviolent cooperation in everyday life and in conflict situations. After numerous ideas about war and explaining its heavy costs to humans, animals, and the environment, the discussion then turns to the evidence of the existence of peaceful societies. Further topics include the role of nonviolence in history, the nature of violence and aggression, and the theory and practice of nonviolence.
The book offers two new moral arguments against war, and concludes by defining peace carefully from different angles and describing the conditions for creating a culture of peace. Understanding Peace (available in both print and e-book versions) brings a fresh philosophical perspective to the study of peace, and also addresses down-to-earth issues about effecting constructive change in a complex world. Its approach will appeal to a diverse audience of students and scholars in peace studies, philosophy, and the social sciences, as well as to general-interest readers. Michael is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Queen’s University, and Adjunct Professor of Humanities, University of New England, Australia.