Reading Recommendations: October

Each month we bring you a selection of reading material recommendations from our staff. Here are the selected readings for October. 

The Face of Peace

An extremely informative and insightful investigation into a crucial – yet underexplored – facet of the viability, legitimacy, and sustainability of peace agreements: public engagement and public buy-in. Despite being a model peace process in many respects, the 2016 Colombian peace agreement with the FARC was narrowly rejected by a popular referendum. The book examines the concept of “peace pedagogy”, exploring the issues with public outreach and how the challenges of government-society relations affected public buy-in to the agreement.

Recommended by Alex Bramble

Prospects and challenges for women’s roles in conflict prevention and reconciliation in Lebanon

This in-depth policy brief takes a look at the challenges and possible opportunities facing women peacebuilders in Lebanon (in Tripoli and Bekaa in particular). One of the main findings of the policy brief is that gender, class, age and nationality continue to be points of division between Lebanese communities (often triggered by memories of the civil war).

Recommended by Farah Abou Harb

“Terribly Lonely”: The Psychological Impact of Mediating Violent Conflict

The article explores some of the challenges associated with contemporary peacemaking, setting out possible options to chart a different course and reflecting on the personal and professional toll and investment it takes from those involved.

Recommended by Alex Shoebridge 

Kings of Shanghai

An epic book following two remarkable families and the impact they had on the world. The Kadooris and the Sassoons, both of jewish origin from Iraq, built fortunes in China, survived the Japanese invasion and the Chinese revolution before fleeing to Hong Kong where they reinvented the city’s fortunes. Their story is one of resilience, survival, courage, generosity, solidarity and ambition. Kings of Shanghai is an unusual and exciting book that follows the two families’ experiences of peace and war in the twentieth century.

Recommended by Caroline Varin

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