This is a space to post reviews of texts and reviews in development, peacebuilding, conflict resolution and related sectors. Feel free to share an overview of your favorite books. Also feel free to visit and add to the list of the top books in the field on the blog.

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Helena Cobban, recently came out with a new book Amnesty after Atrocity?: Healing Nations after Genocide and War Crimes, (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007). I have read through the book and found it be a fascinating text that challenges many of the assumptions of post-conflict justice. The author does a careful case study of three societies in Africa and how they dealt with the severe crimes committed during their respective conflict periods and the various approaches they used to help build a post-conflict society. This is a must read for anyone involved in post-conflict justice issues. It is possible to view the concluding chapter in the publication Archipelago
To learn more about the work of Helena Cobban, see her blog Just World News
As part of the Fletcher School’s colloquium on conflict, corruption and peacebuilding, a series of Thought Pieces have been posted to the colloquium website found at:
The Thought Pieces are informal reflections on some of the key questions outstanding in this area. Written by colloquium participants, they served as a basis to the day’s conversation. In addition, a report on the colloquium will be forthcoming in September.

Mary Elizabeth King
An eye-opening new account of the first Palestinian intifada

“We can discern from these pages that it is not too late to strengthen the nonviolent peacemakers who are working to find solutions for all contenders, without the burdens of bankrupt violence.”
– From the Introduction by President Jimmy Carter

“Mary King, the legendary activist scholar, has written a profound, easily accessible, carefully documented book about the first Intifada. She has gone beyond the headlines to the history, people, struggles, agony and possibilities that make the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the centerpiece of our human tragedy. This is a must read.” – Professor Marcus Raskin, George Washington University, Washington, DC

“This is an erudite, meticulous, and groundbreaking book, written in lucid prose, by an acclaimed expert on nonviolent action. . . . Mary King revealingly explores the attempts of dedicated groups to further the principle of nonviolent political struggle amidst the clashes of two national movements, Palestinian and Zionist-Israeli.” – Professor Michael Freeden, Faculty of Politics, University of Oxford

In A Quiet Revolution, King presents the remarkable and previously untold account of the first intifada as a massive nonviolent social mobilization. The Palestinians’ deliberately chosen methods for resisting the Israeli occupation effectively debunk the widely held notion of the first intifada as violent. A decades-long spread of knowledge about nonviolent strategies throughout Palestinian society shaped the uprising, which was years in the making, not a spontaneous rebellion as press accounts led many to believe. Joint Israeli-Palestinian committees were the earliest harbingers of a political evolution underway, and stood in contrast to the PLO's military doctrine of “all means of struggle.” Once under way, the intifada’s ability to continue despite harsh reprisals relied on thousands of “popular committees,” often started and run by women, to sustain communities under curfew or on strike. From the 1987 uprising would emerge the most cogent pressure to date to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with implied acceptance of the latter’s permanence.
Drawing on the history of nonviolent movements―from the strategies of the U.S. civil rights leaders in the American South to the Czech and Slovaks’ velvet revolution to the Serbian activists who brought down Slobodan Milošević―King argues that through the use of nonviolent strategies, Palestinians and Israelis can achieve peace.

Mary Elizabeth King worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. (no relation) as a student. Now professor of peace and conflict studies at the UN-affiliated University for Peace, and distinguished scholar of the American University Center for Global Peace in Washington, D.C., King is author of Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, which won her a 1988 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award, and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Oxford, UK.

A Quiet Revolution by Mary Elizabeth King
Nation Books: ISBN 1-56025-802-0 / $16.95
Available at local bookstores and online at,, and
Restorative Justice How it Works
Marian Liebmann

This topical book provides an accessible introduction to the philosophy of restorative justice and its application in a wide range of settings, demonstrating how it can help to rehabilitate both victims and offenders when harm has been done.

Drawing on many years’ experience of working in victim support, probation and mediation, Marian Liebmann uses pertinent case examples to illustrate how restorative justice can be used effectively, from confronting bullying in schools and tackling antisocial behaviour, to dealing with sexual
and racial violence and community reconciliation after war. Whether in the context of families, schools, communities, criminal justice or prisons, the author argues that restorative justice is a ‘seamless philosophy’ which can be applied flexibly to meet diverse needs. Liebmann provides an international
outlook, examining how restorative justice is administered around the world, including traditional Maori and Aboriginal approaches.

How Restorative Justice Works will be a key read for magistrates, social workers, probation workers, police, teachers and health professionals. It is accessibly written and thus will also be of interest to the lay reader.

Marian Liebmann has worked in education, art therapy, victim support and probation, and for eight years worked for Mediation UK as director and project adviser. She has written and edited seven books in the fields of art therapy, mediation and conflict resolution, including Mediation in Context, Arts Approaches to Conflict, and Art Therapy with Offenders, also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She currently divides her time between freelance restorative justice and mediation training, art therapy and writing.

Contents: Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. What is Restorative Justice? 2. A Brief History of Restorative Justice. 3. Restorative Approaches Involving Victims and Offenders Separately. 4. Models of Restorative Justice Involving Victims and Offenders Together. 5. Restorative Approaches for the Early Years of Life 6. Restorative Approaches in Schools 7. Restorative Justice with Victims and Young Offenders in the UK. 8. Restorative Justice with Victims and Adult Offenders in the UK. 9. Restorative Justice in Prisons 1:
Prisoners Making Amends.10. Restorative Justice in Prisons 2: Relationships in the Prison Community. 11. Restorative Justice Around
the World. 12. Restorative Justice in Complex and Sensitive Cases. 13. Issues in Restorative Justice. 14. Research: A Selection. 15.
Restorative Justice after Large-Scale Violence or Oppression. 16. Arts Approaches to Restorative Justice.

April 2007 480 pp ISBN 978 1 84310 074 4 pb £28.00

Jessica Kingsley Publishers



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