Essential Books in the Conflict Resolution Field

One of the goals of this site is to offer useful resources. In this endeavor, I would like to see if some members might want to suggest their top 10-15 books in the conflict resolution and development fields (and/or the intersection of the two). This could be interesting to compare lists and see what are the most frequently recommend texts:

Here are some key texts (feel free to recommend more)

Anderlini, Sanam. (2007). Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Anderson, Mary. (1999). Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace – Or War. Lynne Rienner

Avruch, Kevin. (1998). Culture and Conflict Resolution. United States Institute of Peace Press.

Bercovitch, Jacob and Jackson, Richard. (2009). Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century
Principles, Methods, and Approaches. University of Michigan Press.

Bercovitch, Jacob (Ed.) (1996), Resolving International Conflicts: The Theory and Practice of Mediation, Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers

Burton, John, (1990), Conflict: Resolution and Provention, London: Macmillan Press

Davies, John and Kaufman, Edy (Eds) (2002), Second Track / Citizens’ Diplomacy: Concepts and Techniques for Conflict Transformation, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield

Diamond, Louise and McDonald, John, (1996), Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace, Connecticut: Kumarian Press

Galtung, Johan. (1996). Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization. PRIO.

Kriesberg, Louis. (2006). Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution, 3rd Edition, Rowman and Littlefield

Lederach, J.P. and Jenner, J.M. (Eds) (2002) A Handbook of International Peacebuilding: Into The Eye Of The Storm. Jossey-Bass

Lederach, John Paul (2005) The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace. Oxford University Press

Mitchell, Christopher R. (1981). The Structure of International Conflict.

Moghaddam, Fathali (2008). How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of One World and Why That Fuels Violence. Praeger.

Paris, Roland. (2004). At War’s End. Building Peace after Civil Conflict. Cambridge, University Press.

Ramsbotham, O., Woodhouse, T, and Miall, H. (2005). Contemporary Conflict Resolution. Blackwell Publishers.

Reychler, Luc and Paffenholz, Thania (Ed.s) (2001). Peacebuilding: A Field Guide, Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers

Rubinstein, Robert. (2008). Peacekeeping under Fire: Culture and Intervention. Paradigm Publishers.

Van Tongeren, P, Brenk, M, Hellema, M., & Verhoeven, J. (Eds.) (2005) People Building Peace II. Successful Stories of Civil Society. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Zartman, William I. and Rasmussen, J. Lewis (Eds) (1997), Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods & Techniques, Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press

Zelizer, Craig and Rubinstein, R. (Eds)(2009). Building Peace. Practical Reflections from the Field. Kumarian Press.

Zelizer, C. (Eds) (2013). Integrated Peacebuilding. Innovative Approaches to Transforming Conflict. Westview Press.

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Tags: Conflict Resolution, Key Books, Recommended Texts, Top 10


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Comment by Luis Fernando Bravo de Barros on April 29, 2014 at 4:24pm

Wolfgang Dietrich's Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture (Palgrave, 2012), and Elicitive Conflict Transformation and the Transrational Shift in Peace Politics (Palgrave, 2013).
The first two books out of a three books series (the third is due next year).

Those are must reads, on my humble opinion.


Comment by Tom Bamat on April 29, 2014 at 3:56pm

I'd definitely add Paffenholz, Thania, ed. Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (2010). Lynne Rienner. Also Schirch, Lisa. Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning  (2013). Kumarian; and Levinger, Matthew, Conflict Analysis: Understanding Causes, Unlocking Solutions (2013). USIP

Comment by Cheryl Duckworth, Ph.D. on July 14, 2012 at 8:48am

Conflict Resolution and the Scholarship of Engagement-an edited volume exploring how engaged scholarship, partnering with communities, can facilitate effective peace building

Comment by Rec Eguia on July 14, 2012 at 8:39am

Hi all! I am planning to conduct research on "Political Economy in Conflict ContexT", as of this time I am still searching materials that could help me on this topic. I am grateful to anybody here that are willing to share their materials.

Comment by Sept11Families4PeacefulTomorrows on September 13, 2011 at 1:30pm

"Peaceful Tomorrows" September 11, 2011 Issue of the Change Agent

Ten years after terrorists attacked the United States on 9/11/01, how are Americans making sense of the events of that day and the aftermath? The September 11th issue of The Change Agent, a national magazine published by World Education, includes articles, poems, and first-person narratives that teach the history of 9/11, wrestle with important legal and ethical questions related to security and liberty, examine the 'rule of law' in the context of terrorism, and provide a forum for the voices of people seeking justice and reconciliation. It offers many extremely moving stories about 9/11 and its repercussions.

Written in collaboration with September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a national organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn their grief into action for peace, The Change Agent features not only the voices of family members of victims, but witnesses to the attacks, relatives of veterans of the war on terror, detainees, and ordinary Americans who have had a decade to reflect on what happened on 9/11 and the events that followed.

The magazine contains lesson plans and discussion questions to give teachers classroom-ready material that will engage students and provide an important forum for critical thinking, sharing, and achieving understanding across diverse experiences. Click here to download the September edition of The Change Agent.

Learn about additional September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows resources for educators at 911Stories: Our Voices, Our Choices.

Comment by Dr. Samuel Appiah-Marfo on August 10, 2011 at 7:49pm

Hi Dr. Zelizer,

Excellent books! I'd like to suggest if you could include in this list some of the books on negotiation, facilitation and transnational security studies etc. As you are well aware, our field is multidisciplinary one which apply interdisciplinary research methodologies in examining conflict from its eruption, through transformation and resolution/management.  On a more serious note, your incredible insight in the field is a breath of fresh air to both students, professors and practitioners. Kudos! Some books for example;


Harvard Business Essentials Series (2003). “Negotiation.” Boston, M.A: HarvardBusiness School Press.


Kremenyuk, V. A.(Ed.) (2002). International Negotiation: Analysis, Approaches, Issues. Jossey-Bass Publishers


Lederach, J. P. (1995). Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.


Ury et al, (1991). Getting Disputes Resolved: Designing Systems to Cut the Cost of Conflict. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Samuel Appiah-Marfo, Ph.D

Comment by Mali Parke on December 30, 2010 at 10:30pm
Rosenberg, Marshall. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.
Comment by Cheryl Duckworth, Ph.D. on November 9, 2010 at 1:40pm
Elise Boulding The Hidden Side of History
Maria Montessori Education and Peace
Paolo Freire Pedogogy of the Oppressed
Amayrta Sen Development and Freedom
Comment by Ծովիկ Sonya Ramian on November 4, 2009 at 3:49am
Lederach's "The Moral Imagination" has been the most powerful peacebuilding book I've ever read. I highly highly recommend it.
Comment by Rey T on October 29, 2009 at 12:08am
Thanks for this list! Very useful.

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