Tools for Peace


Tools for peace describes four sets of tools to manage conflicts. To build a house you need more than a set of screwdrivers; you need different tools to accomplish different things. Those acquainted with these tools will realize that it is possible to build peace. Here are sets that can be used in negotiation, nonviolent action, strength, and personal transformation. Those involving negotiation are useful when conversation is possible. Those involved in nonviolent action are useful in persuading people to come to negotiation. Tools for strength involve governance and the management of power. Tools for personal transformation are required for the skillful use of all the other tools. Just as the type and size of the best screwdriver to use depends on the particular task at hand, the selection of a particular tool for negotiation or any of the other sets may depend on whether the conflict is between friends, enemies, groups, or nations. Hence, the reader may want to skim through the many types of tools that are available. As an example we consider using the tools to facilitate political conversation.

Tools for Civil Political Discourse

Intelligent political conversation may be blocked by disrespect or lack of understanding. When we read something disrespectful we may think the writer is stupid, inconsiderate, opinionated, etc. If we don’t say anything they will keep behaving in ways that offend us, yet if we tell them they are stupid, inconsiderate, opinionated, etc. they will become hurt or defensive. How can we tell them without making them defensive? It is often helpful if we tell them how we actually feel. For more information on how to do this See here. When we do not understand why a writer is asserting something that appears stupid consider searching for the needs that are underlying their position. It may be possible to use principled negotiation to create a solution that meets the interests of both parties. For more information  See here. If the other has different values than you do and doesn’t understand your position consider using the Rapoport debate technique. This involves an attempt to decrease the threat posed by the difference in values. It begins with an attempt to state the others point of view, persisting until the other agrees that there point of view has been correctly presented. See here for more information.

Tools for Personal Transformation

Tools of Negotiation

Tools for Nonviolent Struggle

Tools for Strength: Power and Peaceful Governance

Tools for Political Civil Discourse