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Chris Blattman

Chris Blattman is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. Through his blog, Chris explores statistics and cultural trends to examine poverty and political participation. His weekly links capture some of the best content on the web.

Behavioral Scientist: Summer Book List 2022

Welcome to the 2022 Summer Book List. As in years past, the summer book list is a chance to peruse a collection of the most compelling behavioral science books published so far in the year.  There are 26 titles for you to wander and explore. You’ll find books that illuminate new research and those that investigate complex social issues. Others offer a chance to look into the past or imagine a distant future. There are practical titles that might help you “get it done” in your...

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Review of Why We Fight in Das Milieu

It's hard to come to peace with the idea that your society won't overcome its struggles in your lifetime. But collective delusion won't speed anyone along the path to peace. (S. 293 aus dem u. a. besprochenen Buch) Christopher Blattman, Professor für Konfliktstudien an der Universität Chicago hat sich mit dem Thema seines neuen Buches ein ehrgeiziges Ziel gesetzt. Denn die Kriegsursachenforschung, allgemein und auf Details bezogen, hat seit ihrem Beginn mit Quincy Wright und Lewis Richardson...

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Is America on brink of civil war? Such predictions are overblown and dangerous.

In 2016, democracy rating organizations began downgrading the United States, some scoring American institutions below that of El Salvador, then Nigeria, then Iraq. Then, following the Jan. 6 insurrection last year, articles and books began predicting something scarier: another civil war.The most sensational accounts foretold a national breakup, neighbor killing neighbor. The more level-headed ones warned of something still dire: a far-right insurgency waging a long campaign of bombings and...

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Some upcoming book events

By the way, this is not just a rule of thumb for the rare violent and threatening tweets, but rather for the far greater number of tweets where a member of your own group is enraging you about the actions of an adversary. This could be events in Ukraine, identity politics, etc

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Book Club with Jeffrey Sachs

Join Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Professor Christopher Blattman, to explore the dynamics of war and peace as they discuss Blattman’s, Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.  In his newest book, Blattman argues that violence is not the norm; that there are five reasons why wars break out; and how peacemakers can draw on these reasons to prevent and stop wars. Together, they explore the dynamics of war and peace: how communities resolve conflicts, and why such...

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Book Bite from The Next Big Idea Club

Chris Blattman is a professor in the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the University of Chicago. His 20 years of researching war has taken him from a war in northern Uganda, to violent mining camps and urban slums in postwar Liberia, to meet leaders of drug cartels in Medellín, and even work with street gangs in Chicago. His new book argues that fighting is hard, and finding peace is easier than you think. Below, Chris...

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Eight weeks of therapy, plus some cash, can change the lives of violent men

Placeholder while article actions loadI work with violent young men, from Africa to the Americas — guys so far into lives of crime that a natural reaction is hopelessness. If, 10 years ago, you told me that eight weeks of therapy plus a little cash could turn a significant proportion of them away from that life, I’d have scoffed. But it’s true — as three colleagues and I demonstrated in a new working paper. What we learned in Monrovia, Liberia, holds the potential to change the way America...

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Interview with Christianity Today on Why We Fight

Here on the Better Samaritan we’re learning how to “do good better.” Using Jesus’ story as a guiding metaphor, this involves getting better at (like the Good Samaritan did) helping the person left by the side of the Jericho road who was robbed and beaten up. It also involves learning how to make the metaphorical road safer. Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace, by Chris Blattman, helped me to better understand why the road is dangerous at times–and also how we can make it...

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