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Tag Archives: Why We Fight

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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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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The Washington Post

Placeholder while article actions loadWhen he wrote “Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace,” economist Christopher Blattman could not have known that Russian President Vladimir Putin would soon invade Ukraine, setting off the deadliest war in Europe since 1945. Putin’s war also created exactly the kind of natural experiment that social scientists like Blattman seek. We therefore have an opportunity to test whether Blattman’s thesis helps us to understand why Putin started such...

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Why I think the west should support Ukraine big time, but also why we shouldn’t ignore the risks

That is my op-ed today in the L.A. Times. I really do think the ruin of war is a useful lens to look at conflict. It also helps us see how this conflict might end, why it might end faster if NATO is unconditional in its support for Ukraine, and why I think that stance is worth the great risks it entails. First, the rest of the op-ed:Even Vladimir Putin, author of the world-changing conflict in Ukraine, tried to avoid war in his own insidious way. For two decades, he employed every underhanded...

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When will the costs of war force peace in Ukraine?

It’s easy to see the war in Ukraine as a sign of an inescapably violent world. But if the future looks bleak, perhaps that’s because we focus on the conflicts that happen and overlook the gravitational pull of peace.An example came on March 9, two weeks into the Russian invasion. Shortly after sundown, India accidentally launched a cruise missile at Pakistan. Predictably, calm ensued. Both sides strove to avoid escalation — as they have for decades.Focusing on the times peace fails is a kind...

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Join an online event with USIP, or get a discounted copy of the book

One June 2, 11am-12pm EDT, the U.S. Institute of Peace is hosting an online conversation between me and Raj Kumar, head of DevEx about Why We Fight. Register at that link to join. Those in the US may also order a 20% discounted copy of the book here. It will ship shortly after the event. The next few weeks I’ll be doing live and hybrid events with the World Bank, IRC, USAID, and others. The fall I’ll be speaking at universities again. If your organization or school is interested in an...

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