Everyday Peace: How So-called Ordinary People Can Disrupt Violent Conflict
An exploration of how so-called ordinary people can disrupt violent conflict and forge peace.
In this pathbreaking book, Roger Mac Ginty explores everyday peace-or how individuals and small groups can eke out spaces of tolerance and conciliation in conflict-ridden societies. Drawing on original material from the Everyday Peace Indicators project, he blends theory and concept-building together with contemporary and comparative examples. Unusual for the disciplines of peace and conflict studies as well as international relations, Everyday Peace also utilizes personal diaries and memoirs from World Wars One and Two. The book unpacks the core components of everyday peace and argues that it is constructed from a mix of sociality, reciprocity, and solidarity. This exploration of bottom-up and community-level approaches to peace challenges the usual concentration on top-down approaches to peace advanced by governments and international organizations. Indeed, the book goes to the lowest level of social organization - individuals, families and small groups of friends and colleagues - and looks at everyday interaction in workplaces, the stairwells of apartment buildings, and the queue for public transport.Mac Ginty sees peace and conflict as being embodied, lived, and experienced - and constructs a multi-layered definition of peace. Importantly, he applies his evidentiary base of micro-acts that constitute everyday peace to societies that have emerged out of conflict and have not experienced recidivism on a large scale. Unlike most who focus on top-down processes, he demonstrates that what matters is the interaction between top-down and bottom-up peace and how, in an ideal scenario, they can have a symbiotic relationship. By focusing on how the small-scale can have big and lasting effects, Everyday Peace will reshape our understanding of how peace comes about.
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