- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-4765-3
- Pages: 304
- Price: £85.00
- Published Date: October 2022
- Series: Key Studies in Diplomacy
This book analyses the international phenomenon of private peace entrepreneurs. These are private citizens with no official authority who initiate channels of communication with official representatives from the other side of a conflict in order to promote a conflict resolution process. It combines theoretical discussion with historical analysis, examining four cases from different conflicts: Norman Cousins and Suzanne Massie in the Cold War, Brendan Duddy in the Northern Ireland conflict and Uri Avnery in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The book defines the phenomenon, examines the resources and activities of private peace entrepreneurs and their impact on the official diplomacy, and examines the conditions under which they can play an effective role in peace-making processes.
This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, Peace, justice and strong institutions
'There are plentiful accounts of official attempts to resolve such serious clashes as the US-Soviet rivalry, the conflict in Northern Ireland and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Much less well-known are non-official endeavors that laid the foundation for these efforts. Lior Lehrs has captured the stories of four remarkable people who as private peace entrepreneurs (PPEs) reached out - often at great risk - to the other side to establish critical lines of communication and trust that made further talks possible. The sagas of the peacemaking efforts of Norman Cousins, Suzanne Massie, Brendan Duddy, and Uri Avnery make for compelling reading in their own right but they are made even more meaningful by Lehrs' careful analysis which imbeds the PPEs' actions into major theories of negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution. A terrific resource for students, scholars and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding, as well as for anyone who is interested in the capacity for individuals to promote change.'
Pamela Aall, Senior Advisor for Conflict Prevention and Management, US Institute of Peace
'Scholarship has been blind to the role of private individuals in opening channels of communication between adversaries and reducing conflict. Lior Lehrs sets the record straight with good theorising and important case studies. This account is as fascinating as it is important.'
Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University
'Fascinating stories about people who made peace as individuals while officialdom was stymied. At a time when conflict management and resolution are rare skills in a troubled world, some enterprising, knowledgeable intervenors operating privately could learn more from this book about how to improve their chances and overcome their obstacles.'
I. William Zartman, Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organization and Conflict Resolution, The Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington
'Provides a thorough and informative analysis of the role of private individuals in backchannel mediation processes. The book offers a novel perspective on the influence of such "private peace entrepreneurs," (PPEs) as Lehrs calls them, and, as such, is an important contribution to the existing literature.'
Nir Levitan, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
'In Unofficial peace diplomacy, Lior Lehrs explores the fascinating phenomenon of private actors playing critical roles in conflict-resolution processes. The book offers rare insights into the workings of diplomacy and the individual engagements that can change the dynamics of conflict. While other research has focused on the increasing role of private organizations, Lehrs focuses on how local, private actors such as journalists, academics or business leaders can act as peace entrepreneurs in their private capacity.'
Isabel Bramsen, International Affairs
'Although the cases in the book are quite different, Lehrs works hard to extract the commonalities and to set out criteria for the private peace entrepreneur category. This identifying of patterns from seemingly disparate cases marks this book as a real contribution to our literature.'
Roger Mac Ginty, Peacebuilding
'Lehrs' book is very valuable in itself: it is to be hoped that his careful approach of sifting and considering the specific skills, approaches and choices of his subjects will be developed further and more widely applied (both by Lehrs himself, and by others) so as to construct a systematic taxonomy of the many diverse forms of peace-activism and efforts to manage, resolve and transform conflicts.'
Mike Makin-Waite, Process North
'Urgently needed [...] a valuable contribution to the literature on peace, diplomacy, social movements, and international relations. Unofficial Peace Diplomacy is an excellent book that will not only inform and inspire scholars, students, and activists, but give them hope.'
Tamara Lorincz, Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research
1 Theoretical framework: private peace entrepreneurs
2 Norman Cousins and US-Soviet-British negotiations on a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1962-1963
3 Suzanne Massie and the Cold War during the Reagan era, 1983-1988
4 Brendan Duddy and the negotiations between the Provisional IRA and the British government during the conflict in Northern Ireland, 1973-1993
5 Uri Avnery and his dialogue with the PLO in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1975-1985
Lior Lehrs is a Research Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem