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Diana Francis, 'People, Peace and power. Conflict Transformation in Action'

Pluto Press 2002. ISBN 0 7453 1835 5, 264pp, 15.99

Diana Francis' book appears at a time when it seems almost impossible to stop the war-machine. In the face of this reality, her book gives us some hope that people determined to achieve lasting peace can make a difference.

It is fascinating and instructive to see how she handles both uncertainties and certainties and how she extends the scope of conflict transformation by introducing nonviolence not only as a means but also as a philosophy and a way of life.

She encourages academics and practitioners to acknowledge the need of dealing with the past if we do not want “conflicts to grow from the seeds of past suffering and hatred”. She courageously addresses the complexities and demands of justice and the realities of power, as well as the impact of social injustice as key issues in keeping the peace once hostilities end.

Her generosity in sharing descriptions of some of her workshops is another strong point of the book. These workshops invite us to be creative and help us to foresee potential problems when organising, facilitating and evaluating our own.

In all, Diana Francis reassures us that whatever we do, we can contribute to interweaving peace and justice in the tangled web of life.