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Joshua Goldstein: Society Is Winning The War On War [VIDEO]
Politics | November 21, 2012

Joshua Goldstein: Society Is Winning The War On War [VIDEO]

"I don't think people are innately peaceful," Joshua Goldstein said in a recent interview with the PCDN (Peace and Collaborative Development Network), "[in fact] I think that war is pretty deeply rooted in us." However, the International Relations scholar and author also believes that humans posses the ability to control and contain their inherent propensity toward conflict appropriately. His goal, he said in the interview, is to one day live in a world where there is no war. While this may seem somewhat impossible, in his book Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide, he provides evidence to suggest that fewer wars are starting (and are smaller in scale than in the past), more are ending and peacekeeping is actually working.

Goldstein's analysis of empirical data suggests that we are moving toward more peaceful times and in the interview, he provides some advice on how we can continue to move in a positive direction. One way he suggests is by taking notice of the practices that work, and improving upon them. The United Nations, he explains, is an organization that more people should be supporting. Rather than focusing on the things that the U.N. doesn't do well, we need to focus on the things it does right and provide more funding to help it run even better. "Does that mean you can solve all the U.N.'s problems by throwing money at it? No, [but its budget] is laughably small for what it does and I think it could do more with more money and more resources."

In the interview, and in his talks, he explains that years of effort on the part of many peacekeeping organizations has helped shift perceptions about war and lead to its decline. In his eye-opening speeches, he explores the strong—but little-noticed—reduction in the number of conflicts and their scale around the world, and explores how this changing world view affects everyone from the civilian, to the government agent, to the business person who deals with overseas trade and production.
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