Category: PRIO Annual Peace Address

The Threat from ISIS is not Military

For more than a decade, alarmists have essentially argued that, because the 9/11 attackers proved to be good with box-cutters, they would soon be able to fabricate nuclear weapons. And now, after the dramatic and horrible Paris terror attacks, a similar process of alarmed exaggeration seems to be happening with ISIS. In a reactive pose… Read more »

Why the ISIS Threat is Totally Overblown

One of the most remarkable phenomena of the last year is the way ISIS, the vicious insurgent group in Iraq and Syria, has captured the imagination of the public in Western countries. And as usual, officials and the media have fallen over themselves to respond with urgency. Americans had remained substantially unmoved by even worse… Read more »

The Dangers of Alarmism

Threat identification and threat inflation are clearly important elements in international affairs. However, determining which threats and fears people and policymakers will embrace as notable and important is difficult. Thus, the American public and its leaders have remained remarkably calm about the dangers of genetically modified food while becoming very wary of nuclear power. The… Read more »

Peace for Our Time?

When the organizers of this event suggested ‘peace for our time?’, with a question mark at the end, as the half-whimsical title for this lecture, I accepted gladly. As you are all aware, this was what the British prime-minister Neville Chamberlain promised the cheering crowds that received him on his return from Munich in September… Read more »

Leading the Charge Against Injustice

Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘It is hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.’ It takes belief and faith, it takes self-confidence and persistence, to lead a cavalry charge against injustice – and John Lewis has displayed all of those qualities. He has led many charges. I have… Read more »

Non-violent Struggles: Scholarship, Policy and Realities

Thank you to PRIO for the opportunity to join you today and to Congressman John Lewis for his insights into the use of nonviolence in the American civil rights movement. [This text is a transcript of Kathleen G. Cunningham’s comments to John Lewis’ PRIO Annual Peace Address]. What I hope to add today with my… Read more »

The Role of Non-violence in the Struggle for Liberation

US Congressman John Lewis gave the PRIO Annual Peace Address 2011. Lewis has been a Member of the US House of Representatives for the Fifth congressional district in Georgia since 1987. He was a prominent leader in the nonviolent civil rights movement in the early 1960s and President Obama has recognized his role as a… Read more »

Justice, Truth, Peace

The human mind seems to have a natural tendency to assume that all good things go together. This may be a result partly of what psychologists call tradeoff aversion and partly of wishful thinking. Let me offer some examples. Marx asserted that in the transition to Communism, one should try to “shorten and lessen the birth pangs”. For a… Read more »