The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution's annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture is the Carter School’s premier event, which features ground-breaking approaches to analyzing conflict and promoting peace. Delivered by public officials, scholars, and practitioners, this lecture series recognizes the generosity of the Carter School's earliest supporters, Edwin and Helen Lynch.
2022 Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture featuring Medea Benjamin
War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict
Lynch Lecture Series
2021 - Lynn Novick - The Stories We Have To Tell
Acclaimed Emmy, Peabody and Alfred I. duPont Columbia Award-winning documentary filmmaker Lynn Novick joined the Carter School to present the 31st Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture. For 30 years, in collaboration with Ken Burns, she has been directing and producing landmark documentary films about American culture, history, politics, sports, art, and music for PBS. Through an intimate conversation, “The Stories We Have To Tell” and film clips, Lynn discussed her body of work as it relates to peace, justice, and conflict resolution.
2019- Howard Zehr - Human Rights Meets Restorative Justice
Video Recording | News Article
In his lecture, Dr Zehr explores some of the challenges in defining and enforcing human rights in the 21st century and ways that the criminal legal system has contributed to injustice. He offers some observations from the emerging field of restorative justice.
Dr. Howard Zehr is Distinguished Professor of Restorative Justice, Director Emeritus, Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, Eastern Mennonite University.
Professor Howard Zehr is a foundational figure in the field of restorative justice. As a practitioner and theorist he has shaped and expanded the field, since the 1970s. He has led hundreds of events in more than 25 countries and 35 states, including trainings and consultations on restorative justice, victim-offender conferencing, judicial reform, and other criminal justice matters. His impact has been especially significant in the United States, Brazil, Japan, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Britain, the Ukraine, and New Zealand, a country that has restructured its juvenile justice system into a family-focused, restorative approach.
A prolific writer and editor, speaker, educator, and photojournalist, Zehr actively mentors other leaders in the field. More than 1,000 people have taken Zehr-taught courses and intensive workshops in restorative justice, many of whom lead their own restorative justice-focused organizations.
Zehr was an early advocate of making victims’ needs central to the practice of restorative justice. A core theme in his work is respect for the dignity of all people.
From 2008-2011, he served on the Victims Advisory Group of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and has held positions on various other advisory boards.
In 2013, Zehr stepped away from active classroom teaching and became co-director, with Dr. Carl Stauffer, of the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University.
2018 - Paul Butler - Chokehold: Policing Black Men
“My name is Paul Butler, and I represent the people.”
It is with these words that Professor Paul Butler, who began his career as a prosecutor in Washington, D.C., would begin his opening statements when representing the U.S. government in criminal court.
Delivering the 29th Annual Lynch Lecture on September 26, Butler told the audience that as a Black man, he had once hoped to be able to use his role as a prosecutor to “create change from the inside.”
However, his experience taught him that “our system is too broke to fix.”
It’s a system that targets Black men—and other communities, including Black women, Latinx and trans individuals, and immigrants—for arrest, incarceration, and police violence. This is the thesis that Butler sets out in his new book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men, and that he discussed in his Lynch Lecture, which was organized by the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s fifth Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Chair, Susan Hirsch.
2017 - Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta - Peace Beyond the Patriarchy
Video Recording | Mason News Article
The president of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, delivered a case for involving more women at high levels of government and business in a speech on September 22, 2017 at George Mason University’s Founders Hall in Arlington.
In her talk, “Peace Beyond the Patriarchy,” Coleiro Preca asked the audience of 175 to “take a critical look and be courageous in openly confronting the patriarchy,” referring to the overwhelming majority of men in top leadership positions in government and corporations.
“Patriarchy makes us believe that there are no alternatives to its way of thinking, of acting and of living,” she said. “It would have us believe that a deep-rooted change is not possible.”
She pointed out that in much of the world women are not only not in power but they are in danger, adding that “femicide” is rampant across Europe.
2016 - Luigi Laraia - Play Performance: Neda Wants to Die
After trauma, one speaks of the necessity of telling a story. In a production that challenges our comfort and our preconceptions about the line between victim and villain, Neda Wants to Die is important, provocative, and moving. Ultimately, the play shows us that sexual violence is not an issue affecting women alone, we all share the burdens and psychological effects of profoundly violent actions. When few things are clear, we need art to understand.
The play was commissioned by the World Bank as part of a three-day exhibition to raise awareness of the epidemic of gender-based violence, “1 in 3” (so-named for the grim statistic that fully a third of women in the world will experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes). It premiered in July of 2014, where it was met with a standing ovation. Its profound effect in the development community and beyond has led to performances at the United Nations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Vital Voices, and Capital Fringe Fest in 2015. Neda Wants to Die received a 5-star Best of the 2015 Capital Fringe rating from DC Metro Theatre Arts. The play has been praised as daring and necessary—particularly as past performances have triggered conversations among experts, the audience, and the actors about violence, conflict resolution and human rights.
Performance was followed by a panel discussion with the writer and director, Mr. Luigi Laraia, as well as Dr. Sandra Cheldelin and Dr. Sara Cobb from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
2014 - John Paul Lederach - Thoughts on a Penny: Challenges to Creative Conflict in the Public Square
A wandering, perhaps poetic exploration of contemporary challenges and deficits facing the wider fields of conflict transformation and peacebuilding and how these correspond to the challenges of the ever more divided public square and dialogue-dis-abled America.
2013 - Willie Esterhuyse - Talking to the Enemy: A South African Case Study
A leading South African writer, philosopher, and intellectual; Prof. Esterhuyse played a significant role in opening dialogue between the African National Congress (ANC ) and the then South African government. These secret negotiations led eventually to the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid policies, and the interim constitution that laid the basis for full democracy in South Africa.
2012 - Vivienne Jabri - Does Intervention in the name of Human Rights undermine Conflict Resolution?
The recent cases of Libya and Syria have highlighted the salience of this question and the challenges that it presents for scholars and policy-makers interested in the resolution of violent conflict in global politics. Drawing on a rich theoretical, conceptual, and historical research trajectory, this lecture seeks to highlight the dangers as well as the opportunities presented by the juxtaposition of humanity and sovereignty in international politics generally and in the context of conflict resolution in particular.
2011 - Madam Yan Junqi - Peacemaking and Development: China's Role in the World
Madame Yan Junqi welcomed a delegation of S-CAR faculty in June 2010 to discuss her vision of China’s role in peacemaking, disarmament, and post-conflict development and explore collaborations with programs such as S-CAR around the world. In this lecture to the greater S-CAR community and friends, she presents her ideas on China’s growing influence in developing countries.
YAN, Junqi (严隽琪, pron. YEN, Joon- chee) is a vice chair of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress of China, and the chair of the China Association for Promoting Democracy, one of eight political parties that serve as advisors to the Chinese Communist Party. She also serves as a Vice Chair of the China People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, which is sponsoring her visit.
Mme. Yan is a high-ranking state leader of China, and a descendant of a former president of the Republic of China. But her early life was not easy. Her father died when she was six, and along with four other siblings, she was raised by her mother in difficult conditions.
However, she showed great talent at a young age. She graduated as an engineer from Shanghai Jiaotong University, and then during the Cultural Revolution, was sent to work in the mining industry in Xuzhou. After ten years, she was able to enroll again at Shanghai Jiaotong, where she obtained her master's degree and then became a faculty member.
Mme. Yan obtained her doctoral degree in Naval Engineering from the Denmark Institute of Technology. Upon returning to China, Yan became a teacher and researcher at Shanghai Jiaotong and served as Dean of the School of Mechanical and Power Engineering.
She became an expert on the Computer Integrated Manufacturing System (CIMS), and virtual manufacturing theory and technology in China. She has published over fifty academic papers, edited and published six books, and won many honors.
Madame Yan is a rare combination of outstanding technical expertise and great dedication to public service. In 2000, she entered government service as a vice mayor of Shanghai, responsible for S&T, education, and women’s and children’s affairs. Soon she took on leadership of the Shanghai committee, and then the national committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD).
In 2008, Mme. Yan was elected Vice Chair of the standing committee of the 11th National People’s Congress. Since 2009, she has also served as Vice Chair of the Chinese People’s Association of Peace and Disarmament, leading their delegations to visit Africa in 2010 and now Canada and the U .S.
2010 - Andrea Bartoli - Traditioning Innovation
Dr. Andrea Bartoli spoke at the 22nd Annual Lynch Lecture. His talk was on the importance of innovation to the field of conflict resolution.
2009 - Ambassador Jan Eliasson - Envisioning a New Agenda for the Alliance between the US and Europe
April 9, 2009
Video (Part 1) | Video (Part 2) | Video (Part 4)
Presented by the Honorable Jan Eliasson, President of the sixtieth session of the United Nations General Assembly and Special Envoy to Darfur.
2007 - Honorable Lee Hamilton - The Importance of Diplomacy when Dealing with International Conflicts
On October 22nd, 2007 at the National Press Club, ICAR celebrated the 20th Annual Lynch Lecture featuring the Honorable Lee H. Hamilton. For a gathering of nearly two hundred faculty, staff, students and friends of ICAR, Mr. Hamilton's reflections centered on the Importance of Diplomacy when Dealing with Intractable Conflicts.
ICAR established the lecture series to bring the idea and theory of conflict analysis and resolution to the attention of the entire University community and to express our gratitude to Edwin and Helen Lynch. The lecture series serves as a way to expand our thinking about deep-rooted and protracted conflicts. This year we looked for insights on what to do about the ruptures in U.S. relationships with leaders and members of other countries and communities around the world.
Mr. Hamilton was an excellent candidate. Serving for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives as chair and ranking member of many committees. Lee is perhaps best known for his role as Co-Chair (with former Secretary of State James Baker) of the Iraq Study Group and Vice-Chair of the (9/11) National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Lee is now the President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Hamilton began by contextualizing diplomacy: that it is no panacea and that it has limitations. Offering nearly a dozen tenants of diplomacy, several challenging U.S. foreign policy strategy (see http://icar.gmu.edu for full speech), he urged a loosening of pre-conditions to negotiation: "Demanding that certain conditions be met before we come to the negotiating table is a path to failure. Often, it strengthens the hand of radicals within regimes, and weakens the hand of those that America would like to strengthen. "He also spoke to what conflict intervenes already know—that all parties must be brought to the table—when reflecting on the Middle East: "I don't see how we deal with those problems— whether it is the chaos in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli dispute, nuclear proliferation, or the instability in Lebanon—if we only talk to our friends, but not our adversaries. Exclusivity, that is excluding parties that have an interest, is also a path to failure.
"Noting the Iraq Study Group's recommendation to engage Iran and Syria, he reflected on similar experiences in thawing the Cold war. He spoke of the long lists of deep grievances between Russia and the U.S., and how representatives addressed these grievances by giving speeches at each other: "And then something began to happen. I don't know how long it took us, 10, 15 years. But then we put away the set speeches and we began to talk with one another. And we got to know one another. We got to understand one another a little better. And all through this period of time keep in mind that not one single shot was fired."
Mr. Hamilton concluded by making a case for dealing with the complexity of the world, beyond the notion of trying to determine good and evil, and the critical task of working with allies, international institutions, and specifically the United Nations. His plea for practicality and pragmatics, as an alternative to forcing others to meet our goals was refreshing, as was his pitch for the American people: "The people want us to engage in diplomacy with our adversaries, not just our friends. The people want us to reduce our dependence on oil. The people want us to maintain strong alliances. To succeed, U.S. foreign policy must have a sensitive ear always respectfully tuned to the voice of the people. "Following Mr. Hamilton's remarks, a group of ICAR faculty joined him in a semicircle, to prod further on questions provoked by his remarks. And as the lecture came to a close, it became clear that this was the beginning of the dialogue on diplomacy with Lee Hamilton, not the end.
### From S-CAR News Vol. 1 Issue 3.
2006 - Andrew Mack - A More Peaceful World? Explaining the Post-War Decline in Armed Conflict
Andrew Mack, director of the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, delivered “A More Peaceful World? Explaining the Post-War Decline in Armed Conflict” for the 19th Annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture on Thursday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m.
The lecture discussed the idea that since the end of the Cold War, the world is in fact more peaceful, with fewer armed conflicts – despite the increase in global media coverage highlighting conflict. Mack posits that both the end of the Cold War and the work of the United Nations in recent years have played a critical role in enhancing global security.
Mack is the former director of strategic planning in the Executive Office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the United Nations (1998-2001). He is well known for directing the project that produced the Human Security Report 2005, which was supported by five governments and published by Oxford University Press. The report is the most comprehensive annual survey of trends in warfare, genocide and human rights abuses.
The Lynch Lectures were established by ICAR in gratitude to Edwin (deceased) and Helen Lynch, friends of ICAR and prominent Virginians. The Lynches made a substantial gift to the university in 1987 to establish a chair in the name of Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch, Edwin Lynch’s parents. The Lynch Chair is currently held by Sandra Cheldelin.
The lecture was held in the Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club, located at 529 14th Street, Northwest, in Washington, D.C.
### Adapted from The Mason Gazette, April 7, 2006
2005 - Luis Moreno Ocampo - The Conflict Between Peace and Justice
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court based in The Hague, delivered “The Conflict Between Peace and Justice” for the 18th Annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Elected as chief prosecutor by the Assembly of States Parties, Moreno-Ocampo, a native of Argentina, has extensive experience as a prosecutor, trial lawyer, and university lecturer in a variety of fields, including international criminal justice, journalists’ protection, and human rights law.
In 1984, Moreno-Ocampo served as the lead investigator in a case involving nine senior members of the Argentine military from the series of brutal juntas that ruled the country from 1976 until 1980. The defendants, five of whom were ultimately convicted, were charged with 700 counts of murder, kidnapping, and torture in the first case against individuals for ordering the mass killings of innocents since the Nuremberg Trial of Third Reich leaders following the end of World War II.
The Lynch Lecture was held in the Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club, located at 529 14th Street, Northwest, in Washington, D.C.
### Adapted from The Mason Gazette, April 4, 2005
2004 - Richard Falk - Resolving Conflict in the 21st Century: New Challenges, New Opportunities
From Wikipedia: Richard Anderson Falk (born November 13, 1930 is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."
2003 - Glyn Ford - Racism and Xenophobia in Europe: Causes of Conflict, Prospects for Resolution
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) presents Glyn Ford, Labour Party member of the European Parliament, speaking on “Racism and Xenophobia in Europe: Causes of Conflict, Prospects for Resolution.” The 16th annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture will be held tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall Grand Tier.
Ford is a member of the Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee, and founder and secretary of the Antiracism Intergroup, which is currently looking at the recent rise in racism and anti-Semitism in the European Union. His leadership of and participation on committees on the rise of racism and fascism since 1986 led to the publication of his book, Fascist Europe, and more recently, Making European Progress, a book containing material on racism and xenophobia in the European Union.
Adpated from Mason Gazetter November 30, 2003
2002 - Kevin Clements - The War against Terrorism: The Quest for Justice and Peace
Video Recording | Occassional Paper
“If I have a text for tonight it comes from that American exponent of nonviolence, Martin Luther King Jr. It was he who said: ‘Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.’ The challenge facing all of us tonight is to determine what sort of chisel the ‘war against terrorism’ is in relation to carving stable peaceful relationships, respect for the international rule of law, and economic, social, and political justice. What problems is this war against terrorism aimed at solving, and are there any viable alternatives? The appalling terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, were a salutary reminder that there are no absolutely secure states and that the pursuit of such security is an illusion. They also highlighted that individuals and groups who do not have their needs and interests acknowledged, or worse, individuals and groups who feel marginalized, demonized, and dehumanized, will resort to any means to secure recognition, reduce uncertainty, and try and gain a measure of control over their own lives. These acts of terror have now expanded the possible boundaries for those committed to violence. The unthinkable was thought, the undoable was done, and the most powerful nation on earth was reminded of its own vulnerabilities.Six months on, I extend my deepest sympathy to all those who continue to grieve and experience deep anger at the loss of loved ones. There was and is no excuse for the killing of innocent civilians in the United States or anywhere else in the world.”
2001 - Pumla Goboda Madikizela - Empathy and Forgiveness for Apartheid's Most Condemned Man: Confronting the Human Side of Evil
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
Gobodo-Madikizela's lecture and this paper focus on one of the greatest challenges to peacebuilding, the question of empathy and forgiveness-that is, reconciliation. The South Afiican Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one of the models for questioning how reconciliation takes place, and Dr. Gobodo- Madikizela's experience with the commission informs her reflections.
In this paper, Gobodo-Madikizela focuses on the very micro process of reconciliation and the issue of apology and forgiveness. She asks, "How can we understand forgiveness in the context of tragedy?" She argues that forgiveness derives from the "sheer humanness" of an encounter between victim and perpetrator of evil and the ensuing empathy and understanding.
She provides a detailed, nuanced account of her encounters with one particularly notorious individual, Eugene de Kock, one of the apartheid government's chief assassins, and her personal struggle with empathy. She seeks to understand how he reached his decision to apologize and how the act of apologizing transformed him. Her meetings with de Kock led her to question the nature of evil, and how empathy can distort the boundary between interviewer and subject, and how the human touch alters relationships.
2000 - Daniel Garcia Pena - A Complex Peace for a Complex War: The Peace Process in Colombia
1999 - Ronald J. Fisher - Reflections on the Practice of Interactive Conflict Resolution Thirty Years Out
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
On this occasion of the 1999 Vernon M. & Minnie I. Lynch Lecture, it is a distinct pleasure and a rare honor for me to present the Twelfth Annual Lynch Lecture. especially given the esteemed list of previous presenters. It is also highly appropriate for me to reflect on the development and current state of one of the major methods of conflict resolution in a setting that has contributed so much to this field of endeavor.
“Interactive conflict resolution, as I have proposed the term, refers in the first instance to the involvement of unofficial yet influential representatives of parties engaged in destructive conflict in small group, problem-solving discussions which are facilitated by a third party panel of social scientist-practitioners.1 On a broader scale, the term is used to denote any facilitated face-to-face activities engaging antagonists in communication, training, education, or consultation that promotes collaborative conflict analysis and problem solving to address the basic human needs of the parties. Let me reflect on the genesis of this innovative social technology, its history and current expression, and the developmental issues that face it in the future.”
1998 - Donald Shriver, Jr. - Making Wrong Right: Forgiveness in Politics
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
"On March 6, 1998, a remarkable event occurred on the Washington mall. Three American veterans of that war were honored for threatening combat with their own fellow soldiers on a day in 1968 that will always be known as "My Lai." Armed only with pistols, these three helicopter crew members stood off the further slaughter of civilians and thus saved the lives of at least a few Vietnam villagers. For their unorthodox bravery, these thirty years later the pentagon has awarded Hugh Thompson, Lawrence Colborn, and Glenn Andreotta post morte, a rare breed of heroes, an event rarer official public recognition. "We have taken too long to recognize them." said Chaplain Donald Shea, "But we are now a richer nation as their personal heroic services is woven into the fabric of our history".
1997 - Anatol Rapoport - Conceptions of World Order: Building Peace in the Third Millennium
"...It is a very great pleasure to welcome Dr. Anatol Rapoport to George Mason University to deliver the Tenth Annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture, "Conceptions of World Order: Building Peace in the Third Millennium," in this, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution's Fifteenth Anniversary Year.
1996 - Johan Galtung - Global Projections of U.S. Pathologies
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
Barbara W. Tuchman, in her fine book The March of Folly,' studies four cases of foreign policy actors-Troy in the Battle of Troy. the Renaissance Popes during the Protestant Reformation, England and the American Revolution. and the USA in Vi&t Nam-and concludes that their actions cannot be described as anything but simply foolish.? What they enacted worked out extremely badly. Their so-called decisions made them look foolish, if not to their contemporaries, then at least to posterity.
1995 - Rajmohan Gandhi - Peace and Identity: Some Reflections on the South Asian Experience
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
Being the kind of person I am, a 59-year-old man who has lived most of his life in India, a country where for almost every necessity demand outstrips supply and where you quickly accept what is available-the train, bus, flight, seat, or loaf of bread—I have been attempting, in these last ten weeks in Fairfax, to find a personal, even a physical, balance while taking in, from bottom to top and left to right, the display in your stores of cereal, bread, milk, and orange juice. The fact that I have low blood pressure makes this bid for a personal balance slightly more difficult and certainly more necessary.
From your Native Americans I learn that balance is best symbolized by the circle. This rings a bell inside me; in India to show respect to a shrine we walk round it, completing one or more circles, and a Hindu marriage is pronounced when with their steps the bride and groom encircle a sacred fire. I have found some truth in the view that if the circle or wheel represents India, the fork in the road marks the West because in India we continue doing what we have always done while the American is always choosing the road to take, or, nowadays, the button to press.
1993 - Roger Wilkins - Cities After the 1960s – Where have All the Promises Gone?
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
The following remarks were made by Richard E. Rubenstein in his introduction of Roger Wilkins at the Sixth Annual Lynch Lecture at George Mason University on December 3,1993.
In Europe, it is not so unusual to discover men and women who manage somehow to be political activists, philosophers, professionals, journalists, teachers, public officials, and artists, all more or less at the same time. One thinks of Sartre and de Beauvoir, Disraeli and Vaclav Havel. In the United States, it is harder to discover figures like this. But we are privileged to hear from such a person tonight.
Roger Wilkins began his career as a lawyer working in New York City, having already graduated from the University of Michigan with AB. and J.D. degrees. He went from private law to public law in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, where he served first with the Agency for International Development and then with the Community Relations Service of the U.S. Department of Justice before becoming assistant attorney general of the United States. All of this took place from the late 1950s until the late 1960s-one of the stormiest and most transformative periods in the American history.
In 1969, Roger went into philanthropy, working for the Ford Foundation as program officer in charge of Social Development, then as assistant to the president of the Foundation. But a journalistic career beckoned. During the 1970s, Roger worked for The Washington Post as a member of the editorial page staff, for the New York Times as a columnist and member of the editorial board, and then for the Washington Star. In the 1980s, he was a network radio commentator for CBS News and then a commentator for the Mutual Broadcasting System. He has been with National Public Radio as a commentator since the early 1990s.
With all of this activity, Roger found time to write some remarkable books: James Baldwin called his autobiography, A Man's Life, "a most beautIful book"-and Baldwin was right! Most recently, he wrote a fine study of the urban crisis with Fred Harris-a book called Quiet Riots-as well as continuing his writing for journals and his television commentaries.
But all of this really skirts the surface of Roger Wilkins' career. Like a bass line underpinning and organizing all the other melodies of his actIve lIfe is the project of social change. Roger has never forgotten that "What you are is God`s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God." And so, he has dedicated his life's energies to the twinned causes of African-American and human liberation.
It is impossibl.e.to summarize Roger's political activities, but they have included advising Rev. Jesse Jackson in two presidential campaigns; coordInatIng Nelson Mandela's 1990 visit to the United States; serving on the boards of the University of the District of Columbia, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; working arduously for the American Civil Liberties Union' and maintaining his important and creative relationship with the ' Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. It was our luck at George Mason University to snare him as a Robinson Professor. Roger was Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year at this university in 1990-91.
Roger Wilkins inspires us all not only because of what he has done but also because of what he has not done: he has not for a minute given up the fight for a peaceful, just, and egalitarian society. When one looks at today's society, at the violence that continues to rend the planet, the scandalous inequalities of wealth, power, and dignity that divide humankind, the slow holocaust consuming the impoverished youth of American cities, there is every reason to say, "Well, it has been a good try, but it didn't work. It has been a good try, but maybe in a few centuries things will be better. It has been a good try, but right now, I'm tired."
Roger could say that, but he doesn't. He believes that people with vision, determination, and practical skill can help solve these problems-and not in a few centuries but soon. Soon! Thanks to Roger Wilkins and a few men and women like him, we also are emboldened to keep the faith that our world can be changed radically for the better.
It is my pleasure to introduce our LynChLecturer for 1993, my friend, Roger Wilkins.
1992 - Ambassador Samuel E. Lewis - Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution: A Decade of Development
This century has been scarred by many violent international conflicts: World War I, World War II, Korea, the War in Vietnam and Cambodia, two India-Pakistan wars, nine major wars in the Middle East, and many other conflicts. The decades we have passed through have been de cades of almost endless warfare in one or more regions, punctuated by brief moments of peace. The names remind us of a violent era: Afghanistan, Sahara, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola, Yemen, and on and on. Many so-called minor wars have produced hundreds of thousands of casualties. The bloodiest war of the twentieth century—with the exception of the two great world conflicts—the Iran-Iraq War, dragged on for eight years of wholesale bloodshed. The 1991 Gulf War was the shortest war of the twentieth century, but it was also very bloody. And, of course, in the part of the Middle East where I have spent most of my last 20 years, the Arab- Israeli front, the record spans Israel's War of Independence in 1948-49; the Suez War in 1956; the major Six Day War in 1967; the 1969-70 War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel—somehow often left out of the record books but actually one of the bloodier of the Arab-Israeli wars and one of the longer—the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a surprise attack on Israel on the holiest of days for Israelis and Jews everywhere; and the 1982 Lebanese War, the first ‘war of choice’ for Israel since the Suez Crisis. And outside the Middle East, the Associated Press once identified more than 300 ‘small wars’ that were underway at that particular moment around the world. Of course, the United States has not been at peace all this time either. We have not stayed at war for a long period of time since Vietnam. But during this decade of your Institute's existence, the United States deployed more than 500,000 troops against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm and was also involved in military operations of a ‘peacekeeping’ or ‘policing’ nature in Lebanon, Libya, Grenada, and most recently Panama.
1990 - Elise and Kenneth Boulding - The Dialectics and Economics of Peace
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
If conflict is a basic fact of human existence, then the key to peace must be the management of conflict, not its abolition. An important concept for me is the conflict management continuum; one end represents destruction of the other. The continuum shades from threat through arbitration, mediation, negotiation to integrative processes that bond us to each other. In a profound sense, where on that continuum our own conflict management behavior lies is a matter of day-by-day choice. Peace, then, is a highly charged dynamic process involving constant negotiation at every level of human interaction from local to global. Peace is dialectical, in that each resolution of a conflict, or synthesis, creates the basis for dealing with the next conflict. Applying good conflict resolution skills creates the conditions for increasingly productive conflict outcomes in the future. On the whole, we underestimate our own peacemaking skills. In fact, we negotiate our way through daily life. The differences we confront range from the trivial to the profound.
1989 - John W. Burton - On the Need for Conflict Prevention
"Conflict Resolution as a political System was the first of the Institute's series of working Papers to be published, and when it came out in 1988 both the author and the then Director regarded the series as a vehicle for timely "think pieces" or reports of research in progress at the Institute, then only a small Center. John Burton's original paper was introduced as extending the boundaries of conflict resolution and offering ". . .a view of what the field's fundamental philosophy should be..."
Over the last five years, however, it has become more and more evident that one of the fundamental problems facing the so called "Post Cold War World" is the intellectual and practical construction of innovative forms of political systems, to replace the dominant model of the unitary, "nationalt1, territorial state which, in the real world, has increasingly been shown to be non-unitary, multi-national, and inconveniently unwilling to remain confined to assigned chunks of state territory. Without new thinking about possible and appropriate forms of political organization, that contain within themselves means of resolving inevitable conflicts, the "Post Cold War World" seems likely to become the Small Shooting War World and to be filled with Bosnias, Somalias, Ngorno Karabakhs, or Afghanistans.
Hence, the Institute's decision to republish John Burton's piece is both a timely response to the need to rethink the fundamentals of political organisation and a reminder of the liveliness of Burton's original work, which still has much to say about the world of the mid-1990s.
1987 - James H. Laue - Resolution: Transforming Conflict and Violence
Video Recording | Occasional Paper
One aspect of the major expansion of Institute resources and, hence, capabilities that took place in 1987 was the endowment of the Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Chair of Conflict Resolution by Edwin and Helen Lynch, long-time supporters of the conflict research program at George Mason University; and the appointment of Dr. James H. Laue as the first Lynch Professor. At the time of Jim Laue's appointment, it was also decided to mark the establishment of this, the very first chair in the country in Conflict Resolution, and to honor Edwin and Helen by holding a public, annual Lynch Lecture, which would provide an opportunity for a major figure in the field to report on progress in research and practice to a wider audience than was generally reached by academic talks and lectures held at universities.
Appropriately, President George W. Johnson wished to introduce the first speaker, and Jim Laue requested that he be allowed to deliver this very first Lynch Lecture, which he duly did on November 17, 1987, to a large, varied, and interested audience. Equally appropriately, Jim chose to deliver a sweeping overview of the field, its recent progress, its basic assumptions, and (most importantly) its practical applications in a variety of arenas in which damaging conflict occurs, from families to international regions, such as the Middle East.
The lecture, which the Institute has now produced in its Occasional Papers series, thus takes the form of an introduction to the field of conflict analysis and resolution, informed by practical lessons and examples from a long experience of conflict resolving in the field. Nobody was better qualified to deliver such a survey than Jim Laue. His experience of working with the Community Relations Service in the 1960s, his background as an academic sociologist, his wide and varied experience as a consultant, an intermediary, a campaigner for conflict "resolutionary" institutions (most notably the United States Peace Academy) –all this gave him a direct and personal knowledge of how the academic and the practical aspects of our field had developed over the previous twenty years, to the point at which the Institute (then the Center) for Conflict Analysis and Resolution stood ready to begin the first doctoral program in the field, and to expand the activities of its faculty and students as theorist-practitioners.
This first Lynch Lecture thus provides a fitting starting point for the series that followed and for the whole series of activities that Jim proceeded to initiate at his new institution, to the amazement and enjoyment of his students, colleagues, and friends.
Christopher R. Mitchell, Director The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution