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Book Launch 11 July 2012: The Glorious Art of Peace, by John Gittings

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11 July 2012

Date and Time: Wednesday 11 July from 18.30 – 20.30

Location: Daunt Books, 51 South End Road, London NW3 2QB

Oxford Research Group (ORG) Advisor, John Gittings, and Oxford University Press invite you to join them for a drink and an introduction to his new book, The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq. Gittings shows how the case for peace, which has been argued since the time of ancient Greece and China, can still help us to tackle current issues of war and peace, such as those in Syria, Afghanistan and Iran.

Peace thinkers from St Augustine and Erasmus onwards have argued that the long-term cost of war is almost always greater than any short-term benefit. If this advice had been followed, the Iraq war could have been avoided. War over Iran’s nuclear programme may also bring incalculable costs.

William Penn and Rousseau were among those who, early on, identified the need for an effective international body to solve disputes. Today we too often fail to pay more than lip service to the authority of the UN - collective action over Syria has been made harder because its mandate was exceeded in Libya.

From Confucius to Kant, it has been realised that lasting peace depends on satisfying human needs and human rights.In a globalised world, this means tackling poverty and inequality on a global basis: This is the only way to eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere. 

With the 50th anniversary of the Cuba Crisis approaching, Gittings also warns that we have too easily forgotten how close the world came to annihilation then, and that nuclear weapons and proliferation continue to pose what could be a terminal threat to the world. 

Gittings concludes with an eight-point 'Agenda for Peace'.

 

“Instead of taking refuge in pessimistic ‘realism’ about the inevitability of war,” he argues, “we need to recognise the essential reality that there is only one world and one future on planet Earth, and, while realising the need for sustained effort and education, to take an optimistic view of the human potential for peace.” 

 

Please reply to john@johngittings.com

Our publications are circulated free of charge for non-profit use, but please consider making a donation to ORG, if you are able to do so.

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