The Fog of Peace:
how to prevent war
By Gabrielle Rifkind and Giandomenico Picco
Published by I.B.Tauris in 2016.
As conflicts such as the war in Syria continue to dominate our headlines, questions of whether to intervene and how to bring peace between warring sides have become of vital importance for the international community. In this unique collaboration, Giandomenico Picco, a veteran UN diplomat, and Gabrielle Rifkind, a psychotherapist and Middle East analyst, argue that a new approach - one which recognises geopolitical complexities but also understands how people think - is now urgently needed to break these cycles of violence.
When Picco and Rifkind first met in Tehran in 2006, they realised that they shared a deep commitment to understanding the human mind, what motivates it, and why people behave in particular ways. Drawing upon their extensive personal experiences of negotiating with ‘the enemy’ and presenting examples of conflict around the globe from Israel and Palestine to Northern Ireland, they argue that understanding one’s opponent is the most important condition of conflict resolution. After all, it is not institutions which make peace or war; those decisions are made by individuals.
Presented as a collection of vital themes and reflections that combine shrewd psychological understanding with practical diplomatic experience, The Fog of Peace demonstrates how getting into the mind of the enemy can be far more effective than the most fearsome weapons.