Lewis Rasmussen is a program officer in the Institute's Training Program. Over the past seven years he played a principal role in developing the Institute's international conflict management and resolution skills training program. He continues to serve as a coordinator and faculty member for training seminars (held in the United States and abroad) for representatives of the U.S. government, foreign governments, regional organizations, and international governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
His responsibilities include a variety of activities related to the interaction of political, military, and humanitarian actors in the prevention, management, and resolution of violent conflict. Rasmussen also is engaged in a public security project based on an innovative approach toward democratic and community policing, and is a member of the Institute's cross-cultural negotiation project.
Rasmussen is the principal author of a monograph written with Ambassador Robert Oakley, Simulating a Diplomatic Negotiation: Conflict Resolution in the Middle East, and is a contributing co-editor with William Zartman of Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques (1997), which received the prestigious 1998 Choice Award for outstanding scholarship. He holds an M.A. in international communication and a Ph.D. in international relations from the American University's School of International Service.
The methods and techniques of peacemaking--whether it is called conflict resolution, management, or transformation--have become increasingly sophisticated, partly in response to the increased complexity of international conflict today. This volume describes the tools and skills that are currently available and critically assesses their usefulness and limitations. The field's preeminent researchers and practitioners, including a diplomat and an NGO representative, present not only the more traditional approaches to peacemaking--bargaining and negotiation, third-party mediation, and arbitration and adjudication. They also present newer, "nonofficial" approaches that have attracted considerable attention for their innovativeness--social-psychological approaches, problem-solving workshops, conflict transformation, and training. Written for scholars as well as practitioners in all aspects of peacemaking and foreign policymaking, the chapters in Peacemaking in International Conflict provide cogent analyses and offer practical lessons for a variety of conflict settings, from disarmament and arms-control negotiations to subnational conflicts in the new and emerging states of the post-Cold War era.
Shortly before the Middle East peace talks began in November 1991, the United States Institute of Peace conducted a four-day simulation of what was about to unfold in the diplomatic dialogue between two enemy countries, Israel and Syria, whose representatives had never before sat together.
This volume presents a description of that exercise and its implications for peacemaking and conflict resolution in the Middle East, a discussion of simulations and their utility for diplomats and for the field of conflict resolution, and a discussion among the participants of prospects for the overall Middle East peace negotiations.