Waging Peace: The Remarkable Proliferation of Cooperative Problem-Solving Resources Since World War II

By Tom Dunne

with a Foreword by Heidi Burgess, Co-Director, Conflict Information Consortium

This collection of documents is a companion-piece to the forthcoming book, Waging Peace, by Tom Dunne.




Table of Contents



 Category 1: Academic Programs

 Category 2: Awards and Prizes

 Category 3: Books

 Category 4: Clearinghouses and Reference Works

 Category 5: Funding Sources

 Category 6: Jobs and Career Opportunities

 Category 7: Journals and Magazines

 Category 8a: Organizations - Overview

 Category 8b: Organizations- Descriptions

 Category 9: Principles and Practices

 Category 10:  Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

 Category 11: Think Tanks




by Heidi Burgess, Co-Director, Conflict Information Consortium: 

This set of documents describes, in eleven categories, the many resources for cooperative problem solving that have emerged in recent decades. It was created by long-time conflict resolver, Tom Dunne. In the 1960’s Tom served with a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team in Vietnam, and later with a reserve Navy SEAL Team. Those experiences led him to seek better ways than using force and violence to resolve conflicts. After the war, Tom entered the fledgling field of conflict resolution, and has worked in that field for fifty years. He has helped individuals, organizations, and communities resolve disputes and manage conflicts productively, working with government agencies and NGOs. His work has included executive teambuilding, strategic planning, labor-management partnerships, conflict resolution, and designing work systems to foster cooperation, productivity, and work satisfaction. He also helped plant a "peace forest" in a former minefield in Vietnam, working alongside veterans from both sides of that conflict.  At Search for Common Ground (one of the largest Peacebuilding NGOs in the world), Tom co-founded the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project to improve relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

He also co-founded The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Maryland, which helps community members resolve local issues through cooperative problem solving. Tom is a charter member of the Leadership Council of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, which convenes people and groups with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on critical national issues.  He is also writing a book entitled Waging Peace: How Adversaries are Learning to Resolve Their Conflicts Through Cooperative Problem Solving.

In the process of writing the “Resources” chapter for the book, Tom discovered that listing the rapidly-expanding volume of resources would require another book in itself. So he asked us if we would be willing to post that information on CRInfo (The Conflict Resolution Information Source). We enthusiastically said “Yes!” We are very grateful to Tom for sharing all this information! It’s amazing!


Introduction: Summary and Significance of these Resources

By Tom Dunne


The longing for peace is as old as humankind. Almost three thousand years ago the prophet Isaiah exhorted: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord”. And he went on to articulate the dream: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Throughout history there have indeed been times when people have resolved their conflicts by sitting down together to understand their differences, discover common ground, and develop solutions acceptable to all. But it wasn’t until after World War II that we began to develop a body of knowledge and practices on how to conduct such cooperative problem solving. Especially since the 1960’s, researchers and practitioners have begun developing principles and procedures for resolving conflicts peacefully that are now being used at all levels of society, including interpersonal conflicts, divorce mediation, community disputes, business, workplace, and commercial disputes, organization development, public policy development, labor-management relations, schoolyard bullying, civil disputes, criminal justice, legislative bodies, international peacemaking and even hostage negotiations. A whole discipline has emerged, along with academic programs, supporting institutions, and thousands of conflict resolution professionals.

These activities go by many names, such as peacemaking, peacebuilding, alternative dispute resolution, non-violent communication, facilitated dialogue, conflict management, conflict resolution, teambuilding, interest-based negotiation, and getting to Yes. I use “cooperative problem solving” as an umbrella term for these and other approaches that bring people together to find shared solutions to their common problems.

My forthcoming book, Waging Peace, will give many examples of how this approach is being used, as well as the reasons why the cooperative approach works. What follows is a listing of the many resources that have grown dynamically in recent decades to support cooperative problem solving. Arranged into eleven categories, this information is the result of several years of Internet-surfing. Early in my research, I began to see that very few of these resources pre-dated the 1960’s. And then at some point I realized that I was discovering fewer and fewer of these resources, so I decided to stop. I am sure that the resources I have identified do not represent 100% of all those out there, but the listing is fairly comprehensive.

What are the reasons for this movement toward cooperative problem solving in the aftermath of World War II? I’m not sure that anyone knows, but for me two possible reasons come to mind:

  • The war, having cost the lives of over twenty million soldiers and over forty million civilians, may have caused us to begin to wonder whether traditional warfare is any longer a wise method for dealing with conflicts. Viktor Frankl captured this notion in the closing words of his book, Man’s Search for Meaning: “Since Auschwitz, we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake.” Albert Einstein put it more bluntly: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
  • Our recent technological developments are rapidly drawing us ever closer together. It is becoming more and more apparent that we inhabitants of planet Earth are “all in the same boat,” and that, therefore, if we are to address our problems effectively, we must work together to find ways that benefit us all, not just some. Archibald MacLeish expressed this thought in 1968 when he first saw the photo of Earth taken from the Moon by the crew of Apollo VIII: “To see the Earth as we now see it, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together -  brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.”


I hope that the publication of these resources on this website provides encouragement for all who wish to contribute to this movement away from adversarial approaches for addressing conflicts, and towards cooperative problem solving -- whether in relations among individuals, communities, or nations.

The following table summarizes the remarkable growth of cooperative problem solving resources that have been developed since 1960. It is followed by a “hockey stick” graph that represents this same growth curve, beginning in 1900. 



Photo Credits:

Book Cover Photo Credit: Mount Vernon Peace Dove -- Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mount_Vernon_Estate_Mansion_2.JPG; By: Martin Falbisoner; Permission: CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0); Cropped version of the original image.

Earth picture: “Earthrise” - The Earth, as seen from the Moon, taken by the crew of Apollo VIII, December 24, 1968 Source: NASA   https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/apollo-8-earthrise

Information about Reuse of these Materials:

Feel free to use the information in Waging Peace: The Remarkable Proliferation of Cooperative Problem-Solving Resources Since World War II in any way you may find useful, as long as attribution is given to the author, Tom Dunne, according to the Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.  The Beyond Intractability copyright below does not apply to materials posted under Tom Dunne's Waging Peace project.