Over at The Forward my review of Peter Coleman’s The Five Percent: Finding Solutions To Seemingly Impossible Conflicts. Key quote:
A central idea in Coleman’s research is that intractable conflicts are akin to complex systems, in which various parts are interconnected and are able to adapt, as in a biological ecosystem. Using a metaphor from applied mathematics, Coleman speaks of attractors, or “organized patterns in the behavior of systems that emerge, endure, and of course attract.” One of the more interesting and useful findings in the book is that conflict and peace can coexist. Even in times of great violence, where a destructive attractor governs the system, an alternative and latent attractor can also form.
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