Matyók, Th. (et al.) (eds.), Peace on Earth: the Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies, Lanham; Boulder; New York; Toronto; Plymouth, Lexington Books, 2014.

Wishing you Peace and Prosperity for the New Year 2015, we present you some publications on Peace and International Law with inspiring titles. May Peace prevail!

Academic peace study programs frequently ignore religion as a partner in pursuit of conflict resolution. These 24 essays advocate religion as a vital, if partial, participant in any serious pursuit of lasting peace. Religion's absence in peace studies--and peacemaking--is a crippling lack. Contributors to this volume present casebook studies of religious groups involved in recent conflict resolution--successes and failures alike. Brief but nuanced accounts of several religious traditions, with their ambivalent histories of war and peace efforts, are excellent summaries of those traditions, and also show how they have fallen short of their ideals. Some religious groups, only rarely at the table, present the unique witness they have maintained, often in the face of persecution or marginalization because of their relative size or beliefs and practices at odds with dominant religions. The essay on military chaplains stands out, as it discusses going beyond the unarmed morale officer for war-weary troops, to becoming a middle-range actor in affirming that those outside the military unit are not 'other.' The essays demonstrate in diverse ways that religion can be the source of conflict, but also a source of peace building, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.

Law is an institution that has evolved and flourished throughout its six-thousand-year history. Tracing this history in complex societies from the Ancient Middle East to the contemporary world, this book poses the following question: can international law become an effective instrument of social control among nations in the emerging world society? To develop effective international law will require minimal standards of inclusiveness and mutual responsibility. International law must be limited in its scope and its powers. It must also meet the fundamental requirement of an effective legal system: a widespread belief in its justice and fairness. How has that kind of respect for the law come about in earlier societies, and how can it be fostered in the evolution of a world legal order?

This book highlights the Centenary of the Peace Palace in all of its facets. Unlike in 1913, in 2013 the world is not in an idealistic mood. Differences between countries have partly given way to complex conflicts within national borders, and with international dimensions. This book examines the existence and the legitimacy of the Peace Palace with an open, inquiring gaze. New historical research describes in detail how this icon of international law, and the institutions that it houses, have survived the past century, with all of their bruises and successes. Major authors from different continents have written personal contributions, an extensive photo series shows what happens inside the walls of the Peace Palace over the course of a year, and an expert in the field of international law takes the reader inside and discusses the image and self-image of the institutions in the Peace Palace, on the basis of personal observations. This is a fascinating insight into a specialized world that is seen as closed off, but that increasingly recognizes the interests of everyone. A microcosm with a global perspective, where work is done with great dedication and commitment to promote and maintain peace in the world via the dispassionate means of law.

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