Wallensteen, Peter (2015) Understanding Conflict Resolution. Fourth edition. London: Sage. 352 pp.

​ISBN: 9781473902114​

Charles Butcher

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

​Armed conflict is among the most preventable causes of human suffering. Transmitting the accumulated scientific knowledge of how to resolve them is, therefore, a vital task to which Understanding Conflict Resolution (UCR) is an important contribution. UCR was first published in 2002, with updates in 2006, 2011 and 2015. It is an introduction to the theory, practice and purpose of resolving armed conflicts. Readers are carefully guided through definitions, causes and taxonomies of armed conflict, trends in the incidence or armed conflict, and strategies for transcending it. UCR also tackles thorny issues of conflict complexes, the role of international organizations and coercion in peacebuilding. This journey is undergirded by nearly 70 years of data on the onset, incidence and resolution of armed conflict accumulated over the past two decades by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. UCR balances the scope, rigor and precision that peace researchers have come to expect from the UCDP with the normative values of peace research as the study of violent conflict for the ends of creating a more nonviolent world. The fourth edition contains reflections and examples from events following the Arab Spring, including renewed tensions in Europe and the Middle East, enabling students to apply theoretical approaches to contexts featuring in the media and public discourse. UCR is valuable as a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the topic and as a volume that encapsulates the wisdom and experience of one of peace research’s most influential figures. UCR will assist instructors to transmit the progress and values of scholarly research into conflict resolution to a new generation of students in the field.​