ISBN: 978-981-16-4716-1

Christoph Bluth

University of Bradford

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This is a critical time for peace research and activists as Europe faces a major interstate war, despite hopes that this had become a thing of the past and that constructive and cooperative relations with Russia had been developed. This book provides insights into the efforts and thinking of those engaged in peace research in critical periods of the Cold War and after. It examines such key themes as the role and significance of NATO, US-Soviet/Russian relations, America's wars, the global threat from nuclear weapons and how arms control can make the world more peaceful and secure. In addition, the book provides interesting insight into more abstract academic debates on how to conceptualise international relations and security. The format is unusual in that it focuses on individuals, using interviews to tease out the ideas and the intellectual trajectory of major peace researchers and activists involved with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). It reflects the personal histories of key figures, revealing their deep convictions and commitments, as well as the doubt with regard to the major issues of international security, conflict and engagement for peace. There are interesting accounts of the origins and the work of PRIO, perceptions of the importance and the role of NATO, for example, Johan Galtung's opposition to the Vietnam War or Pavel Baev's experience of growing up in the Soviet Union during the Cold War and drafting speeches for Gorbachev as an expert on the US and nuclear weapons in Europe. For all those who have been involved in peace studies as part of their academic careers or in other walks of life, this is an unusual and fascinating work.