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Book Review: Resolving Conflicts

Resolving Structural Conflicts: How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed. By Richard Rubenstein. ​Routledge;; 160 pages; $44.95.

The need for resolving conflicts is an issue that touches all aspects of modern society. When conflicts remain unresolved, anger and violence can ensue. International conflict can impact public policy, political rationale, and actions, and directly impact the citizenry.

In the book, Resolving Structural Conflicts: How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed, Richard Rubenstein offers an intellectual and academic approach to understanding the rationale for large conflicts. Rubenstein presents various aspects of the creation and potential resolution of conflict. The book includes detailed theoretical, historical, and political views pertaining to various aspects of conflict. These concepts include the potential causes of conflict based upon societal, religious, and geopolitical factors, the rationale for seeking resolution in a politically complicated environment, and the rationale for seeking resolution within complicated and turbulent settings. The content of the book is insightful yet broad enough to apply to various conceptual situations of cultural or political discord. 

Although the book is well researched, supported, and composed, it will not assist industry professionals looking to deter acts of violence in the workplace. It does not offer methods or policies that can be easily applied to the business or corporate working environment. Better suited to those seeking a theoretical understanding of conflict, it would be useful for those working in governmental policy development or as a textbook in global politics and administration.

Reviewer: Dr. Joseph Jaksa, CPP, is a professor of criminal justice at Michigan's Saginaw Valley State University. He is a member of ASIS International and the Saginaw Valley Chapter of ASIS.