One in every twenty difficult conflicts ends up grinding to a halt. That's fully 5 percent of not just the diplomatic and political clashes we read about in the newspaper, but disputations and arguments from our everyday lives as well. Once we get pulled into these self-perpetuating conflicts it is nearly impossible to escape. The 5 percent rule us.
So what can we do when we find ourselves ensnared? According to Dr. Peter T. Coleman, the solution is in seeing our conflict anew. Applying lessons from complexity theory to examples from both American domestic politics and international diplomacy -- from abortion debates to the enmity between Israelis and Palestinians -- Coleman provides innovative new strategies for dealing with intractable disputes. A timely, paradigm-shifting look at conflict, The Five Percent is an invaluable guide to preventing even the most fractious negotiations from foundering.
About the Author
Dr. Peter T. Coleman is associate professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, director of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, and on faculty of The Earth Institute at Columbia. In 2003, he received the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 48: Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence. He lives in New York.
Morton Deutsch “This book is an important, original contribution to understanding destructive, intractable conflicts and how to change them. It is well-writen and can be read with much profit by the general reader as well as by conflict specialists.”
"As the world gets smaller and more complex, we have to improve our ability to live together peaceably - whether it is in our homes, our streets or between nations. This thoughtfully constructed examination of human conflict and how we can resolve it is a welcome antidote to the contentious times in which we live. Peter Coleman delivers hope in this guidebook to untangling our most intractable problems."
Forward.com, July, 2011 “The Arty Semite” “Groundbreaking… Based on the work of an extraordinary multi-disciplinary team that includes specialists in complexity science, astrophysics, mathematics, social psychology, anthropology and conflict resolution, ‘The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts’ brings to the general reader, for the first time, research that could reshape our understanding of intractable conflicts… Coleman’s book should be required reading for peacemakers around the world.”