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The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace



The 1751 father of all modern encyclopedias - Diderot - called his seventeen-volume project simply the Encyclopedie. It had a single page entry for “Peace.” In 1898 the Encyclopedia Britannica carried a twenty-nine page citation for “War” but still none for “Peace”; however the famous 1911 edition finally carried a separate essay on “Peace,” written by Sir Thomas Barclay, an international lawyer and member of the Liberal Party in Parliament. Peace had come of age.

Our award winning four-volume work, The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, published under the direction of Nigel Young is a heroic and brilliant piece of collective scholarship. It runs 2,741 pages, was written by scholars from all over the world (over 500 of them) including a gaggle from nearby Earlham College, one from the University of Dayton and two by graduates of Antioch College. It has an index of 147 pages that covers every imaginable variant about peace, conflict and non-violence known to the modern world.

The “B’ section has, for example, entries about the Bahai’s, Bullying, Buddha, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and Ralph Bunche. In quick succession the “D” section leads off with Dorothy Day (born in Brooklyn), the Dayton Accords and Eugene Debs the son of French immigrants. He was born in Terra Haute, Indiana.

There are scholarly profiles for both peace idealists and realists including Richard Holbrooke, the anarchist Gustave Landauer, Martin Luther King and a long section on “Art and Peace” that includes a discussion of Aristophanes’ two comic plays Peace (418 BCE) and Lysistrata (410 BCE) along with additional references to Goya's prints and paintings The Disasters of War and the Third of May 1808 (1814). It ends by reprinting key documents relevant to the broader peace movement from antiquity to the present including just war theory and pacifism.

A fifth volume is in the works and my hope is that it will include more about “the varieties of peace experience” (to paraphrase William James) and include a sketch of John Jacobus Flournoy a peace activist and pamphleteer in Georgia in the 1840s who believed in a system of marriage called trigamy, often got into fights over his principles and was considered by some a crank, but by others a reformer. Such is the stuff of great encyclopedias.

There is even a section on “Peace Prizes” in the new Oxford that contains a reference to the Dayton Literary Peace Prize: “The impetus for these awards did not come from the destruction of those cities in war but from private citizens working for peace.”

As private citizens working for peace we are honored to bestow this special award on a historic collaborative work of writing, editing and publishing.

Robert S. Fogarty
John Dewey Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus
Editor, The Antioch Review

2011 Award for Scholarship Winner

Click to see award video
Click to see award video

(Click photo to see acceptance speech at awards dinner.)

Nigel Young, Editor
The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace

Nigel Young was Cooley Professor of Peace Studies and Director of the Peace Studies Program at Colgate University, New York, from 1984-2004. Nigel is currently Research Professor in Peace Studies at Colgate University. He holds a BA and MA in Modern History from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in International Studies.

Nigel has held several prior university positions including reader and deputy head of school of peace studies at the University of Bradford (1973-1983) and lecturer in political science at the University of Birmingham (1968-1973). He also was a senior research fellow at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway (1981, 1983 and 1984). Nigel was a founding member of CND (1958) and CND London Region Organizer (1962-1964).

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“When I commissioned and then read our entry on the Dayton Peace Accords – one of 850 topics in the OIEP – I little dreamed of this recognition and prestigious link through the accolade of such an important prize.

“The award reminds us that the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace have much in common. They are both part of the long, often painstakingly slow process of global institution building for peace; ingredients in moving towards a worldwide culture of peace.

“Just like democracy, and human rights, peace has to be constructed, not only in minds and hearts but institutionally: reliable works of reference are therefore as essential in the digital age as in the age of Johnson or Diderot. Because the OIEP’s special coverage it is used by advisers to policy makers, activists, scholars, and practical peacebuilders: it is a continuing project, essential to new ways to peace.

“From Wikipedia to the Oxford English Dictionary, we will all continue to use reference works in all formats – and they are essential tools for peacemaking! But the OIEP in print and online is unique in the way to focuses on peace in a new and comprehensive format – 4 volumes so far, and it is becoming already key presence for all those who are concerned with reducing destructive conflict and armed violence on our planet.”

— Nigel Young                        

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"Finding peaceful solutions to the world's increasingly complex problems will be a huge task, which must also be based upon knowledge, experience and research. I hope that this important new Encyclopedia will reach a global lay audience as well as policy makers and academic experts and encourage many thousands of readers to study further and work harder for the peace on which our whole future depends."

-From the Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

This innovative, multivolume encyclopedia charts the interdisciplinary field of Peace Studies, offering a comprehensive survey of the full range of historical, political, theoretical and philosophical issues relating to peace and conflict. All major figures are covered, as well as major events, organizations, theories, and much more.

Each entry is signed by a leading scholar in the field, contains a bibliography for further reading, and is cross-referenced with other useful points of interest within the encyclopedia. In addition to A-to-Z entries, the Encyclopedia also includes a peace chronology, key documents and appendices.

Key subjects covered include:

  • world leaders (Mahatma Gandhi, Margaret Mead, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lucretia Mott)

  • major events (Cuban Missile Crisis, Dayton Accords, Good Friday Agreement, Lebanon Hostage Crisis)

  • organizations (Greenpeace, League of Nations, United Nations, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross)

  • theories (Civil Disobedience, Conscientious Objection, Feminism and Peace, Power and Nonviolence Theory, Eco-Pacifism, Gay Rights)

  • current events (Chemical and Biological Weapons, Human Rights, War Crimes, Terrorism).

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