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Stable peace continues to elude societies grappling with cycles of violent conflict and general insecurity. About half of the situations where the United Nations has intervened to bring about peace have experienced violent relapse. Liberal peace building has only delivered mixed results. Yet a suitable alternative is yet to emerge.

This lecture will argue for new thinking and approach to building peace that places “Leadership” and “Conversation” at its core. These seemingly simple, every day buzzwords mean something profound and transforming in the hardheaded context of recurring violence. Conversation becomes the compass for leadership and the barometer for peace. This compels a shift in emphasis away from an idealized approach to the harsh realities of conflict-torn societies.