Wicked Problems: The Ethics of Action for Peace, Rights, and Justice Book Talk


Location: Online event

Wicked Problems

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While a generation of changemakers and peacebuilders have set out to “Be the Change!” a thousand cautionary tales from the frontlines of social, economic, climate, and racial justice work suggest that deep ethical dilemmas don’t always have easily actionable answers. Join us for the book launch of Wicked Problems: The Ethics of Action for Peace, Rights, and Justice (Oxford University Press, 2022), where a panel of the books’ contributors discuss the trade-offs, dilemmas, and compromises they encounter in their daily work as conflict resolution practitioners, peacebuilders, advocates, organizers, and activists.

Taking action for peace, justice, and rights often involves grappling with wicked problems, where there is no ethically clear or morally pure solution to be found. What happens when “do no harm” does a lot of harm? What happens when peacebuilding requires one group to compromise with injustice? And who decides who must do the compromising? Whose interests do we serve when we try to do good? What does it mean to be an ally? Whose idea of good counts as good? We’ll talk about these questions, and more, and leave time for an open conversation with the audience.

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Reina Neufeldt

Reina Neufeldt, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Waterloo

Agnieszka Paczynska

Agnieszka Paczyńska, Associate Professor, George Mason University

Susan Hirsch

Susan Hirsch, Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Chair and Full Professor, George Mason University

Douglas Irvin Erickson

Douglas Irvin-Erickson, Assistant Professor, George Mason University

Austin Choi Fitzpatrick

Austin Choi Fitzpatrick, University Professor, University of San Diego


Ernesto Verdeja, Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame


Ashley Bohrer, Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame





Presented by Carter School Lemkin Genocide Prevention Program and The Center for Peacemaking Practice.

Co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Conrad Grebel University College.