Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict


  • Lester Kurtz, University of Texas, Austin, U.S.A.

The 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict provides timely and useful information about antagonism and reconciliation in all contexts of public and personal life. Building on the highly-regarded 1st edition (1999), and publishing at a time of seemingly inexorably increasing conflict and violent behaviour the world over, the Encyclopedia is an essential reference for students and scholars working in the field of peace and conflict resolution studies, and for those seeking to explore alternatives to violence and share visions and strategies for social justice and social change. Covering topics as diverse as Arms Control, Peace Movements, Child Abuse, Folklore, Terrorism and Political Assassinations, the Encyclopedia comprehensively addresses an extensive information area in 225 multi-disciplinary, cross-referenced and authoritatively authored articles.In his Preface to the 1st edition, Editor-in-Chief Lester Kurtz wrote: "The problem of violence poses such a monumental challenge at the end of the 20th century that it is surprising we have addressed it so inadequately. We have not made much progress in learning how to cooperate with one another more effectively or how to conduct our conflicts more peacefully. Instead, we have increased the lethality of our combat through revolutions in weapons technology and military training. The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict is designed to help us to take stock of our knowledge concerning these crucial phenomena." Ten years on, the need for an authoritative and cross-disciplinary approach to the great issues of violence and peace seems greater than ever.
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Undergraduates, graduates, and professors in the social, life, and physical sciences. Government, non-profit, and commercial organizations whose work involves peace and aggression.


Book information

  • Published: August 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-369503-1


Reviews of the first edition

"An indispensable Encyclopedia"
Journal of Peace Psychology, 6:2, 2000, pp. 177-179

"This outstanding three-volume set seeks to answer basic questions about modern warfare, conflict, violence, and peace, but also covers current topics such as police brutality, aggression in sports, television violence, and animal aggression. The greatest value of this multivolume work is its interdisciplinary coverage. The set is broken down into 15 subject areas covering approximately 200 different issues. Each article is about 9,000 words, including a definition of the subject, illustrations, glossaries, and bibliographies. It is an excellent source written by scholars from around the world."
“Outstanding reference sources 2000,” American Libraries, May 2000

“...the Encyclopedia is a thoroughly impressive work, well written, well organized and well presented. As a starting point for newcomers to the field, as a useful aid to those already involved but seeking to broaden their range of knowledge, as a useful guide to any non-scholars seeking information about what peace and conflict studies has currently to say about many important topics, it is thoroughly admirable. At times, reviewers can only revert to cliches to summarize a work's contribution but, in this case, it is true that this is a work that no library of any program on peace studies, conflict research or dispute resolution can afford to be without.”
Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, George Mason University, in "Peace and Conflict"

“This mammoth set is a fascinating undertaking. It has well-written and well-researched articles, excellent cross-references, and a good index. The cast of contributors is truly impressive...the articles range widely (e.g., the impact of television on children, alliance behavior, the concept of evil, violence toward homosexuals) and because of the contributors' varied backgrounds, are variously based in anthropology, sociology, ethics, politics, and psychology, to mention a few. [It is] recommended highly for all academic libraries.”

“The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict is an ambitious work, superbly executed... It is clear that much thought has gone not only into the content, but also into the organization of the work. Comprehensiveness, diversity of viewpoint, scholarly rigor, clarity of presentation, and ease of access are the hallmarks of this encyclopedia. For this reason, it is of great value not only to students of the field, but also to practitioners and the generally curious.”
College and Research Libraries

Reviews of the second edition

"On the required reading list for these challenging economic times [is] Academic Press's magisterial but expensive Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace & Conflict, providing background to ethnic clashes still raging worldwide [...] Much has happened since the first edition of this work was released in 1999. The events of 9/11 and cascading levels of violence worldwide have drawn new research on the topic, which, notes editor Kurtz, most societies are still ambivalent about. This meticulous resource covers everything from mediation and negotiation techniques to trade wars to serial and mass murderers via 190 multidisciplinary articles, 1000 cross-references, and more than 2000 bibliography entries
Library Journal. Winner, "Best reference 2008"

Table of Contents

Area coverageEthical, Cultural, Historical Cultural Studies Ethical & Religious Studies Historical StudiesPolicy Criminology Education Public Policy Studies International Relations Peace & Conflict Studies Warfare & Military StudiesPsychological & Biomedical Biomedical Studies Psychological Studies Public HealthSocial Sciences Anthropological Studies Communications Studies Economic Studies Political Studies Sociological Studies