John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is Professor of Practice for International Peacebuilding with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  He works as a practitioner-scholar, providing facilitation, mediation and training/education, with extensive experience at national and community levels in North and Latin America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia.  Widely known for the development of culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation and the design and implementation of strategic approaches to peacebuilding his approach has focused on innovations for building constructive change in settings experiencing extensive violence and deep rooted-conflict.  Author of 17 books and manuals, including Building Peace:  Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (US Institute of Peace Press), The Little Book of Conflict Transformation (Good Books), The Moral Imagination:  The Art and Soul of Building Peace (Oxford University Press), and his most recent with daughter Angela Jill, When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys through the soundscape of healing and reconciliation (Queensland University Press and Oxford University Press).

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Articles and Video:

Conflict Management in Other Countries (06/20/20)
John Paul Lederach continues to describe in detail how he observed partiality as a resource, not an obstacle in Latin America and the Middle East. Partiality meant being part of the network, being an insider, and someone to be trusted.

Authenticity in Relationships Increases Chance of Peace-Building (02/05/20)
John Paul Lederach speaks of the importance of authenticity when building relationships with parties. In his book, he poses a challenge to those who respond "we don't have a voice" in answering the question of why the peace process has been inauthentic.

Interview with John Paul Lederach (05/28/18)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with John Paul Lederach, a global leader in ethnic and cultural reconciliation, filmed as part of's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.

After the Handshake: Forging Quality Implementation of Peace Agreements (09/06/16)
After nearly four years of negotiations the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) and the Colombian government publicly released a 300-page peace agreement ending the half-century war, the last armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere.

How Does Humanity Unite? (07/22/16)
A blog series from Dr. John Paul Lederach, Humanity United Senior Fellow, exploring the challenges of social fragmentation and conflict with a focus on reconciliation, social healing, and human flourishing.

Convincing Violent Groups to be Non-Violent - Video (07/22/16)
John Paul Lederach describes discussing alternatives to violent conflict with groups who felt powerless and that violence was their only avenue of action. One method he uses is to ask them what violence has achieved historically.

The Poetic Unfolding of the Human Spirit (03/01/11)
What does it mean in this day and age to explore a global dream? John Paul Lederach writes a rare travelogue of a spirit fully engaged in the world he has been born to, fully engaged in the soul he has been given, and fully engaged in the mysterious world of spirit that touches us all. His ideas are twined from threads of muscle and blood. The travelogue carries within it many touchstones that will open your heart and mind.

John Paul Lederach: Understanding Violent Conflict - Video (02/08/10)
John Paul Lederach talks about trying to understand the position of people who wanted to achieve social change and overcome powerlessness through violence, specifically the case of the Hutu and Tutsi conflict in Rwanda.

Lederach, John Paul: Essentials for Relationship Building - Video (11/16/09)
John Paul Lederach discusses how neutrality is a myth. The essential factor in building a relationship with parties (in his experience outside the US) is gaining their trust, finding the common ground between the mediator and parties.

John Paul Lederach: Mennonite Faith as Motive for Career Pursuit - Video (07/16/09)
John Paul Lederach describes how his passion and belief system coming from a Mennonite tradition drove him to pursue a career in international peace building.

John Paul Lederach: Pacifism as a Practice, Not Just an idea - Video (05/07/09)
John Paul Lederach explains that those who preach pacifism should put themselves in a context where the practice is most needed, not talk about it from a safe distance.

John Paul Lederach: Experience in International Peace-Building - Video (03/08/09)
John Paul Lederach describes his background and experience teaching and peace-building within the international arena.

John Paul Lederach: Ideal to Mediate a Space, Not Just a Person - Video (02/12/09)
John Paul Lederach explains how mediators need to shift their focus from mediating a person to mediating a space in order to more holistically help all involved, gain trust and understanding.

A Wish For The Future (12/21/02)
I have a wish for a gift given from our generation to our great grandchildren, from the adults of this decade to the children of the end of this Century: Let this be the decade remembered as the time when the beginning of the end of human warfare happened.

Quo Vadis? Reframing Terror from the Perspective of Conflict Resolution (11/09/01)
The events on September 11, 2001 that overtook our daily lives and reoriented our national and global priorities pose significant challenges for our newly emerging century. They leave us with the question -- Quo vadis -- where are we headed? Where we are going and how we get there depends a great deal on how we define the nature of our journey, its challenges, and ultimately its proposed destination. We might best understand our destination as a horizon, visible as a guidepost but never removing the need for continued journey.

The Challenge of Terror: A Traveling Essay (09/14/01)
Though natural, the cry for revenge and the call for the unleashing of the first war of this century, prolonged or not, seems more connected to social and psychological processes of finding a way to release deep emotional anguish, a sense of powerlessness, and our collective loss than it does as a plan of action seeking to redress the injustice, promote change and prevent it from ever happening again.


The Mediators: Views from the Eye of the Storm Vol. I
Views from the Eye of the Storm

Featuring 31 of the most experienced mediators in the world.

This two-hour DVD is a "highlight" film of compelling commentary from pioneers and leaders in the field of mediation.

(2006) ISBN # 1-933857-04-8

This video is also available by online streaming here

DVDs are available for shipment to the United States and Canada. International purchasers are asked to order the online streaming version of this resource at

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Complete Interview with John Paul Lederach
Complete hour-long interview of John Paul Lederach by Robert Benjamin.