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This was originally posted on The Huffington Post on January 13, 2017.

On the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, it is worth reflecting on the similarities and differences between his and Donald J. Trump’s leadership styles. To some degree King and Trump both sought to mobilize their potential followers and defeat their adversaries as one waged a struggle for civil rights for African Americans and the other for winning a national presidential election.

The context for each one’s efforts were of course quite different. King was leading a struggle against the established legal order in the South while Trump, in seeking the Republican presidential nomination and then to win an electoral victory, was operating within a legally established institutional system. Each adopted novel leadership styles and strategies that might seem unusual in their different contexts. Nevertheless, each could claim to have had considerable success. Continue Reading »

The recent UN vote on Israeli settlements lessons the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians.

Originally published in Foreign Policy in Focus on January 10, 2017.

President Barack Obama’s decision that the U.S. abstain on the vote at the UN Security Council regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Secretary of State John Kerry’s talk on the Israeli Palestinian conflict have been attacked too often with willful mischaracterizations. Such attacks demonstrate again how Americans are suffering from uncivil, nasty discourse, which is harmful to all parties. Continue Reading »

By Miriam F. Elman, originally posted to The Washington Post- Monkey Cage on December 29, 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his selection of an ambassador to Israel who heartily supports the relocation have produced a deluge of dire warnings. Critics claim the move would unleash a wave of extremism, making past clashes pale by comparison. But these warnings may be exaggerated. A careful look at conflict-resolution theory suggests that moving the embassy could be a constructive move, pushing Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations. Continue Reading »

Co-authored by Louis Kriesberg and Bruce W. Dayton
Originally posted on the Huffington Post on 12/12/16

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, it may be hard to recall the heady few years starting in 1989, when Americans could reasonably believe that the United States and the world in general were entering an enduring period of widespread peace. The Cold War had ended without violence as did Soviet domination of countries in Eastern Europe. The generally peaceful break-up of the Soviet Union coincided with a negotiated end to proxy wars in Central America and elsewhere. In South Africa, the struggle to end apartheid was successful, again without feared bloodshed between whites and blacks. Neighboring civil wars in Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola ended with negotiated agreements after protracted violence. The long-lasting fight about the status of Northern Ireland was settled. The UN became much more effectively engaged in interventions in civil wars, diplomatically and with peacekeeping forces, leading many to hope that the end of the Cold War had given way to a new era of global cooperation. Continue Reading »

co-authored by Louis Kriesberg and Bruce W. Dayton
originally posted on the Huffington Post on 12/2/16

For many Americans, the 2016 presidential election campaign has been traumatic. Many supporters of Hillary Clinton, and others, believed that Donald Trump’s assertions and conduct violated the norms that are traditional in U.S. election campaigns, thereby undermining American democracy. On the other hand, some of Trump’s supporters regarded such charges against him as elitist denial of their legitimate grievances and some demonized Hillary Clinton.

Somehow, after this dreadful election campaign, we Americans must help each other to overcome the campaign’s horrors and work effectively to correct the circumstances that produced the trauma. Many avenues can help meet that need at the neighborhood, city, state, and national levels by diverse citizens working together.

Continue Reading »

By Miriam Elman

(Re-published from Legal Insurrection | Nov. 13, 2016) President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish state.

He also vowed that when he became president he’d relocate the U.S. embassy from its current beachside location in Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

“Presidents have been relying on a national security waiver built into a 1995 law, which gets used at regular six month intervals and gives them an opportunity to suspend the embassy move.”

Now, some are saying that once he’s in the Oval Office, Trump will go back on his word. Continue Reading »

By Frederick F. Carriere, Research Professor in Political Science
Louis Kriesberg, Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Social Conflict Studies
Stuart J. Thorson, Donald P. and Margaret Curry Gregg Professor Emeritus

North Korea’s demonstrations of the ever-improving effectiveness of its nuclear weapons capabilities—including its fifth and most powerful nuclear test last month—are gravely dangerous. Too readily, they can result in devastating military actions. While both candidates for U.S. president have rightly denounced such a show of force, neither has offered a plan to steer us off the current course toward escalation. Now is the time, during the presidential campaigns, to propose and discuss more effective policies. Continue Reading »