Friday, June 22, 2007

Paddy Ashdown - Book & RSA Lecture

Paddy Ashdown
Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007, 327.172 ASH

Paddy Ashdown made headlines this weeks after it emerged that Gordon Brown had offered him the Cabinet post of Northern Ireland secretary, a move that has generated much interest and perhaps provided some further insight into what Gordon Brown was referring to earlier in the year when launching his campaign for the labour leadership, describing "new kind of politics". This has lead some to speculate over the potential for Brown to bring about a new approach to government characterised by "a very un-Blair openness", while others including many Lib Dems have criticised him for attempting to undermine and divide his opponents.

Many have engage in the debate over Brow's motives for the offer, as well as the Lib Dem reaction to it and the wider political implications. Yet relatively little attention has been placed on the great strength of Lord Ashdown's credentials in bringing about and maintaining peace in areas of conflict, or the contribution he might make to the foreign policy of any British government.

On Wednesday 27 June, Lord Ashdown will present a lecture at the RSA entitled Perspectives on Peacebuilding, in which he will outline his views on the challenge of bringing about peace and discuss ways in which we could go about it differently. His new book Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century is out now and currently available to borrow from the RSA Library.

Read a description of Swords and Ploughshares from the publisher, Orion Books.

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