Update 18 December 2015 (agreed with her)
„I am a radical peacenik and peace professional.“
The ten years since 2005 have been full and demanding ones for Diana Francis (http://www.dianafrancis.info/ ). In addition to writing two more books, as well as several articles for the Committee for Conflict Transformation Support (CCTS), she has been heavily involved in reconciliation work in many countries around the world. At present, she is involved in reconciliation and facilitation work in the Caucasus and in India. She has played the roles of accompanier, trainer and facilitator, both with single parties and in meetings between opposing groups.
In the UK, she is working with other ‘peace professionals’ to generate a major conversation on international policy and notions of security, in political and civil society circles, applying what they have learned about the things that prevent and transform violent situations and relationships and create a climate for co-existence, cooperation and human security in every sense. She is convinced that radical change is possible and will be achieved, if it is, by non-military means.
Her latest books are:
2010 “From Pacification to Peacebuilding” (Pluto Press), which is a review of the practice of conflict transformation. Diana argues that this can never get beyond fire-fighting while the institution of global militarism remains in place and that the discourse of ‘security’ is drowning out more constructive voices for peace. She argues that the dominant culture and dynamics of power, which are inextricably linked with constructions of masculinity and rest on coercion and violence, must be displaced by the principles of interdependence, kindness and nonviolent solidarity, so that pacification can give way to genuine peacebuilding.
2015 “Faith, Power and Peace” (Quaker Books) In this book, Diana draws on her extensive experience to affirm the Quakers’ historic rejection of all war, arguing that militarism cannot make sense as a response to human vulnerability. She describes how nonviolent power can transform violent situations and provide a radically different model for international relations.
Diana believes that despite anxieties about the future and escalating violence around the world, a more peaceful, less insecure future is possible. Although the challenges are severe, she says, they are not beyond the imaginative, intellectual, and practical resources available. But for a change of course we need to begin from the recognition that we share a common humanity, with fundamentally the same needs, desires, hopes and fears, and that we can live only as part of a planetary ecology, which is now straining under our weight.
“We have the capacity to choose against war and so to give peace a chance: to want to do so is a sign of sanity rather than madness. The first step is to understand that there is a choice.”
Diana Francis has been working on non-violent conflict resolution, mediation and reconciliation in England and worldwide. She is widely involved in training people in community reconciliation and peace work. Her work has inspired many people to engage in non-violent activism. She has trained women, who have vividly become trainers and peace-workers in their own communities. Diana is the author of two books, both published by Pluto Press: “People, Peace and Power: Conflict Transformation in Action” (2002) and “Rethinking War and Peace” (2004).
For more than 40 years, Diana Francis has been working on non-violent conflict resolution, mediation and reconciliation. She has also been involved in training people in community reconciliation and peace work, and through this work she has mobilized people enormously to engage in non-violent activism. When asked about her vision for the future, Diana replied, “My longings are interpreted more in terms of process than of end points. I endeavor to be part of a process towards a fundamental shift in culture from one that accommodates violence as ‘normal’ and defines power in terms of control, to one in which care, respect and compassion for each other and for humanity predominate . This will mean learning to build bridges of love and co-operation between people rather than fear and antipathy. My vision is to teach young children that to be tender and caring is not equivalent to being weak. At the same time we, women and men, have to work untiringly with courage and determination to effectuate radical social changes that will help the youth think about their behavior. This will give them the courage, over and over again, to stand up and be counted for their deeds, and will make them able to link analysis with imagination and find happiness in solidarity. ‘Non-violence’ means living the future in the present, so we just have to get on and do that.”
Committee for Conflict Transformation Support (CCTS) International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
Europe | United Kingdom