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Sustaining peace

Half of all peace deals fail within five years. This is how you make them work.

Fire in neo-liberal London

The burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower is a visible reminder that public responsibilities should never be watered down.

How an ancient singing tradition helps people cope with trauma in the modern world

In Finland, lament singing is experiencing a revival, one sad song at a time.

‘Trumping’ Let Girls Learn

Getting more girls into school is vital, but it isn’t an answer to poverty and inequality.

Through the dark night

Inside ourselves and in the world at large, more darkness brings more light rising in response. 

Emotional politics: suffer the little children?

Outrage over child abuse is no substitute for effective social policy.

The town that adopted trauma-informed care—and saw a decrease in crime and suspension

Empathy and redemption are far more effective than punishment and incarceration.

Visualising mental illness

Could mapping our anxieties generate more understanding and support?

Passive patience is oppressive, but active patience can help us all

Does your commitment to justice override your desire for comfort?

Why stories matter

Stories cultivate the frequently forgotten yet uniquely human traits that build solidarity.

Facing up to our shadow side with compassion

Restorative justice makes real the fact that conflict, pain, suffering and crime are part of all our lives.

Minnesota churches face tough questions in offering sanctuary to immigrants

Protecting immigrants is vital work, but what happens when the police arrive at your door?

We’ve been down this road before

A powerful new video shows how immigrants have been scapegoated throughout US history (4 minutes). 

Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence

Politicians who live in an angry narcissistic fog pose a threat to democracy and peace.

Why play? This is serious.

Play isn’t the opposite of work—it’s vital for social transformation.

Can contemplating death improve the quality of life?

Deep reflective thought about death can bring us closer to self-compassion and concern for the well-being of others.

How we talk about race and safety can really make a difference

Speaking with both honesty and care can transform a conflict in unexpected ways.

Work: it’s time for a new year’s revolution

Feeling burned out in your work for peace and social justice? A new book provides essential guidance.

Building community in Berlin’s Sharehaus

Often, things that are seen as a problem in society are not: the house where locals and refugees live and work together. 

Wrestling with my white fragility

This moment in American history calls me to enter spaces where my people’s shame can arrive with me, charging in on white horses.

Sustainable activism: managing hope and despair in social movements

A new generation of activists is developing a much healthier and more emotionally-intelligent culture.

Making our movements work for kids and families

Children have always been part of people’s work for rights and social justice, so what does it take to make activism more family friendly? 

When a tiger has no value

The quest for profit is transforming the natural world. Can it be halted?

The rise of veganism in politics

On World Vegan Day it’s time to recognize that veganism isn’t just a fashion statement. The decision to boycott animal products has major political implications.

Where strangers become family

A unique affordable-housing community supports both foster families and elders who might be looking for a few extra grandchildren.

Social movements need imagination, which is why I’m not buying my kids any more toys

Resistance means more than politics; it involves poetry, magical thinking and wonder, and begins with children having time and space to be creative.

What’s the point of prison?

Well over half of all prisoners in the UK have personality disorders and other mental health problems. What are we doing?

Why should Bill Gates decide how our children should be educated?

Billionaire philanthropists are imposing their views on the rest of society with little accountability for their actions.

After the violence and videos, therapists learn to treat racial trauma

From specialized clinics for African Americans to social media events that take the shame out of sharing, there's a growing movement to heal the psychological scars of racism.

How storytelling can help to address police violence

Stories engage areas of the brain beyond those that simply process information, facilitating negotiation and creating coherence out of traumatic experiences.

Does poverty cause crime?

Socio-economic determinism is inadequate as an explanation of criminality.

We already know how to reduce police racism and violence

Recent research has shown what works. For starters, hire more female police officers

Looking back: 12 of Transformation's greatest articles

I'm leaving after three years at openDemocracy. Here are some of my favourite, must-read articles from writers to watch out for.

Why shouldn’t the law ignore emotion?

If the justice system becomes an assembly line devoid of feelings, reconciliation and social justice will suffer.

Gathering and assembling: Judith Butler on the future of politics

A new book from one of the world’s leading philosophers brims with ideas about gender, collective action and insecurity.

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