The Frontlines of Peace

Séverine Autesserre

240 pages Copies in English Original publisher: Oxford University PressCurrent Affairs

“Not just another book about international politics. It will change the way you see the world around you.”
— Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

It’s always the same story told in a different setting. Violence breaks out, foreign nations are scandalized, interveners and million-dollar donors come rushing in, peace is declared, and within a month the situation is back to where it started. Sometimes worse.

In The Frontlines of Peace Severine Autesserre, award-winning researcher and peacebuilder, opens our eyes to the well-intentioned but systematically flawed peace industry. The author sheds light on how typical peace interventions have been getting it wrong, and—more importantly—how a few of them have been getting it right.

With examples drawn from across the globe, in a lively narrative, Autesserre reveals that peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances, with the help of the most unlikely heroes. She makes the very compelling case that we must challenge prevailing wisdom about foreign intervention and radically change our approach if we hope to build lasting peace.


“Autesserre’s portrayal of the aid industry is vivid and damning… [her] decidedly unglamorous approach to ending violence is intuitive enough for a third grader to grasp. That Peacelanders may conceive of her ideas as heretical might be the most surprising part of this book. It is also what makes her knowledge so essential.”— The New York Times Book Review

“Severine Autesserre combines a scholar’s rigor and an activist’s passion. With authority gained from hard experience, she shows how true peace must be built from the ground up and the inside out. A world in flames should heed her message.” — Foreign Affairs

“A captivating and inspiring story that invites its readers to act. I hope it will encourage you to get more involved in the fight against violence and impunity, and to build peace at home and for our common humanity.” — Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate