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About the Author: Amartya Sen

Amartya Kumar Sen is an Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory, and for his interest in the problems of society’s poorest members.

Sen was best known for his work on the causes of famine, which led to the development of practical solutions for preventing or limiting the effects of real or perceived shortages of food. He is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He is also a senior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he previously served as Master from the years 1998 to 2004. He is the first Asian and the first Indian academic to head an Oxbridge college.

Amartya Sen's books have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security. In 2006, Time magazine listed him under "60 years of Asian Heroes" and in 2010 included him in their "100 most influential persons in the world".


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Paperback, Published in Jun 2011 by Open Book Publishers

ISBN10: 1906924392 | ISBN13: 9781906924393

Page count: 164

Recent acts of terrorism and the pro-democracy unrest in the Middle East remind us how important it is to understand the relationship between violence, peace and democracy. In a challenging and insightful essay, Amartya Sen explores ideas around "organised violence" (war, genocide and terrorism) and violence against the individual. Highlighting the inadequacies of some of the widely accepted explanations for violence - including the idea that the world is experiencing a "clash of civilisations" - Sen makes a plea for a global, multilateral debate on the causes of conflict, and an understanding of the multiple identities of the individuals involved. The introductory essay draws on the findings of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, which was established to promote mutual communication and understanding among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth. Its timely report, "Civil Paths to Peace," suggests that governments, media and educators - indeed, everyone - must take the time to understand the complexities around violent behaviour and its causes, without prejudging what these might be.

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