Invitation to Peace Studies

Invitation to Peace Studies

Author: Houston Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date – June 2015

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invitationInvitation to Peace Studies is the first textbook in the field to emphasize 21st-century research and controversies and to encourage the more frequent use of a gender perspective in analyzing peace, war, and violence. Recent empirical research forms the core of most chapters, but substantial attention is also given to faith-based ideas, movements, and peace pioneers. The book examines compelling contemporary topics like cyber warfare, drones, robots, digital activism, hactivism, the physiology of peace, rising rates of suicide, and peace through health. It is also unique in its use of a single coherent perspective–that of a global peace network–to make sense of the historically unprecedented and interconnected web of diverse ideas, individuals, groups, organizations, and movements currently promoting peace across the world.


  • Grounds peace studies in contemporary discoveries in the humanities and social sciences, mostly in work completed since the end of the Cold War
  • Corrects earlier work in peace studies that ignored the centrality of women to peace promotion
  • Acknowledges the historic and continuing importance of religion to peace and nonviolent movements
  • Helps students move beyond a mere intellectual understanding of concepts, history, and trends
  • Demonstrates that peace studies research promotes practical applications that ordinary citizens can adopt in their daily lives
  • Offers ways to integrate into peace studies increasing concern about possible future resource catastrophes, conflicts, and wars

Houston Wood teaches peace studies at Hawai’i Pacific University. He is the author of Native Features: Indigenous Films from Around the World (2008) and Displacing Natives: The Rhetorical Production of Hawai’i (1999) and the coauthor, with Hugh Mehan, of The Reality of Ethnomethodology (1983).


Invitation to Peace Studies is a fantastic textbook from start to finish. It fills a gap in the existing group of textbooks on the topic and is truly needed.”–Walton Brown Foster, Central Connecticut State University

“I like the author’s approach, particularly the premise that an invitation to peace is something that can and is made by many. ‘Peace is something for all of us and not just for the saintly’ is a wonderful message for students (and the broader public) to hear.”–Greg Carroll, Salem State University

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