Talking to Terrorists: How to End Armed Conflicts

Author(s): Jonathan Powell


An inside look at the subterranean exchanges that occur between governments and terrorist organisations. Should governments talk to terrorists? Should they 'negotiate with evil'?Without communication, argues Powell, we will never end conflict. As violent insurgencies continue to erupt across the globe, we need people who will brave the depths of the Mindanao jungle and scale the heights of the Colombian mountains, painstakingly tracking down the heavily armed, faceless leaders of these terrorist groups in order to open negotiations with them. Powell draws on his own experiences negotiating peace in Northern Ireland and talks to all the major players from the last thirty years - terrorists, secret agents and intermediaries - exposing the subterranean world of secret exchanges between governments and terrorist organizations to give us the inside account of negotiations on the front line. These past negotiations shed light on how today's negotiators can tackle the Taliban, Hammas and al-Qaeda. And history tells us that it may be necessary to fight and talk at the same time. Ultimately, Powell brings us a message of hope: there is no armed conflict anywhere in the world that cannot be resolved. - A wide-ranging, topical book that travels across the globe, spotlighting terrorist negotiations in far-flung countries to illuminate the scale and diversity of insurgencies. - Rich in first-hand accounts and dramatic stories of terrorist encounters in the words of the participants. - Powell's first two books were insider accounts of the Blair years; this is bigger and much wider-ranging.


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Jonathan Powell worked for the Foreign Office for fifteen years until, in 1994, Tony Blair poached him to join his 'kitchen cabinet' as his Chief of Staff. After Labour achieved its landslide victory in 1997, Powell spent ten years in government talking to the leaders of the IRA in safe houses across Belfast, Derry and Dublin. Since leaving Number 10 he has worked with a Geneva-based NGO, negotiating between governments and terrorist groups in Europe, Asia and Africa, and has now established his own NGO, InterMediate, to continue this work. InterMediate is already active in six countries.

General Fields

  • : 9781847922304
  • : Vintage
  • : The Bodley Head Ltd
  • : September 2013
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jonathan Powell
  • : Paperback
  • : 363.32517
  • : 256