This conversation between Foreign Affairs Magazine Editor Gideon Rose and Garrison Institute co-founder Jonathan F.P. Rose explores the intersection of ecological awareness, spiritual wisdom, and politics. We are offering access to this session free of cost, as part of our open-access Pathways to Planetary Health initiative, a series of interactive Forum sessions which aim to expand our understanding of how each of us can play a role in supporting a regenerative, just and prosperous world, nurturing the health and wellbeing of all of life.
In this insightful discussion, foreign relations expert Gideon Rose breaks down the challenges of realizing a truly ecologically and scientifically informed government in the United States. Of course, one of the greatest threats to the health of the planet is the scale and frequency of human conflicts, which have the power to devastate human populations and the natural ecosystems they are a part of. Gideon explains that although there has historically been a great deal of scholarship dedicated to studying war – and specifically how wars start – significantly less attention has been paid to how wars end and the study of peace. In the highest ranks of U.S. military leadership, there are no standard procedures that dictate whether peaceful diplomatic action or violent action will be used in any given situation, which means that massively destructive decisions can be made at the discretion of just a few people, with very little democratic input or oversight.
Rose’s research indicates that unsound decisions by individuals in positions of power can have tremendous fallout, but that in many cases this damage could have been minimized avoided through more principled human action. He then introduces the concept of mindfulness-informed diplomacy, and the impact that social-emotional health practices could potentially have on foreign policy. Nonsecular social and moral principles, such as certain tenants of Buddhism, he argues, therefore hold massive potential for a more responsible form of global stewardship in the future. This forum offers a practical yet hopeful vision for the evolution of human diplomacy and the possibility of a healthier, more peaceful world.
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Gideon Rose has been Editor of Foreign Affairs since 2010, after serving as Managing Editor of the magazine from 2000-2010. Prior to that he was Deputy Director of Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and from 1994-1995 he served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He received a BA in Classics from Yale and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, and has taught American foreign policy at Princeton and Columbia. He is the author of How Wars End (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and other works.
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