Welcome to a page of the weblog dedicated to To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in An Age of Religious Militancy, my new book just published by Rowman and Littlefield. The book covers four main themes: A. a critique of the field of conflict resolution and diplomacy that suggests the need to for social network theory and practice to revamp all of our work and evaluations, B. the critical importance of citizen diplomacy to usher in a new stage of human and global development, C. a five year case study of my citizen diplomacy work with partners between Syria and the United States,  and finally D. an exploration of the ethics of intervention in conflict zones, from the point of view of Western ethics and Eastern ethics.

This page will be a place where I periodically post on issues directly relevant to the book’s subjects, and my ongoing reflections on and updates of what I wrote in the book.

Go to here for the book at Amazon for $26.95.

Go to here for the book at Barnes and Noble for $21

Here is the basic information on the book from the publisher’s page.


Here below are wonderful reviews which I am honored by from Imam Feisal Rauf; Professors Kevin Avruch and Richard Rubenstein; Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer (all of whose books you should read); fellow blogger and professor Ross Aden; Heather DuBois of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding; and ICAR Ph.D. candidate Saira Yamin:

“Rabbi Marc Gopin heartens peacemakers by showing how relationships forged across the fault lines of religion emphasize faith’s power to be part of the solution when it is part of the problem, and create bonds of hope against the divisive demon of despair.”-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, American Society for Muslim Advancement

“Marc Gopin-a veteran and seasoned practitioner of citizen diplomacy-has written an important book, that reminds policymakers and non-policymakers alike of the critical role that ordinary people can and do play in helping to resolve conflicts. By setting in motion, in his words, a ‘constellation of relationships, cultural gestures and communications’, citizen diplomats literally can bring walls of mistrust and hatred tumbling down. Gopin’s book focuses on the most challenging arena of all, religious militancy, and brings forth lessons learned that are well worth assimilating in our current diplomacy.”-Daniel Kurtzer, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel

“To say this is a case-study of ‘citizen diplomacy’-itself a far too bland description of what is going on here-is to miss the other virtues of this work. It is at once a study of the role in militant religion in intractable conflicts, a look inside the complexity of contemporary Syria and Syrian-U.S. and Israeli relations, a primer on social network theory, a sophisticated discussion of the ethics of third parties who are outsiders to other peoples’ deadly conflicts and, like so much of Gopin’s work, a deeply felt account of his life’s journey in peacemaking and peacebuilding. Margaret Mead once wrote, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ In describing his own efforts and those of a remarkable group of individuals in the Middle East and elsewhere, Marc Gopin has written a book that shows both the truth of that statement and offers insight into how it is done.”-Kevin Avruch, George Mason University

“Gopin is a pragmatic visionary. His vision for our planet combines secular social contract theory with religious covenant theology. He calls for the building of a new global social contract that centers of human rights. He subscribes to democracy. But in his view, human rights, not constitutions or free elections, are the basis of democracy and a just and peaceful world.” -Ross Aden, Rock Valley College

“…in addition to being the latest volume contributed by Rabbi Gopin to the growing library of works on religious peacemaking, we are thrilled by the centrality that his work with Hind Kabawat, Tanenbaum’s 2007 Women’s Peace Initiative awardee, plays in the book. We are writing just days after U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell visited Damascus and met with President Assad, where Mitchell confirmed the Obama administration’s belief that Syria holds a “fundamental” role in achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. In this atmosphere, Gopin’s book serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that religious peacemakers and citizen diplomats can serve in laying the groundwork for the renewal or reinvigoration of Track One diplomacy.” –Heather DuBois, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding

“Gopin dares to venture in territory which he reminds the reader, happens to be “the land of the enemies of my people”. Despite the risks, he explores a religious recreation of a global social contract; an exercise he believes could make the West and Islam coexist in harmony.” -Saira Yamin, Ph.D. candidate at George Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, in The News International


Below is more from the publisher, including table of contents and order forms:

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy
By Marc Gopin

“When Marc Gopin, a peacemaker and a rabbi, found himself speaking to 3,000 congregants at the great mosque in Aleppo with the Grand Mufti of Syria by his side, he knew that something very special was happening. To Make the Earth Whole is a profoundly moving and gripping account of one man’s attempt to practice citizen diplomacy in an unlikely and dangerous environment. More than that, it is a brilliant brief for peacemaking by inspired practitioners able to heal shattered relationships by building new social and spiritual networks. Gopin’s tone is wise and personal: the voice of a modern sage. His book makes one understand that there is no real conflict between worldly realism and radical hope.“-Richard E. Rubenstein, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

To Make the Earth Whole studies the art of citizen diplomacy-a process that can address clashes of religion and culture across regional lines even when traditional negotiations between governments can fail. While faith and regional differences have been sources of division around the world in recent decades, millions of citizens are also creating bonds of friendship and collaboration that are forming the basis of a global community.

Drawing on the experiences gleaned from years practicing citizen diplomacy in some of the world’s most politically charged climates, scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution and rabbi Marc Gopin describes his work in Syria as a central case study of the book. The author outlines the strategic basis for creating community across lines of enmity, the social network theory to explain how this happens, and the long term vision required for a progressive but inclusive global community that respects religious communities even as it limits their coercive power over others. This powerful and practical book outlines an incremental and evolutionary strategy of positive change that stands a strong chance of success, even in today’s most conservative and repressive religious and political contexts.

To Make the Earth Whole also examines the ethical challenges of citizen diplomacy from the perspectives of both Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. The world’s wisdom traditions are essential in devising a way for citizens to develop the foundations for global community.

– A compelling combination of the latest theories in conflict resolution and rich personal experience in the field of interreligious peacebuilding, particularly in the Middle East.

– Central case study of Syria sheds light on a little-understood country that is key to efforts towards peace in the region.

– Accessibly written for use by students, scholars and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution, government officials, and general readers interested in the potential for citizen diplomacy to make a positive change in our world.

Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, and the director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He is also an ordained rabbi. His website is

Table of Contents: Introduction • Foundations of a Global Community through Citizen Diplomacy • The State of Religion, Conflict, and Peace: Strategic Foundations for Building Community in a Militant Time • Religious Power and the Future of Global Society • Networks that Build a Peaceful Future: A New Approach to Incremental Change • Citizen Diplomacy and Incremental Change: A New Approach to Peacemaking • On the Road between Damascus and Jerusalem: A Case Study of Citizen Diplomacy • Syria 2006-2008: The Transformation of a Relationship • Diplomacy with a Conscience: The Search for Wisdom in Global Engagement • Confronting Ethical Dilemmas of Citizen Diplomacy • Insights from the World’s Cultures and Religions on Building Diplomacy • Conclusions about our Future • The Future in our Hands: Citizens Building a Social Contract Across Civilizations
$75.00 • Cloth • 0-7425-5862-2 | 978-0-7425-5862-5 • June 2009 • 240 pp
$26.95 • Paper • 0-7425-5863-0 | 978-0-7425-5863-2 • June 2009 • 240 pp
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Available  at Amazon for $26.95.