Righting the Balance


Righting the Balance

How You Can Help Protect America

Daniel Serwer

232 pages


November 2013


$26.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2013


$26.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

When Daniel Serwer is asked what he does, he often replies, “I make peace. I put it in cans and ship it abroad.” That pursuit of peace took him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and many places in between during Serwer’s forty years in public service.

His experiences at the sharp end of foreign policy have shaped his view of the United States’ ability to protect itself from today’s threats. In Righting the Balance, Serwer focuses on what should be done to protect the United States by offering alternatives that move away from an exclusive reliance on the military. Most fundamentally, Serwer stresses that civilians—diplomats, aid workers, UN officials, humanitarians, police trainers, lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs—can and should be involved in helping bring about peace.

Righting the Balance offers a proposal to reform our civilian institutions for the twenty-first century so that they can help deliver real results in the search for peace even when confronting difficult conditions in faraway places.


Author Bio

DANIEL SERWER is a senior research professor in conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a scholar at the Middle East Institute. Previously he served as a minister-counselor at the U.S. Department of State. His ideas have been published in the Washington Post, New York TimesAtlantic, Foreign Policy, and many other periodicals. He lives in Washington DC. 


“Daniel Serwer’s years in the Foreign Service and his role in bringing peace to the Balkans make him the perfect source for two important questions: how can mere civilians help to save the world; and how should our foreign policy move forward in a way that will ensure America’s place in the world along with the health and security of every other nation.  Serwer brings a smart, fresh viewpoint to these issues, and he does it in an accessible and stylish way.”—Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senator from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader

“The national investment over decades that has given our country the world’s greatest military has largely neglected the needs of the civilian sector. Policy pundits and the general public alike would be wise to ponder Serwer’s thought-provoking suggestions for developing and institutionalizing the civilian elements that U.S. foreign policy will need in the age ahead.”—Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush

Table of Contents

1. We Are All Diplomats
2. War Shapes the Nation and Its Role in the World
3. National Security Is More Than a Military Mission
4. Building States Requires Money, People, and Local Knowledge
5. Who Contributes to This Work?
6. Anticipation Is Chapter and Better
7. Five Missing Pieces
8. The Energy Conundrum
9. Sharing the Burdens
10. Reorganizing for Hard Times
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