alex j bellamy

Author on peace and war



Alex J. Bellamy is a Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. His books include Just Wars: From Cicero to Iraq (2006, 2009); Responsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities (2009); Massacres and Morality: Mass Killing in an Age of Civilian Immunity (2012), for which he was awarded the International Studies Association Ethics Section Book Prize; Responsibility to Protect: A Defense (2015); and East Asia's Other Miracle: Explaining the Decline of Mass Atrocities (2017). His most recent book is World Peace (And How We Can Achieve It)  (2019). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, Member, of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Advisory Board on Transatlantic Cooperation for Atrocity Prevention, Patron and Advisory Board Member of the West African Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, Advisory Board Member for the EU-CIVCAP Program, and Senior Fellow, Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

He has been a Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute in New York (2011-2019), Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford (2014-2015; 2017-2018), and Consultant for the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.


World Peace (And How We Can Achieve It)

Oxford University Press, 2019

For as long as there has been war, there have been demands for its elimination. The quest for world peace has excited and eluded, political leaders, philosophers, religious elders, activists, and artists for millennia. With war on the rise once again, we rarely reflect nowadays on what world peace might look like; much less on how it might be achieved.

This book changes all that and shows that world peace is possible. War is an increasingly anachronistic practice, more likely to impoverish and harm than satisfy and protect. We already have many of the institutions and practices needed to make peace possible & sets out an agenda for building world peace. But peace will only happen, if individuals organise to make it happen.

"Alex Bellamy...makes the best-sustained argument for word peace since Immanuel Kant's Perpetual Peace (1795)"

- Hugh Miall, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A thoughtful account..." - G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"However utopian the idea of world peace seems, the effort to achieve it must assuredly be one of humanity’s noblest endeavours. Alex Bellamy has done a great service in curating debate and suggestions to this end, and deserves our applause." - A. C. Grayling

"Mr. Bellamy's new book --like his life's work-- champions the essential and attainable seachange required of our world for a future where all humans are valued equally, where conflict is preventable, and peace is more than our shared goal, it is our default."

Lt Gen Roméo Dallaire

"Heroically aspirational and wildly ambitious as Alex Bellamy's book may appear at first sight, it is full of measured and thoughtful analysis of the causes of both war and peace, and timely prescriptions for policymakers as to what they should - and can - do to minimize the risk of future catastrophic conflict." Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group

“In his quest for a better and safer world, Alex Bellamy...bravely sails through the history of ideas and the actual history to identify what works best based on empirical evidence...This is a Herculean effort and a great book to read. It is both timely and challenging: confronted with the increase of conflicts during the last decade, we desperately need an improved approach to the world peace. But can the proposals set out here work? The real test will be a practical one: let us hope that not only academics, but also policy makers give this book a close look and test its Articles of peace in practice!"

Ivan Šimonović, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations, Former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The notion that peace is more than the absence of war has become axiomatic. But how do we build a world without war, atrocities and identity-based conflict? This insightful and incisive book by Alex Bellamy is a timely reminder that ‘human nature’ is a contested concept, that movements for peace and justice are as ancient and enduring as our more destructive martial impulses, and that a better and more peaceful world is possible." 

Simon Adams, Executive Director, Global Centre for R2P

"Optimistic without being starry-eyed, Bellamy believes that peace is a possibility but not “imminent or likely,” particularly as international tensions have risen and reasons for war, including resource scarcity, have become more pronounced. Against this, he counsels that each of us can do a little something to promote peace, “building the minor utopias in our own times and places.”

...A sensible, occasionally overly utopian case for pursuing politics by means other than war."

Kirkus Reviews


The Responsibility to Protect

From Promise to Practice

“This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to curb atrocity crimes...the authors draw innovative lessons from a decade of  practice in implementing ‘the Responsibility to Protect.’ This was one of my chief priorities as Secretary-General. I know that there is nothing easy about trying to protect populations and prevent atrocity crimes, but I also know from experience that it can and must be done. With vivid prose and the keen insight of practitioners, Professors Bellamy and Luck tell us how. Every official, advocate, humanitarian, analyst, scholar, and student should read this timely and masterly account. It points the way to a more secure and humane future.” - Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2007‒2016


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