One in every twenty difficult conflicts ends up grinding to a halt. That’s fully 5 percent of not just the diplomatic and political clashes we read about in the newspaper, but disputations and arguments from our everyday lives as well. Once we get pulled into these self-perpetuating conflicts it is nearly impossible to escape. The 5 percent rule us.
So what can we do when we find ourselves ensnared? According to Dr. Peter T. Coleman, the solution is in seeing our conflict anew. Applying lessons from complexity theory to examples from both American domestic politics and international diplomacy — from abortion debates to the enmity between Israelis and Palestinians — Coleman provides innovative new strategies for dealing with intractable disputes. A timely, paradigm-shifting look at conflict, The Five Percent is an invaluable guide to preventing even the most fractious negotiations from foundering.