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This book argues that it can be beneficial for the United States to talk with "evil" – that is, terrorists and other bad actors – if it uses a strategy that engages a mediator who shares the United States' principles yet is pragmatic.
The project shows how the United States can make better foreign policy decisions and demonstrate its integrity for promoting democracy and human rights if it employs a mediator who facilitates disputes between international actors by moving them along a continuum of principles, as political parties act for a country's citizens.
This is the first book to integrate theories of rule of law development with conflict resolution methods, and it examines ongoing disputes in the Middle East, North Korea, South America, and Africa (including Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, and Liberia). It uses a narrative approach, drawing on the author's experiences with The Carter Center and judicial and legal advocacy training to give the reader a sophisticated understanding of the current situation in these countries and of how a strategy of principled pragmatism will give better direction to U.S. foreign policy abroad.