HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law, HLS


This chapter focuses on the social and biological underpinnings of child development and its contexts to create effective programs and policies that will reduce violence and promote peace. It presents interconnected pathways and multilayered perspectives that link formative childhoods and peace, including strengthening families and building resilient communities. The well-being of children is fundamental to peace. However, knowledge of the association between early childhood and peace need to be further expanded. While much is known about promoting peace, evidence is lacking on whether formative childhoods constitute a potential path to peace. Further research, coordination, and partnerships are needed between disciplines and sectors engaged in peacebuilding and early development. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.


Britto, Pia R., Rima Salah, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Jacqueline Bhabha, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Gary R. Gunderson, Cigdem Kagitcibasi, Lucy Nusseibeh, Olayinka Omigbodun, Mikiko Otani, and Geraldine Smyth. "Creating Effective Programs and Policies to Reduce Violence and Promote Peace." Pathways to Peace: The Transformative Power of Children and Families. Ed. James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rima Salah. MIT Press, 2014.