At an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Internews CEO Jeanne Bourgault interviewed Ambassador Rick Barton about his new book, Peace Works: America's Unifying Role in a Turbulent World. Barton uses a mix of stories, history, and analysis for a transformative approach to foreign affairs and offers concrete and attainable solutions for the future. The book begins and ends in Syria – the ultimate failure of our current approach to foreign policy, and with devastating consequences.
Bourgault and Barton discussed the importance of connecting with communities when working in international development. "The best way to get deeply local is to get on the ground, let it wash over you; context is king and having a feeling for the place – its history, myths, humor and favorite narratives – is vital," says Barton says, in the book, while also noting that it can be difficult in environments that are not permissive such as Syria and Yemen.