© 2005

Politics Is about Relationship

A Blueprint for the Citizens’ Century

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Meeting the Challenges of a World in Crisis: Engaging Whole Bodies Politic

  3. Our Starting Points

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Harold H. Saunders
      Pages 15-28
    3. Harold H. Saunders
      Pages 29-44
  4. The Paradigm and the Concept

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Harold H. Saunders
      Pages 60-81
  5. Dialogue Makes It Happen

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Harold H. Saunders
      Pages 90-122
    3. Harold H. Saunders, Parviz Mullojanov
      Pages 123-144
    4. Harold H. Saunders
      Pages 145-162
    5. Harold H. Saunders, Philip D. Stewartl
      Pages 163-187
  6. The Citizens’ Century

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 209-209
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 223-241

About this book


In this straightforward exploration of core problems facing humanity, Harold Saunders outlines how concerned citizens can bring about social and political change. Using examples from the U.S. to South Africa, Tajikistan to China, this book is full of real stories of how building 'relationship' among people can empower citizens outside government.


government transformation work

About the authors

Harold H. Saunders is Founder and Chairman of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation, former member of the National Security Council Staff and former Director of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. He was US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in the Carter Administration. He flew on the Kissinger shuttles in 1974– 75 and was a principal drafter of the Camp David accords in 1978. Since leaving governmentin 1981, he has developed a processcalled Sustained Dialogue from intensive experience in nonofficial dialogues. He is author of The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective, A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts, and Sustained Dialogue in Conflicts: Transformation and Change.

Bibliographic information


"I congratulate Hal Saunders for urging practitioners, academics, and other readers to recognize those in the private sector as indispensable political actors. I can testify to the remarkable energy, ability, creativity, and determination of individuals in meeting the challenges to human progress our world faces. This ground-breaking political paradigm deserves our most serious attention." - Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and Nobel Laureate

"Hal Saunders has written an insightful and thought-provoking book that should be read by anyone concerned about improving negotiating methods and approaches." - Henry A. Kissinger, Former Secretary of State

"Hal Saunders has written a remarkable book, brimming with insights that will challenge scholars and policymakers alike. He dares to offer a unified theory of politics, allowing us to see the world whole in a way that promises to change not only what we see but also what we can do. With fascinating case studies of actual processes by which citizens transformed their world in South Africa, Tajikistan, and West Virginia, and a sophisticated and rich theoretical framework, this is a rewarding read." - Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"Information is power and in today's global information age more people have access to that power than ever before. Hal Saunders, one of America's wisest and most experienced diplomats, explains why in this world we need to look beyond governments and recognize the role of the whole body politic in crucial dialogues." - Joseph S. Nye Jr., former dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University