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Making peace in a world at war

The city centre felt safe, once you got used to the soldiers on patrol. But as we drove out to a former stronghold of Boko Haram on the edge of Maiduguri – where I travelled for this month’s Big Story – the houses and tents gave out to arid scrubland and the feeling of safety drained away.

The land was flat as a pancake, but for a split second I felt dizzy, like I was looking out over a precipice. That fleeting sensation of insecurity was just a hint of the constant danger facing millions living in conflict zones.

The world must get better at ending wars – if we don’t, the World Bank warns, 60 per cent of the world’s poorest people will be living in violent, ‘fragile’ countries by 2030. In search of answers, we tune in to the people who are most impacted by Nigeria’s complex crisis – those at the grassroots whose voices are drowned out by the roar of guns. A focus towards peacemakers rather than warmongers reveals new stories from all over the world – of courage, survival and recovery – that contain the keys to unlock peace.

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Included in this issue

Mixed media: Music

Sound the People by Red Baraat;Crave by Léonie Pernet.

The Incendiaries by RO Kwon;  Betraying Big Brother by Leta Hong Fincher; A Radical History of the World by Neil Faulkner; Rupture by Manuel Castells, translation by Rosie Marteau​

Mixed media: Books

New Internationalist editors review the latest in book releases.

What if ... people could migrate freely?

Vanessa Baird looks at how things would be if we could migrate freely. 

Diplomats – who needs them?

Frances Guy makes a plea for traditional diplomacy in the age of the Trumpian tweet.

The road to peace in Colombia: the funeral in April 2017 of indigenous leader Gerson Acosta, among the hundreds killed since the peace deal of 2016.

The slow and bloody road to justice

Colombia’s peace deal promised the return of stolen lands. But it isn’t so easy to achieve, Mira Galanova discovers.

View from India: When viral hashtags promote religious extremism

Nilanjana Bhowmick takes apart the latest viral hashtag campaign for the religious takeover of secular India.

How Trump’s migration policies are linked to a violent national legacy

Mark Engler argues that US foreign policy historically has helped give rise to the current administration's migration policies.

nationalism

Is nationalism ever a force for good?

Dalia Gebrial and Thomas Jeffrey Miley go head to head on this complex and topical issue.

Mixed media: Film

Tehran Taboo written and directed by Ali Soozandeh;The Heiresses (Las Herederas) written and directed by Marcello Martinessi.

New Internationalist talks to Jerusalem In My Heart about their powerful synergy of music and film and the idea that is Jerusalem.

Spotlight: Jerusalem in my Heart

Louise Gray talks to Jerusalem In My Heart, an audio-visual performance troupe made up of  Montréal-based producer and musician...

The merit trap

Long read: the merit trap

New Internationalist co-founder Peter Adamson dives into the perils of basing ‘fairness’ on meritocracy.

The checkpoint: a photo essay

Anne Paq photographs scenes from the checkpoints some 70,000 Palestinians cross every day. 

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