Can Rotary Prevent Civil War

Our meeting on Wednesday 18 October 2023 featured a TED Talk given in April 2023 by Professor Barbara F Walter of University of California San Diego on Civil Wars. In addition to her talk there were a number of important announcements made at the Club.

The next Club Business Meeting will review the practice of saying Grace before a meal, reminding members of the Object of Rotary, and the Loyal Toast and the Rotary Toast. Our President has requested Leave of Absence for the next 6 weeks, and as we have yet to elect an incoming President, the immediate Past President will assume the responsibility.  The members were reminded of the District Conference in Eastbourne, and the International Peace Conference taking place in London over the 9 – 10 February 2024.

There were the usual reports on the health of the absent members, and a report of the losses experienced by Rotarians resulting from the hostilities in the Middle East.  There was a detailed report on the 10th North London Disability Games, and some good news concerning the Club’s Trust Fund.  We also had a detailed report on the Rotary Scholar Familiarisation Seminar held in London last week.


We then listened to Professor Walter’s talk given in Vancouver BC in April 2023.

The talk provided surprising statistics on Civil Wars around the world, and the research which found two factors reliably forecasting the outbreak of a civil war.  She also spoke about the parties that start the conflict, and the examples of how civil war has been avoided or ended.  Given the involvement of the Rotary Foundation in pursuing Peace and Conflict Avoidance/Resolution, this was an important analysis undertaken by 38 experts in the field.  Perhaps the down-rating of democracy in the United States in 2016, 2019 and 2020 was the most shocking revelation in the talk, given that Rotary International has its headquarters in that country.


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