The concept of peace has always attracted radical thought, action, and practices. It has been taken to mean merely an absence of overt violence or war, but in the contemporary era it is often used interchangeably with 'peacemaking', 'peacebuilding', 'conflict resolution', and 'statebuilding'. The modern concept of peace has therefore broadened from the mere absence of violence to something much more complicated. In this Very Short Introduction, Oliver Richmond explores the evolution of peace in practice and in theory, exploring our modern assumptions about peace and the various different interpretations of its applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.