What should international peacemakers read this summer? There are lots of new studies of conflict out there, but I would start with the classic folk story, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
Most readers will be familiar with the tale, in which the young girl Goldilocks stumbles into a bear’s house while the bears are out and finds three bowls of porridge on the breakfast table. One is too hot, and another too cold. But the third is “just right,” so she eats it. This leaves the bears quite miffed upon their return.
Academics often refer to a “Goldilocks Principle” to talk about a set of circumstances that create “just right” conditions for some aspect of their field of study. Astronomers, for instance, talk about “Goldilocks planets” that are the perfect distance from the nearest star to be the right temperature to support life. For economists, a “Goldilocks economy” is one that sustains moderate economic growth and low inflation.