Remembering a Mentor—and a More Idealistic Moment in Peacemaking

People gather in front of a memorial at the Ovcara farm to pay their respects to victims of a massacre that took place in 1991, Vukovar, Croatia, Nov. 8, 2014 (AP photo by Amel Emric).
People gather in front of a memorial at the Ovcara farm to pay their respects to victims of a massacre that took place in 1991, Vukovar, Croatia, Nov. 8, 2014 (AP photo by Amel Emric).

Fifteen years ago this past weekend, I lost a friend and mentor in a car crash in Croatia. Steve Degeneve was one of the first people to teach me about how conflicts, and conflict management, play out in real life. He was an idealist and a passionate, sometimes almost obsessive, believer in promoting human rights and the rule of law. He died at the age of 37 on Jan. 12, 2004. I often wonder what he would say about a world in which his ideals are increasingly under threat. I met Steve roughly a year before his death in Vukovar, […]

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