After teaching at the University
of Westminster I worked at The Guardian (UK) for twenty years as assistant foreign editor and chief foreign
leader-writer (1983-2003). With my wife and constant partner for over 50 years, Aelfthryth Gittings (who
died in December 2012), we brought up four sons and travelled widely in
South America, Asia and Europe. In 2001-03 we set up The Guardian's first staff office on the Chinese mainland, in Shanghai.
Afterwards we moved to Shipton under Wychwood in Oxfordshire, becoming
active in local historical research, CND, and the Labour Party. (I have now moved into Oxford).
Having specialised for many years on China and East Asia, I have been working on the history of peace thought for the
past ten years, publishing a new book, The Glorious Art of Peace (OUP, 2012), and many articles. The paperback edition
of my book was published in October 2018 (see below) with a new preface.
I am a Research Associate at the China
Institute, School of Oriental & African Studies, London University, and an Associate
Editor of the Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace. In November 2015 I served as a judge on the International People's Tribunal on 1965 Crimes against Humanity in
Indonesia, and co-edited the Final Report.
Saving the Planet, 1949-2019
Our perfect storm of crises -- new article for Open Democracy, Jan. 2019,
The nuclear/climate challenge, Mar. 2019
Extract from the new preface
Oxford University Press
ART OF PEACE:
Paths to Peace in a New Age of War
(Oxford University Press, October 2018)
This is a paperback
edition of the book first published in 2012, with a new preface addressing our current dangerous age.
'We need all the insights collected in Gittings's
impressive book and more, enriching our culture with
more capacity to cooperate, empathize, reconcile and resolve conflict.' (Johan
Galtung, International Affairs)
“This is a
wonderful study of the subtler “arts of peace"….
wide ranging, informed, and informative”. (Oliver
Richmond, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology).
readable, this book would make a great gift for
the activist and sympathetic non-activist alike, providing inspiration from the
glorious heritage of peace activism down the ages." (Peace News, Dec. 2012).