Now includes a new Afterword - Talking to ISIL Across the world governments proclaim that they will never 'negotiate with evil'. And yet they always have and always will. From jungle clearings to stately homes and anymous airport hotels, Talking to Terrorists puts us in the room with the terrorists, secret agents and go-betweens who seek to change the course of history. Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Drawing on conflicts from Colombia and Sri Lanka to Palestine and South Africa, this optimistic, wide-ranging, authoritative book is about how and why we should talk to terrorists.
Jonathan Powell has spent half a lifetime talking to people and organisations labelled as terrorists. He runs Inter Mediate, a London-based charity for negotiation and mediation that focuses on the most difficult, complex and dangerous conflicts, where other organisations are unable to operate. In 1997 he met Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness and became instrumental in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland. In 2008 he suggested publicly that western governments should open talks with the Taliban, Hamas and al-Qaeda. Today, he works on different armed conflicts around the world and is the UK Prime Minister's special envoy to Libya. He is the author of two books, Great Hatred, Little Room and The New Machiavelli. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
Shortlisted for Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize 2015.