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30 books about Conflict management [sort by author]      

African reckoning: a quest for good governance
Francis Mading Deng
Brookings Institution Press, 1998

THE COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR'S SURVIVAL GUIDE
C. K. Gunsalus
Harvard University Press, 2006

In this book, a widely respected advisor on academic administration and ethics offers tips, insights, and tools for handling complaints, negotiating disagreements, responding to accusations of misconduct, and dealing with difficult personalities. With humor and generosity, C. K. Gunsalus applies scenarios based on real-life cases to guide academic administrators through the dilemmas of management in not-entirely-manageable environments.
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Common Ground on Hostile Turf: Stories from an Environmental Mediator
Lucy Moore
Island Press, 2013

In our increasingly polarized society, there are constant calls for compromise, for coming together. For many, these are empty talking points—for Lucy Moore, they are a life's work. As an environmental mediator, she has spent the past quarter century resolving conflicts that appeared utterly intractable. Here, she shares the most compelling stories of her career, offering insight and inspiration to anyone caught in a seemingly hopeless dispute.
Moore has worked on wide-ranging issues—from radioactive waste storage to loss of traditional grazing lands. More importantly, she has worked with diverse groups and individuals: ranchers, environmental activists, government agencies, corporations, tribal groups, and many more. After decades spent at the negotiating table, she has learned that a case does not turn on facts, legal merit, or moral superiority. It turns on people.
Through ten memorable stories, she shows how issues of culture, personality, history, and power affect negotiations. And she illustrates that equitable solutions depend on a healthy group dynamic. Both the mediator and opposing parties must be honest, vulnerable, open, and respectful. Easier said than done, but Moore proves that subtle shifts can break the logjam and reconcile even the most fiercely warring factions.
This book should be especially appealing to anyone concerned with environmental conflicts; and also to students in environmental studies, political science, and conflict resolution, and to academics and professionals in mediation and conflict resolution fields.
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Conflict in Organizational Groups: New Directions in Theory and Practice
Leigh Thompson
Northwestern University Press, 2007

The chapters in this book were presented at a conference held at the Kellogg School of Management in June 2005 entitled Conflict in Organizational Groups: New Directions in Theory and Practice. The Kellogg Team and Group Research Center (KTAG) and the Kellogg School of Management cosponsored the conference. The goal of the conference was to bring together both junior and senior scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss their newest ideas and current trends in group conflict research. The chapters in this book represent perspectives from the fields of business, political science, sociology, and psychology.

            The idea to organize a conference about conflict in organizational groups arose from three interrelated and exciting opportunities for theory and practice--both the academic and business press have focused growing attention on the management challenges of organizational groups; the academic community has begun to integrate various disciplinary perspectives, as evidenced by a growing number of cross-disciplinary coauthorships and thematic conferences; and several statistical and methodological advances have allowed scholars to better model variables across levels of analysis.

Taken together, these three reasons inspired the assembling of the interdisciplinary mix of seasoned and newly minted authors who in this volume tackle important and complex questions about group conflict. Their chapters represent cutting-edge advances in theory, methodology, and challenges to dominant perspectives.

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Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods, and Approaches
Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson
University of Michigan Press, 2009

In the past, arbitration, direct bargaining, the use of intermediaries, and deference to international institutions were relatively successful tools for managing interstate conflict. In the face of terrorism, intrastate wars, and the multitude of other threats in the post–Cold War era, however, the conflict resolution tool kit must include preventive diplomacy, humanitarian intervention, regional task-sharing, and truth commissions. Here, Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson, two internationally recognized experts, systematically examine each one of these conflict resolution tools and describe how it works and in what conflict situations it is most likely to be effective.

Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century is not only an essential introduction for students and scholars, it is a must-have guide for the men and women entrusted with creating stability and security in our changing world.

Cover illustration © iStockphoto.com

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Contested lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka
Sumantra Bose
Harvard University Press, 2007

Cyberspace and National Security: Threats, Opportunities, and Power in a Virtual World
Derek S. Reveron
Georgetown University Press, 2012

In a very short time, individuals and companies have harnessed cyberspace to create new industries, a vibrant social space, and a new economic sphere that are intertwined with our everyday lives. At the same time, individuals, subnational groups, and governments are using cyberspace to advance interests through malicious activity. Terrorists recruit, train, and target through the Internet, hackers steal data, and intelligence services conduct espionage. Still, the vast majority of cyberspace is civilian space used by individuals, businesses, and governments for legitimate purposes.

Cyberspace and National Security brings together scholars, policy analysts, and information technology executives to examine current and future threats to cyberspace. They discuss various approaches to advance and defend national interests, contrast the US approach with European, Russian, and Chinese approaches, and offer new ways and means to defend interests in cyberspace and develop offensive capabilities to compete there. Policymakers and strategists will find this book to be an invaluable resource in their efforts to ensure national security and answer concerns about future cyberwarfare.

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Environmental Disputes: Community Involvement In Conflict Resolution
James E. Crowfoot and Julia Wondolleck
Island Press, 1990

Environmental Disputes helps citizen groups, businesses, and governments understand how Environmental Dispute Settlement--a set of procedures for settling disputes over environmental policies without litigation--can work for them.

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The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations
Calvin Morrill
University of Chicago Press, 1995

What causes conflict among high-level American corporate executives? How do executives manage their conflicts? Based on candid interviews with over two hundred executives and their support personnel, Calvin Morrill provides an intimate portrait of these men and women as they cope with problems usually hidden from those outside their exclusive ranks.

Personal and corporate scandals, compensation battles, budget worries, interdepartmental rivalries, personal enmities, and general rancor are among everyday challenges faced by executives. Morrill shows what most influences the way managers handle routine conflicts are the cultures created by their company's organizational structure: whether there is a strong hierarchy, a weak hierarchy, or an absence of any strong central authority. The issues most likely to cause conflict within corporations Morrill identifies as managerial style, competition between departments, and performance evaluations, promotions, and compensation.

Among the people whose day-to-day lives we get to know are Jacobs, a divisional executive whose intuitive understanding of the corporate hierarchy enables him to topple his incompetent superior without direct confrontation; Fuller, who through a mix of brains, guile, and connections rises from staff executive secretary to corporate vice president in a large bank; Green, an old-fashioned accounting partner in a firm being taken over by management consultants; and the "Princess of Power," "Iron Man," and the "Terminator"—executives fighting their way to the top of a successful entertainment company.

Unprecedented in its direct access to top managers, this portrayal of daily life and conflict management among corporate elites will be of interest to professionals, scholars, and practitioners in organizational culture and behavior, managerial decision making, dispute, social control, law and society, and organizational ethnography.
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Failed States and Fragile Societies: A New World Disorder?
Ingo Trauschweizer
Ohio University Press, 2014

Since the end of the Cold War era, a new dynamic has arisen within the international system, one that does not conform to established notions of the state’s monopoly on war. In this changing environment, the United States, its allies, and the global community must decide how to respond to the challenges posed to the state by military threats, political and economic decline, and social fragmentation.

Failed States and Fragile Societies considers the phenomenon of state failure and asks how the international community might better detect signs of state decay at an early stage and devise legally and politically legitimate responses. This collection of essays brings military and social historians into conversation with political and social scientists and former military officers. In case studies from the former Yugoslavia to Somalia, Iraq, and Colombia, the distinguished contributors argue that early intervention to stabilize social, economic, and political systems offers the greatest promise, whereas military intervention at a later stage is both costlier and less likely to succeed.

Failed States and Fragile Societies is the first volume in Ohio University Press’s Baker Series in Peace and Conflict Studies.


Contributors: David Carment, Yiagadeesen Samy, David Curp, Jonathan House, James Carter, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Robert Rotberg, Ken Menkhaus.
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From War to the Rule of Law: Peace Building after Violent Conflicts
Joris Voorhoeve
Amsterdam University Press, 2007

As recent events in Iraq demonstrate, countries that have suffered through civil war or rule by military regime can face a long, difficult transition to peaceful democracy.

Drawing on the experiences of peacekeepers in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Afghanistan, From War to Rule of Law demonstrates that newly emerging democracies may need much more than emergency economic support. Restoring the rule of law, Joris Voorhoeve shows, can involve the training of a new police force, for example, or the creation of an international war crimes tribunal. Any disregard for human rights or delay in civilian reconciliation can lead to serious resurgences in violence.

Voorhoeve concludes by offering specific recommendations for members of the United Nations and the European Union, as well as individual donors. Given the nature of today’s armed conflicts, From War to Rule of Law provides new hope for all those concerned about the lasting success of international peacekeeping missions.

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The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture
Edited by Michele J. Gelfand and Jeanne M. Brett
Stanford University Press, 2004

In the global marketplace, negotiation frequently takes place across cultural boundaries, yet negotiation theory has traditionally been grounded in Western culture. This book, which provides an in-depth review of the field of negotiation theory, expands current thinking to include cross-cultural perspectives. The contents of the book reflect the diversity of negotiation—research-negotiator cognition, motivation, emotion, communication, power and disputing, intergroup relationships, third parties, justice, technology, and social dilemmas—and provides new insight into negotiation theory, questioning assumptions, expanding constructs, and identifying limits not apparent from working exclusively within one culture.

The book is organized in three sections and pairs chapters on negotiation theory with chapters on culture. The first part emphasizes psychological processes—cognition, motivation, and emotion. Part II examines the negotiation process. The third part emphasizes the social context of negotiation. A final chapter synthesizes the main themes of the book to illustrate how scholars and practitioners can capitalize on the synergy between culture and negotiation research.

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International Political Earthquakes
Michael Brecher
University of Michigan Press, 2008

International Political Earthquakes is the masterwork of the preeminent scholar Michael Brecher. Brecher, who came of age before World War II, has witnessed more than seven decades of conflict and has spent his career studying the dynamics of relations among nations throughout the world.

When terrorism, ethnic conflict, military buildup, or other local tensions spark an international crisis, Brecher argues that the structure of global politics determines its potential to develop into open conflict. That conflict, in turn, may then generate worldwide political upheaval. Comparing international crises to earthquakes, Brecher proposes a scale analogous to the Richter scale to measure the severity and scope of the impact of a crisis on the landscape of international politics.

Brecher's conclusions about the causes of international conflict and its consequences for global stability make a convincing case for gradual, nonviolent approaches to crisis resolution.

Michael Brecher is R. B. Angus Professor of Political Science at McGill University.

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Lawyers as Peacemakers
J. Kim Wright
ABA - Print Administration, 2010

Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflicts: Concepts and Cases
Edited by Roy J. Lewicki, Barbara Gray, and Michael Elliott
Island Press, 2002

Despite a vast amount of effort and expertise devoted to them, many environmental conflicts have remained mired in controversy, stubbornly defying resolution. Why can some environmental problems be resolved in one locale but remain contentious in another, often carrying on for decades? What is it about certain issues or the people involved that make a conflict seemingly insoluble.Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflicts addresses those and related questions, examining what researchers and experts in the field characterize as "intractable" disputes—intense disputes that persist over long periods of time and cannot be resolved through consensus-building efforts or by administrative, legal, or political means. The approach focuses on the "frames" parties use to define and enact the dispute—the lenses through which they interpret and understand the conflict and critical conflict dynamics. Through analysis of interviews, news media coverage, meeting transcripts, and archival data, the contributors to the book:examine the concepts of frames, framing, and reframing, and the role that framing plays in conflictsoutline the essential characteristics of intractability and its major causesoffer case studies of eight intractable environmental conflictspresent a rich body of original interview material from affected partiesset forth recommendations for intervention that can help resolve disputesWithin each case chapter, the authors describe the historical development and fundamental nature of the conflict and then analyze the case from the perspective of the key frames that are integral to understanding the dynamics of the dispute. They also offer cross-case analyses of related conflicts.Conflicts examined include those over natural resource use, toxic pollutants, water quality, and growth. Specific conflicts examined are the Quincy Library Group in California; Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota; Edwards Aquifer in Texas; Doan Brook in Cleveland, Ohio; the Antidegradation Environmental Advisory Group in Ohio; Drake Chemical in Pennsylvania; Alton Park/Piney Woods in Tennessee; and three examples of growth-related conflicts along the Front Range of Colorado's Rocky Mountains.
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The Mediation Dilemma
by Kyle Beardsley
Cornell University Press, 2011

Mediation has become a common technique for terminating violent conflicts both within and between states; while mediation has a strong record in reducing hostilities, it is not without its own problems. In The Mediation Dilemma, Kyle Beardsley highlights its long-term limitations. The result of this oft-superficial approach to peacemaking, immediate and reassuring as it may be, is often a fragile peace. With the intervention of a third-party mediator, warring parties may formally agree to concessions that are insupportable in the long term and soon enough find themselves at odds again.

Beardsley examines his argument empirically using two data sets and traces it through several historical cases: Henry Kissinger's and Jimmy Carter's initiatives in the Middle East, 1973-1979; Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 mediation in the Russo-Japanese War; and Carter's attempt to mediate in the 1994 North Korean nuclear crisis. He also draws upon the lessons of the 1993 Arusha Accords, the 1993 Oslo Accords, Haiti in 1994, the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka, and the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding in Aceh. Beardsley concludes that a reliance on mediation risks a greater chance of conflict relapse in the future, whereas the rejection of mediation risks ongoing bloodshed as war continues.

The trade-off between mediation's short-term and long-term effects is stark when the third-party mediator adopts heavy-handed forms of leverage, and, Beardsley finds, multiple mediators and intergovernmental organizations also do relatively poorly in securing long-term peace. He finds that mediation has the greatest opportunity to foster both short-term and long-term peace when a single third party mediates among belligerents that can afford to wait for a self-enforcing arrangement to be reached.

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Mobilizing Restraint: Democracy and Industrial Conflict in Post-Reform South Asia
by Emmanuel Teitelbaum
Cornell University Press, 2011

In Mobilizing Restraint, Emmanuel Teitelbaum argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, democracies are better at managing industrial conflict than authoritarian regimes. This is because democracies have two unique tools at their disposal for managing worker protest: mutually beneficial union-party ties and worker rights. By contrast, authoritarian governments have tended to repress unions and to sever mutually beneficial ties to organized labor. Many of the countries that fall between these two extremes-from those that have only the trappings of democracy to those that have imperfectly implemented democratic reforms-exert control over labor in the absence of overt repression but without the robust organizational and institutional capacity enjoyed by full-fledged democracies. Based on the recent history of industrial conflict and industrial peace in South Asia, Teitelbaum argues that the political exclusion and repression of organized labor commonly witnessed in authoritarian and hybrid regimes has extremely deleterious effects on labor relations and ultimately economic growth.

To test his arguments, Teitelbaum draws on an array of data, including his original qualitative interviews and survey evidence from Sri Lanka and three Indian states-Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal. He also analyzes panel data from fifteen Indian states to evaluate the relationship between political competition and worker protest and to study the effects of protective labor legislation on economic performance. In Teitelbaum's view, countries must undergo further political liberalization before they are able to replicate the success of the sophisticated types of growth-enhancing management of industrial protest seen throughout many parts of South Asia.

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The MOVE Crisis In Philadelphia: Extremist Groups and Conflict Resolution
Hizkias Assefa
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990

In 1985, police bombed the Philadelphia community occupied by members of the black counterculture group MOVE (short for “The Movement”).  What began fifteen years earlier as a neighborhood squabble provoked by conflicting lifestyles ended in the destruction of sixty-one homes and the death of eleven residents - five of them children.  Some 250 people were left homeless.

Was this tragedy the only solution to the conflict?  Were John Africa and his morally and ecologically idealistic followers “too crazy” to negotiate with? 

The authors interviewed MOVE members and their neighbors, third-party intervenors, and representatives of the Philadelpia administration in the 1970s, and draw on their own knowledge of the field of dispute resolution.  More than simply describing a terrible event, they examine the dynamics of conflict, analyzing attempts at third-party mediation and the possibility of resolution without violence.  Their analytical approach provides insight into other major conflicts, such as the problems of perception and misperception in U.S. - Iranian relations.

In an age when terrorism and hostage-taking are regular features on the six o’clock news, their questioning of traditional views on negotiation with “irrational” adversaries is especially important.

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New Armies from Old: Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars
Roy Licklider
Georgetown University Press

Negotiating a peaceful end to civil wars, which often includes an attempt to bring together former rival military or insurgent factions into a new national army, has been a frequent goal of conflict resolution practitioners since the Cold War. In practice, however, very little is known about what works, and what doesn't work, in bringing together former opponents to build a lasting peace.

Contributors to this volume assess why some civil wars result in successful military integration while others dissolve into further strife, factionalism, and even renewed civil war. Eleven cases are studied in detail -- Sudan, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Rwanda, the Philippines, South Africa, Mozambique, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi -- while other chapters compare military integration with corporate mergers and discuss some of the hidden costs and risks of merging military forces. New Armies from Old fills a serious gap in our understanding of civil wars, their possible resolution, and how to promote lasting peace, and will be of interest to scholars and students of conflict resolution, international affairs, and peace and security studies.

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The Political Economy of Transitions to Peace: A Comparative Perspective
Galia Press-Barnathan
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009

Much attention has focused on the ongoing role of economics in the prevention of armed conflict and the deterioration of relations. In The Political Economy of Transitions to Peace, Galia Press-Barnathan focuses on the importance of economics in initiating and sustaining peaceful relations after conflict.

Press-Barnathan provides in-depth case studies of several key relationships in the post-World War II era: Israel and Egypt; Israel and Jordan; Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia; Japan and South Korea; Germany and France; and Germany and Poland. She creates an analytical framework through which to view each of these cases based on three factors: the domestic balance between winners and losers from transition to peace; the economic disparity between former enemies; and the impact of third parties on stimulating new cooperative economic initiatives. Her approach provides both a regional and cross-regional comparative analysis of the degree of success in maintaining and advancing peace, of the challenges faced by many nations in negotiating peace after conflict, and of the unique role of economic factors in this highly political process.

Press-Barnathan employs both liberal and realist theory to examine the motivations of these states and the societies they represent. She also weighs their power relations to see how these factor into economic interdependence and the peace process. She reveals the predominant role of the state and big business in the initial transition phase (“cold” peace), but also identifies an equally vital need for a subsequent broader societal coalition in the second, normalizing phase (“warm” peace).  Both levels of engagement, Press-Barnathan argues, are essential to a durable peace. Finally, she points to the complex role that third parties can play in these transitions, and the limited long-term impact of direct economic side-payments to the parties.

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The Post-Conflict Environment: Investigation and Critique
Daniel Bertrand Monk
University of Michigan Press, 2014

In case studies focusing on contemporary crises spanning Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, the scholars in this volume examine the dominant prescriptive practices of late neoliberal post-conflict interventions—such as statebuilding, peacebuilding, transitional justice, refugee management, reconstruction, and redevelopment—and contend that the post-conflict environment is in fact created and sustained by this international technocratic paradigm of peacebuilding. Key international stakeholders—from activists to politicians, humanitarian agencies to financial institutions—characterize disparate sites as “weak,” “fragile,” or “failed” states and, as a result, prescribe peacebuilding techniques that paradoxically disable effective management of post-conflict spaces while perpetuating neoliberal political and economic conditions. Treating all efforts to represent post-conflict environments as problematic, the goal becomes understanding the underlying connection between post-conflict conditions and the actions and interventions of peacebuilding technocracies.
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Preventive Attack and Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Comparative Historical Analysis
Lyle J. Goldstein
Stanford University Press, 2006

The controversial Bush doctrine of preemptive war is often described as revolutionary. In fact, as this comparative study of rivalries involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) shows, notions of preventive and preemptive war have long been closely tied to such weapons. In this study, a wealth of historical data is analyzed to address the fundamental question that WMD proliferation raises for U.S. defense policy: will the projection of U.S. power be deterred by nascent WMD arsenals in the hands of rogue states?

This wide-ranging comparison yields the conclusion that small WMD arsenals do not have the deterrent effects often attributed to them by scholars and analysts. These theorists ignore history’s close calls, an oversight we share at our peril.

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The Resolution of African Conflicts: The Management of Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Alfred Nhema
Ohio University Press, 2007

“These two volumes clearly demonstrate the efforts by a wide range of African scholars to explain the roots, routes, regimes and resolution of African conflicts and how to re-build post-conflict societies. They offer sober and serious analyses, eschewing the sensationalism of the western media and the sophistry of some of the scholars in the global North for whom African conflicts are at worst a distraction and at best a confirmation of their pet racist and petty universalist theories.”
— From the introduction by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

This book offers analyses of a range of African conflicts and demonstrates that peace is too important to be left to outsiders.
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Unchopping a Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence
Ernesto Verdeja
Temple University Press, 2009

Political violence does not end with the last death. A common feature of mass murder has been the attempt at destroying any memory of victims, with the aim of eliminating them from history. Perpetrators seek not only to eliminate a perceived threat, but also to eradicate any possibility of alternate, competing social and national histories. In his timely and important book, Unchopping a Tree, Ernesto Verdeja develops a critical justification for why transitional justice works. He asks, “What is the balance between punishment and forgiveness?  And, “What are the stakes in reconciling?” 

Employing a normative theory of reconciliation that differs from prevailing approaches, Verdeja outlines a concept that emphasizes the importance of shared notions of moral respect and tolerance among adversaries in transitional societies. Drawing heavily from cases such as reconciliation efforts in Latin America and Africa—and interviews with people involved in such efforts—Verdeja debates how best to envision reconciliation while remaining realistic about the very significant practical obstacles such efforts face

Unchopping a Tree addresses the core concept of respect across four different social levels—political, institutional, civil society, and interpersonal—to explain the promise and challenges to securing reconciliation and broader social regeneration.
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Violence and Vengeance: Religious Conflict and Its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia
by Christopher R. Duncan
Cornell University Press, 2013

Between 1999 and 2000, sectarian fighting fanned across the eastern Indonesian province of North Maluku experienced leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. What began as local conflicts between migrants and indigenous people over administrative boundaries spiraled into a religious war pitting Muslims against Christians and continues to influence communal relationships more than a decade after the fighting stopped. Christopher R. Duncan spent several years conducting fieldwork in North Maluku, and in Violence and Vengeance, he examines how the individuals actually taking part in the fighting understood and experienced the conflict.

Rather than dismiss religion as a facade for the political and economic motivations of the regional elite, Duncan explores how and why participants came to perceive the conflict as one of religious difference. He examines how these perceptions of religious violence altered the conflict, leading to large-scale massacres in houses of worship, forced conversions of entire communities, and other acts of violence that stressed religious identities. Duncan’s analysis extends beyond the period of violent conflict and explores how local understandings of the violence have complicated the return of forced migrants, efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation.

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Walk with Us and Listen: Political Reconciliation in Africa
Charles Villa-Vicencio
Georgetown University Press, 2009

Effective peace agreements are rarely accomplished by idealists. The process of moving from situations of entrenched oppression, armed conflict, open warfare, and mass atrocities toward peace and reconciliation requires a series of small steps and compromises to open the way for the kind of dialogue and negotiation that make political stability, the beginning of democracy, and the rule of law a possibility.

For over forty years, Charles Villa-Vicencio has been on the front lines of Africa's battle for racial equality. In Walk with Us and Listen, he argues that reconciliation needs honest talk to promote trust building and enable former enemies and adversaries to explore joint solutions to the cause of their conflicts. He offers a critical assessment of the South African experiment in transitional justice as captured in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and considers the influence of ubuntu, in which individuals are defined by their relationships, and other traditional African models of reconciliation. Political reconciliation is offered as a cautious model against which transitional politics needs to be measured. Villa-Vicencio challenges those who stress the obligation to prosecute those allegedly guilty of gross violation of human rights, replacing this call with the need for more complementarity between the International Criminal Court and African mechanisms to achieve the greater goals of justice and peace building.

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War on Sacred Grounds
by Ron E. Hassner
Cornell University Press, 2009

Sacred sites offer believers the possibility of communing with the divine and achieving deeper insight into their faith. Yet their spiritual and cultural importance can lead to competition as religious groups seek to exclude rivals from practicing potentially sacrilegious rituals in the hallowed space and wish to assert their own claims. Holy places thus create the potential for military, theological, or political clashes, not only between competing religious groups but also between religious groups and secular actors.

In War on Sacred Grounds, Ron E. Hassner investigates the causes and properties of conflicts over sites that are both venerated and contested; he also proposes potential means for managing these disputes. Hassner illustrates a complex and poorly understood political dilemma with accounts of the failures to reach settlement at Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif, leading to the clashes of 2000, and the competing claims of Hindus and Muslims at Ayodhya, which resulted in the destruction of the mosque there in 1992. He also addresses more successful compromises in Jerusalem in 1967 and Mecca in 1979. Sacred sites, he contends, are particularly prone to conflict because they provide valuable resources for both religious and political actors yet cannot be divided.

The management of conflicts over sacred sites requires cooperation, Hassner suggests, between political leaders interested in promoting conflict resolution and religious leaders who can shape the meaning and value that sacred places hold for believers. Because a reconfiguration of sacred space requires a confluence of political will, religious authority, and a window of opportunity, it is relatively rare. Drawing on the study of religion and the study of politics in equal measure, Hassner's account offers insight into the often-violent dynamics that come into play at the places where religion and politics collide.

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Warring Friends: Alliance Restraint in International Politics
by Jeremy Pressman
Cornell University Press, 2008

Allied nations often stop each other from going to war. Some countries even form alliances with the specific intent of restraining another power and thereby preventing war. Furthermore, restraint often becomes an issue in existing alliances as one ally wants to start a war, launch a military intervention, or pursue some other risky military policy while the other ally balks. In Warring Friends, Jeremy Pressman draws on and critiques realist, normative, and institutionalist understandings of how alliance decisions are made.

Alliance restraint often has a role to play both in the genesis of alliances and in their continuation. As this book demonstrates, an external power can apply the brakes to an incipient conflict, and even unheeded advice can aid in clarifying national goals. The power differentials between allies in these partnerships are influenced by leadership unity, deception, policy substitutes, and national security priorities. Recent controversy over the complicated relationship between the U.S. and Israeli governments-especially in regard to military and security concerns-is a reminder that the alliance has never been easy or straightforward.

Pressman highlights multiple episodes during which the United States attempted to restrain Israel's military policies: Israeli nuclear proliferation during the Kennedy Administration; the 1967 Arab-Israeli War; preventing an Israeli preemptive attack in 1973; a small Israeli operation in Lebanon in 1977; the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982; and Israeli action during the Gulf War of 1991. As Pressman shows, U.S. initiatives were successful only in 1973, 1977, and 1991, and tensions have flared up again recently as a result of Israeli arms sales to China.

Pressman also illuminates aspects of the Anglo-American special relationship as revealed in several cases: British nonintervention in Iran in 1951; U.S. nonintervention in Indochina in 1954; U.S. commitments to Taiwan that Britain opposed, 1954-1955; and British intervention and then withdrawal during the Suez War of 1956. These historical examples go far to explain the context within which the Blair administration failed to prevent the U.S. government from pursuing war in Iraq at a time of unprecedented American power.

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Wars in the Midst of Peace: The International Politics of Ethnic Conflict
David Carment
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997

Violent conflicts rooted in ethnicity have erupted all over the world. Since the Cold War ended and a new world order has failed to emerge, political leaders in countries long repressed by authoritarianism, such as Yugoslavia, have found it easy to mobilize populations with the ethnic rallying cry. Thus, the worldwide shift to democratization has often resulted in something quite different from effective pluralism.
 
This volume of essays assembles a diverse array of approaches to the problems of ethnic conflict, with researchers  and scholars using pure theory, comparative case studies, and aggregate data analysis to approach the complex questions facing today’s leaders. How do we keep communal conflicts from deteriorating into sustained violence? What models can we follow to promote peaceful secession? What effect does--or should--ethnic conflict have on foreign policy?

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WHO INTERVENES?: ETHNIC CONFLICT AND INTERSTATE CRISIS
DAVID CARMENT
Ohio State University Press, 2006


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