Collective Political Violence: An Introduction to the Theories and Cases of Violent Conflicts

Collective Political Violence: An Introduction to the Theories and Cases of Violent Conflicts

Collective Political Violence: An Introduction to the Theories and Cases of Violent Conflicts

Collective Political Violence: An Introduction to the Theories and Cases of Violent Conflicts

Synopsis

Collective Political Violence is a concise, but thorough, interdisciplinary analysis of the many competing concepts, theories and explanations of political conflict, including revolutions, civil wars, genocide, and terrorism. To further his examination of each type of conflict, Earl Conteh-Morgan presents case studies, from the Rwandan genocide to the United States civil rights movement. Along the way, he illuminates new debates concerning terrorism, peacekeeping, and environmental security.Written in a knowledgeable, yet accessible, manner, Collective Political Violence treats the issue of political violence with an impressively wide geographic range, and successfully straddles the ideological divide.

Excerpt

The increasing scope and intensity of violent political conflicts is creating a strong demand for courses on conflict, war, or peace, as well as a growing demand for suitable textbooks. The decision to write Collective Political Violence grows out of this serious lack of textbooks that comprise an interdisciplinary coverage and competing explanations of civil and interstate wars, genocides, ethnic and identity conflicts, revolutions, and terrorism, among others. Accordingly, this text is written for undergraduates and first year graduate students with the objective of helping them develop a comprehensive understanding of the various factors that can contribute to violence in our contemporary international system. The result is a text based on competing explanations of theories from social-structural, psychocultural, environmental, economic, political, Marxian, and critical approaches, among others, buttressed by case studies to help the student apply theory and concept to concrete situations. The book therefore provides a significant and broad base of factual knowledge to enhance understanding of theoretical perspectives.

Since the last decade of the twentieth century we have witnessed the carnage and suffering caused by old, new, and emerging conflicts in the changing world order. Internal wars in particular are claiming a growing number of lives, accelerating in their own economic destructiveness, and thwarting efforts to foster human rights, democracy, and socioeconomic progress. Where there are no internal wars, we find other elements of instability-demonstrations, violent protests, coups d'état, and the like-that occur on a regular basis. Besides, the new millenium is still characterized by an intensified and expanded reawakening of the most successful political ideology in human history: nationalism. In the roughly two hundred years since its first formulation in the writings of European philosophers, nationalism has caused the political maps of both developed and developing worlds to be completely redrawn, divided, and become a constant point of contention between groups and nation-states. The post-Cold War era is manifesting an even greater number of conflict-related subnationalism and nationalism often reflected in ethnopolitical violence. Thus, the process, problems, and frequent failures of national integration have further become issues of central importance in the contemporary international system. Accordingly

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