Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities

Synopsis

Continuing a widely acclaimed series, Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia provides critical background information, up-to-date surveys of the violent conflicts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Ferghana Valley, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan, and a directory of more than 150 organizations working in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the region. The book includes detailed, objective descriptions of ongoing activities, as well as assessments of future prospects for conflict resolution, focusing on efforts to make civil society an integral part of any peace process.

Excerpt

Barnett R. Rubin

With its previous guides to global resources on the prevention of violent conflict and its unique, in-depth handbooks on Africa and Europe and Eurasia, the European Centre for Conflict Prevention has already established itself as one of the world's most important and reliable sources of usable knowledge for conflict prevention.

Those earlier efforts dealt with the regions most familiar to students and practitioners of post-Cold War conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy: sub-Saharan Africa and the postcommunist states of Europe. With a timeliness its editors and authors could not have foreseen, this new volume adds to those earlier indispensable ones with contributions on the region that the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath have catapulted to the center of global attention.

Before that time, Central and South Asia still seemed marginal to most actors preoccupied with the big issues of the global arena. But the experience with conflict analysis and early warning of those scholars and practitioners represented in this work led them to focus on problems whose neglect turned out to be far more costly than even the most insistent of warnings ever anticipated.

One of the principal lessons of these recent events is familiar to specialists in conflict prevention: in a world where networks of communication, exchange, and travel are ever more extensive and closely knit, even small conflicts can expand in unpredictable ways. Who would have predicted that the long-standing conflict in Afghanistan, a seemingly humanitarian problem without major strategic importance, would interact with conflicts in the Persian Gulf, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, and Central Asia in such a way as to lead to the most violent attack ever on U.S. soil, threaten nuclear war on the subcontinent, and transform the strategic map of much of the world?

For years, however, conflict analysts have been mapping out the networks through which these interactions occur. Searching for Peace in Africa and its sequel on Europe and Eurasia showed how both continents contained subregions, such as the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes, West Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, where sets of conflicts interacted with and reinforced each . . .

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