Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka

Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka

Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka

Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka

Excerpt

This is a book about some of the most contested places on earth. Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka are all sites of very recent or ongoing peace processes. These peace processes form the central theme of this book. I aim to illuminate the nature and complexities of each case and to draw broader lessons about how the cause of peace can be advanced in adverse conditions. Some parts of the world enjoy relative political stability today, anchored in ties of regional integration and cross-border cooperation that spill across national sovereignties and frontiers. The European Union, which has helped to gradually transform much of the wartorn European continent of 1945, is an example. But other regions—the South Asian subcontinent, the western Balkans, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East—remain dominated by bitter divisions and perennial conflict. Are they fated to remain so? Or are better futures possible?

The following chapters show that these conflicts—generically alike but with distinct histories and contexts—are intractable but not insoluble. Yet the challenge of stabilizing these unsettled parts of the world is enormous. Bosnia, Cyprus, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, and Israel-Palestine are zones of protracted, intense conflicts where . . .

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