Ethnicity Kills?: The Politics of War, Peace, and Ethnicity in Subsaharan Africa

Ethnicity Kills?: The Politics of War, Peace, and Ethnicity in Subsaharan Africa

Ethnicity Kills?: The Politics of War, Peace, and Ethnicity in Subsaharan Africa

Ethnicity Kills?: The Politics of War, Peace, and Ethnicity in Subsaharan Africa

Synopsis

In this text the author examines the emergence of civil war as a result of political struggles, the political power struggle which evolved around the state and is at the forefront of the analysis of civil war and societal conflict.

Excerpt

This book originates from the conference entitled The Politics of Peace, War and Ethnicity in Contemporary SubSaharan Africa held at the University of Oslo September 26-27, 1997. The conference was organized by the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, and the Centre for Development Research, University of Bergen. With the exemption of the editors' contributions, the chapters in the present volume were all presented at this conference. It was made possible through funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen, the Centre for Development and the Envir-onment, University of Oslo, and the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo.

We believe that a major strength in this volume is the diverse disciplinary backgrounds represented by the contributors. From a variety of disciplines one can better grasp the complexities of our topic, as well as addressing the shortcomings inherent in some of the conventional ideas about the issues raised.

The editors owe a special thanks to Professor Timothy M. Shaw at Dalhousie University for making this publication possible. Ever since we first mentioned the idea of such a book he has been positive and has remained so throughout the whole process. At Macmillan Aruna Vasudevan, our commissioning editor, has also provided us with many useful comments, and we would also like to express our graditude to Janey Fisher, freelance book editor, for her many suggestions. The editors have had valuable assistance from Aslak Orre and financial support from his institution, SEFOS, University of Bergen, in the editing process. We would also like to thank Dr Daniel Bach (CEAN, University of Bordeaux), Riselia Duarte Bezerra (University of California, Riverside), Professor Helge Hveem, Professor Jan Hesselberg and Dr Ketil Fred Hansen (all at the University of Oslo) for useful comments on a draft version of the first chapter.

While many have contributed to the development of the volume, the responsibility for errors and omissions is ours. We hope that, despite any deficiency, this collection of writing can illuminate an often stereotyped and distorted topic. We are very much aware of the responsibility of interpreting and understanding the tragic events that unfold daily in contemporary SubSaharan Africa. We believe such an awareness is reflected in the book.

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