This book began its life at a round table meeting of the Research Committee on Politics and Ethnicity of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), held at the University of Limerick on 4-7 July 1990. Founded in 1976, this committee has been particularly active in promoting research in the area of nationalism and ethnic politics, and has been responsible for the production of a large number of publications. In the case of the Limerick round-table, two strands of publications followed. A set of papers appeared in revised form as a special issue of the International Political Science Review entitled 'Resolving Ethnic Conflicts' (Vol. 13, No. 4, October 1992). Another set appeared, along with some newly commissioned pieces, as a special issue of Regional Politics and Policy with the same title as the present book (Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 1993). This was subsequently published in book form by Frank Cass.
Close to a decade later, the appearance of a second edition of this book is testimony to the continuing salience of the problem that it addresses. Ethnic protest is still a central political issue in many societies, and territorial considerations remain at the forefront when the menu of options for tackling it is considered. It seems appropriate, therefore, to take stock of the position at this point, by undertaking a cross-national, comparative study of the stage we have now reached.
In addition to updated (and, in some cases, entirely re-written) versions of chapters that appeared in the original book, the present volume also includes assessments of three additional cases that are of great significance: Northern Ireland, South Africa and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. One important chapter that appeared in the first edition (by Philip Mawhood and Malcolm Wallis, on the cases of Kenya and Tanzania) is not included in the present volume, reflecting in part the relative ethnic peace at the moment in that part of Africa. Sadly, one author, A. Jeyaratnam Wilson, died before getting a chance to complete the revision of his chapter on Sri Lanka, but it is to be hoped that the version that appears here will be a fitting tribute to his memory. To facilitate comparison between case studies, a set of maps, drawn to a standard template, has been prepared, and a new introduction and conclusion have been added to the book.
As always in enterprises of this kind, many debts are accumulated by the editor. The first, historically, is to IPSA's Research Committee on Politics and Ethnicity, whose child this project is. The second is to the Irish Peace Institute, University of Limerick, which generously supported the meeting