Identity, Conflict, and Violence in Former Yugoslavia
Author: Franke Wilmer
The Social Construction of Man, the State, and War is the fist book on conflict in the former Yugoslavia to look seriously at the issue of ethnic identity, rather than treating it as a given, an unquestionable variable. Combining detailed analysis with a close reading of historical narratives, documentary evidence, and first-hand interviews conducted in the former Yugoslavia, Wilmer sheds new light on how ethnic identity is constructed, and what that means for the future of peace and sovereignty throughout the world.
A profoundly heartening view of human nature, Beyond War offers a hopeful prognosis for a future without war. Douglas P. Fry convincingly argues that our ancient ancestors were not innately warlike--and neither are we. He points out that, for perhaps ninety-nine percent of our history, for well over a million years, humans lived in nomadic hunter-and-gatherer groups, egalitarian bands where warfare was a rarity. Drawing on archaeology and fascinating recent fieldwork on hunter-gatherer bands from around the world, Fry debunks the idea that war is ancient and inevitable. For instance, among Aboriginal Australians, warfare was an extreme anomaly. Fry also points out that even today, when war seems ever present, the vast majority of us live peaceful, nonviolent lives. We are not as warlike as we think, and if we can learn from our ancestors, we may be able to move beyond war to provide real justice and security for the world.
A compelling new book that presents a thoughtful and creative approach to transforming violent discordances, this work examines the intractable issues of revenge and restitution in a conflict context. It argues that in communities where violence must be paid for through compensation, violent conflict can be contained. With primary reference to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and comparisons to cases from Africa, Pakistan, and other arenas of tribal social formations, the account explores how rituals such as wealth disbursement, oath taking, sacrifice, and formal apologies are often used as a means of averting or transcending acts of vengeance after violence. Through exploration of the balance between revenge and compensation at different junctures in the peace-making process, this compelling text devises a thought-provoking and inventive analysis that would benefit countless communities in conflict around the world.
In Peace in World History, Peter N. Stearns examines the ideas of peace that have existed throughout history, and how societies have sought to put them into practice. Beginning with the status of peace in early hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies, and continuing through the present day, the narrative gives students a clear view of the ways people across the world have understood and striven to achieve peace throughout history. Topics covered include: Comparison of the ‘pax Romana’ and ‘pax Sinica’ of Rome and China Concepts of peace in Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, and their historical impact The place of peace in the periods of expanding empires The emergence, starting in the 19th century, of formal schemes to promote peace amid increasingly destructive technologies for warfare Moving away from the view of history as a series of military conflicts, Peace in World History offers a new way of looking at world history by focusing on peace. Showing how concepts of peace have evolved over time even as they have been challenged by war and conflict, this lively and engaging narrative enables students to consider peace as a human possibility.
European Perspectives on Politics, Strategy and Operations
Author: Jan Hallenberg
We are living amidst the fallout of the most controversial conflict of our times. This book is a tough examination of how and why it was fought and of its continuing effects. This major new work contains analysis of the Iraq War from several different academic, as well as military perspectives. Its emphasis is on the links between US foreign policy, US strategy and the US conduct of war and it also covers Iraqi grand strategies, the consequences of the War for transatlantic relations, and includes a chapter on the International Law dimension. In scrutinzing the war and the behaviour of its main parties, the editors draw upon international relations, political science, strategic thought and military theory, plus international law and media studies. For those wishing to understand the Iraq war from a very wide range of rigorous perspectives, this is a must-read.
Since the beginning of recorded history, law and religion have provided "rules" that define good behavior. When we obey such rules, we assign to some external authority the capacity to determine how we should act. Even anarchists recognize the existence of a choice as to whether or not to obey, since no one has seriously doubted that the source of social order resides in our vast ethical systems. Debate has focused only on whose system is best, never for an instant imagining that law, religion, or some philosophical permutation of either was not the basis of prosocial action. The only divergence from this uniform understanding of human society has come from the behavioral sciences, which cite various biological bases for human goodness. Putting aside both ancient and relatively modern ethical systems, neuroscientists, psychologists, and evolutionary biologists have started a revolution more profound than any anarchist ever dreamed of. In essence, these researchers argue that the source of good human behavior - of the benevolence that we associate with the highest religious teachings - emanates from our physical make-up. Our brains, hormones, and genes literally embody our social compasses. In The Altruistic Brain, renowned neuroscientist Donald Pfaff provides the latest, most far-reaching argument in support of this revolution, explaining in exquisite detail how our neuroanatomical structure favors kindness towards others. Unlike any other study in its field, The Altruistic Brain synthesizes all the most important research into how and why - at a purely physical level - humans empathize with one another and respond altruistically. It demonstrates that human beings are "wired" to behave altruistically in the first instance, such that unprompted, spontaneous kindness is our default behavior; such behavior comes naturally, irrespective of religious or cultural determinants. Based on his own research and that of some of the world's most eminent scientists, Dr. Pfaff puts together well-established brain mechanisms into a theory that is at once novel but also easily demonstrable. He further explains how, using psycho-social approaches that are now well understood, we can clear away obstacles to the brain's natural, altruistic inclinations. This is the first book not only to explain why we are naturally good, but to suggest means of making us behave as well as we can. The Altruistic Brain is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the behavioral revolution in science and the promise that it holds for reorienting society towards greater cooperation.
A leading researcher on human evolution proposes a new and controversial theory of how our species came to be In this groundbreaking and engaging work of science, world-renowned paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer sets out a new theory of humanity's origin, challenging both the multiregionalists (who hold that modern humans developed from ancient ancestors in different parts of the world) and his own "out of Africa" theory, which maintains that humans emerged rapidly in one small part of Africa and then spread to replace all other humans within and outside the continent. Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent—exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies. Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved. Lone Survivors will be the definitive account of who and what we were, and will change perceptions about our origins and about what it means to be human.