Believers, Skeptics, and Failure in Conflict Resolution

Authors: Spears, Ian

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  • Challenges readers to think about the reasons why so many conflicts persist and why belligerents resist efforts to make peace
  • Acts as a provocative and critical response to the literature that suggests that there are always possibilities for conflict resolution
  • Seeks to introduce basic concepts related to conflict resolution and then highlights and explains the challenges that emerge when resolution strategies are executed
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-14144-8
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Hardcover $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-14143-1
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About this book

This book discusses the following questions: Why are some conflicts so enduring and why is conflict resolution so hard? The author begins by introducing two conflicting perspectives, Skeptics and Believers, to highlight the lack of consensus on conflict resolution. The book further examines the literature on the sources of violent conflict, including ethnic, economic, environmental, and religious sources, and investigates the claim that an absence of knowledge, power, or political will are at the center of conflict resolution failures. By focusing on the problem of state formation, the author demonstrates the ways in which the nature of the state contributes to violent conflict. In the end, conflict resolution fails because individuals, groups, and external powers choose war and often prefer it over peaceful alternatives.  


About the authors

Ian S. Spears is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph, Canada, and Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the author of Civil Wars in African States: The Search for Security, and co-editor (with Paul Kingston) of States Within States: Incipient Political Entities in the Post-Cold War Era.

 

Reviews

“… A penetrating yet eminently readable study of multilateral interventions that credibly balances the good intentions of traditional liberal ‘Believers’ against the good sense of global ‘Skeptics.’ With insight, wisdom and compelling judgment, Spears contrasts the intended with the actual results of Western and UN peace-making, state-building and humanitarian interventions, making this book a must-read for all those involved in global affairs—Believers and Skeptics alike.” (John R. Schram, Queen's Centre for International and Defence Policy, Canada, and former Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador to Ethiopia, and Ambassador to Zimbabwe)

“This book offers a comprehensive explanation as to why intra-state conflicts or civil wars are so difficult to resolve, focusing on the sources of conflict, the ill-preparedness of the interveners, the nature of states (failed or weak) in the developing world, as compared to the experience of state-building in Europe, and the reluctance to endorse the use of force. Seen through the contrasting views of liberal ‘Believers’ and conservative ‘Skeptics,’ Ian Spears has written an important book that should be read, especially by academics and practitioners in the field.” (Robert O. Matthews, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Canada)

“With compelling arguments often overlooked by scholars and practitioners, Spears challenges readers to reconsider fundamental assumptions at the very core of the conflict resolution enterprise. Impressive in geographic and historical breadth, this book is a thought-provoking and important read!” (Elisabeth King, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, New York University, USA)

 

 

 

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14144-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14143-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Believers, Skeptics, and Failure in Conflict Resolution
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-14144-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-14144-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-14143-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 241
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics