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More than two hundred wars have been fought in the past half century. Nearly all have been civil wars, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, more than thirty civil wars were being fought. The “rules” of interstate war do not apply; each atrocity provokes retribution, and civil war takes on a brutal dynamic of its own. Civil War, Civil Peace challenges common but simplistic explanations of war, including greed, gender, and long-standing religious or ethnic hatreds, which ignore that these groups have lived together in peace for centuries.
When a cease-fire is arranged, aid workers, military personnel, diplomats, and others pour in from the United States, Europe, and international agencies. Outside help is essential after a war, but too often, well-intentioned interveners do more harm than good. A half of civil wars have resumed after failed peace agreements.
Each war is different, and there can be no intervention handbook or best practices guide. Aimed at practitioners and policy makers, and essential reading for students of war, humanitarian intervention, peace building, and development, Civil War, Civil Peace provides a comprehensive examination of how interventions can be improved through a better understanding of the roots of war and of the grievances and interests that fueled the war.
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Helen Yanacopulos has worked in finance in both the corporate and the not-for-profit sectors. Her writing appears frequently in the Journal for International Development. She has been teaching at the Open University since 2000.
Joseph Hanlon is a writer on southern Africa. He is a frequent contributor to the Review of African Political Economy and author of Peace without Profit and Beggar Your Neighbours and Mozambique: Who Calls the Shots?
This book shows how interventions can be improved through a better understanding of the roots of the war, and grievances and interests that fuelled it. It challenges the common but simplistic explanations of war: greed; ethnicity; gender. Too often, well-meaning interveners do more harm than good. This book is aimed at practitioners and policy-makers to help them give interventions a more peace-building focus - to ensure their actions encourage peace rather than exacerbate the divisions that provoke a return to war. OXFAM DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES Yanacopulos and Hanlon's wonderfully mature compendium is very welcome. This is an accessible, user-friendly text that cuts through arcane debates and is careful not to assume prior knowledge. Three themes recur throughout this edited book: that every conflict is unique and thus demands a tailored response; that peace building is a difficult and long-term endeavour that requires sensitivity; and that ''there are no right answers - only hard choices. ...the book takes readers through the causes of conflict, the pitfalls of hastily planned and poorly executed interventions and the need for conflict- and development-sensitive action. ...Case studies in boxes, chapter summaries and the careful explanation of key terms make it a very useful teaching tool. ..this work is to be recommended. It is critical, development-orientated and mindful of the long-term needs of post-war contexts. Moreover, it is blessedly free of two curses which have restricted the study of conflict to small cliques: postmodern conceit and econometrics. - Roger MacGinty in THE ROUND TABLE The book certainly succeeds in presenting a jargon free account of the current 'state of the art' of peacebuilding, and the material is presented in a clear and direct way. It would certainly help those already in the field and engaged in peacebuilding and development to refresh their understanding of assumptions, strategies and techniques underlying their work. It would also help to explain the nature of peacebuilding to a new generation of potential activists. It succeeds admirably in summarising and synthesising recent academic research and making it available to project workers and practitioners. ... this collection does an excellent job in defining what we know about peacebuilding, and lays the basis for a common understanding of how to further advance effective practice. - Professor Tom Woodhouse in the LEEDS AFRICAN STUDIES BULLETIN
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