In the first book-length treatment of the issue in over two decades, Zunes and Mundy examine the origins, evolution, and resilience of the Western Sahara conflict, deploying a diverse array of sources and firsthand knowledge of the region gained from multiple research visits. Shifting geographical frames—local, regional, and international—provide for a robust analysis of the stakes involved.
Stephen Zunes is professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He was named Peace Scholar of the Year for 2002 by the Peace and Justice Studies Association.
Jacob Mundy is a doctoral candidate at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, and author of several book chapters and articles on North African politics. He is Amnesty USA’s Country Specialist for Morocco and Western Sahara, and served as a consulting external analyst for the International Crisis Group for the Western Sahara conflict.
In Snyder's opinion, nationalism should be differentiated from Theodore Roosevelt's "New Nationalism," a phrase he borrowed from Herbert D. Croly's The Promise of American Life. Croly warned that giving too much power to big industry and finance would lead to the degradation of the masses, and that state and federal intervention must be pursued on all economic fronts. Roosevelt expanded upon this concept, and saw the flourishing of democratic government as a means of reviving the old pioneer sense of individualism and opportunity. Snyder, in contrast, extends the work of the two major pioneers in the study of modern nationalism, Carlton J. H. Hayes and Hans Kohn, in exploring this most powerful sentiment of modern times, and showing how it relates to the political, economic, and psychological tendencies of historical development.
As the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War approaches, this collection of essays allows us to view within a broader international context one of modern history's bloodiest conflicts over secession. The contributors to this volume consider a wide range of topics related to secession, separatism, and the nationalist passions that inflame such conflicts. The first section of the book examines ethical and moral dimensions of secession, while subsequent sections look at the American Civil War, conflicts in the Gulf of Mexico, European separatism, and conflicts in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The contributors to this book have no common position advocating or opposing secession in principle or in any particular case. All understand it, however, as a common feature of the modern world and as a historic phenomenon of international scope. Some contributors propose that "political divorce," as secession has come to be called, ought to be subject to rational arbitration and ethical norms, instead of being decided by force. Along with these hopes for the future, Secession as an International Phenomenon offers a somber reminder of the cost the United States paid when reason failed and war was left to resolve the issue.
The book suggests a new framework for understanding conflict as a particular form of situation, interaction and tension. It shows how conflicts are shaped by varied dynamics relating to emotion, securitization, incentives, digital technology and violence; even attempts at monitoring, resolving or remembering conflicts may end up contributing to their escalation or continuation. Split into two sections, the first part focuses on the question of why and how conflicts escalate, while the second part analyses the continuation of conflict. The book features several case studies of conflict escalation and continuation - in Bahrain, Israel-Palestine, South Sudan, Northern Ireland and, most prominently, the case of the Syrian uprising and subsequent civil war. Throughout the book, and, in particular, in the conclusion, the consequences for conflict transformation are discussed.
This work will be of much interest to students of conflict resolution, peace studies, war and conflict studies, security studies and international relations, in general.