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Looking for Bosnia

Developed through a series of encounters with a Bosnian Serb soldier Stojan Sokolović, this book is a meditation on the possibilities and limitations of responding to the extreme violence of the Bosnian war. It explores the ethics of confronting the war criminal and investigates the possibility of responsibility not just to victims of war and war crimes, but also to the perpetrators of violence. The book explains how Stojan Sokolović attenuated the author to the fact that he was responsible, to everyone, all the time, and for everything. It exposes the complexity of the categories of good and evil. Silence is also the herald of violence, or its co-conspirator. The author and Stojan Sokolović were trapped in violence, discursive and material, and discursive that leads to material, and material that emanates from and leads back to discursive. Two years after beginning his research into identity and the politics of conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo, the author got the opportunity to visit the region presented itself. According to the vast majority of the literature of the 1990s on Bosnia, it was clear that the biggest problem with nationalist violence and intolerance was to be found in Republika Srpska. The book is the author's discourse on a variety of experiences, including those of ethics, politics, disasters, technologies, fieldwork, adventure tourism, and dilemmas.

Open Access (free)
Serbian and Croatian victim-centred propaganda and the war in Yugoslavia

Comparing and contrasting propaganda in Serbia and Croatia from 1986 to 1999, this book analyses each group's contemporary interpretations of history and current events. It offers a detailed discussion of Holocaust imagery and the history of victim-centred writing in nationalist theory, including the links between the comparative genocide debate, the so-called Holocaust industry, and Serbian and Croatian nationalism. There is a detailed analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda over the Internet, detailing how and why the Internet war was as important as the ground wars in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and a theme-by-theme analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda, using contemporary media sources, novels, academic works and journals.

Open Access (free)

This book deals with the institutional framework in post-socialist, after-empire spaces. It consists of nine case studies and two contributions of a more theoretical nature. Each of these analytical narratives sheds some light on the micro-politics of organised violence. After 1990, Serbs and Croats were competing over access to the resources needed for institution building and state building. Fear in turn triggered ethnic mobilisation. An 'unprofessional' riot of Serbs in the Krajina region developed into a professional war between Serbs and Croats in Croatia, in which several thousand died and several hundred thousand people were forcefully expelled from their homes. The Herceg-Bosnian style of resistance can be surprisingly effective. It is known that most of the heroin transported along the Balkans route passes through the hands of Albanian mafia groups; that this traffic has taken off since summer 1999. The concept of Staatnation is based on the doctrine according to which each 'nation' must have its own territorial State and each State must consist of one 'nation' only. The slow decline and eventual collapse of the Soviet and the Yugoslav empires was partly triggered, partly accompanied by the quest for national sovereignty. Dagestan is notable for its ethnic diversity and, even by post-Soviet standards, its dramatic economic deprivation. The integrative potential of cooperative movements at the republican, the regional and the inter-state level for the Caucasus is analyzed. The book also offers insights into the economics of ending violence. Finally, it addresses the question of reconciliation after ethnic cleansing.

Defending democracy
Author:

This book looks at the theoretical issue of how a democracy can defend itself from those wishing to subvert or destroy it without being required to take measures that would impinge upon the basic principles of the democratic idea. It links social and institutional perspectives to the study, and includes a case study of the Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence, which tests the theoretical framework outlined in the first chapter. There is an extensive diachronic scrutiny of the state's response to extremist political parties, violent organizations and the infrastructure of extremism and intolerance within Israeli society. The book emphasises the dynamics of the response and the factors that encourage or discourage the shift from less democratic and more democratic models of response.

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How listing armed groups as terrorists hurts negotiations

"Proscribing peace is the first book to take a systematic look at the impact of proscription on peace negotiations based on deep empirical research. With rare access to actors during the Colombian negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC for its Spanish acronym), the book argues that proscription has made pre-negotiations harder and more prolonged.

The book critically revisits and extends central concepts of the pre-negotiation literature: vilification, symmetry and ripeness. It develops a new concept, the ‘linguistic ceasefire’, to understand how negotiations still take place in an age of proscription. The ‘linguistic ceasefire’ has three main components: 1) recognize the conflict, 2) drop the ‘terrorist’ label and 3) uncouple the act and the actor. It removes the symbolic impact of proscription, even if de-listing is not possible ahead of negotiations.

With relevance for more than half of the conflicts around the world in which an armed group is listed as a terrorist organisation, this concept can help explain why certain conflicts remain stuck in the ‘terrorist’ framing while others emerge from it. International proscription regimes criminalise both the actor and the act of terrorism. The book calls for an end to this amalgamation between acts and actors. By focussing on the acts instead, international policy would be better able to consider the violent actions both of armed groups and those of the state. By separating the act and the actor, change -- and thus peace -- become possible.

Covert racism and affect in the United States post-9/11

‘I am the least racist person,’ Donald Trump declared. This book unpacks how it is possible for various American administrations to impose discriminatory counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) measures on Muslim communities and yet declare that ‘Islam is peace’ or that ‘Muslims are our friends’. The book addresses some of the paradoxes of the securitisation by linking discourses about the role of Muslims in the war on terror in the United States with covert forms of racism. The book is concerned with a securitisation that is covertly rather than overtly expressed, which enables securitising actors like Trump to deny plausibility of racism and claim that they are ‘the least racist person’. The book offers a critique of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to CT and CVE and advances an alternative way to understand radicalisation and terrorism by introducing a quantum perspective. Lastly, drawing on the affective turn, the book adds body to the analysis by theorising emotions and affect in the securitisation of Islam. The book argues that this covert securitisation constructs white American subjects as innocent, unprejudiced and living in a post-racial society averse to racism, whilst constructing Muslim subjects as potential terrorists and thus as sites of securitisation. This book is a timely analysis of the securitisation of Islam since 9/11 and presents an original study that contributes to debates on Islamophobia, white fragility and white victimhood, which have proliferated since the rise of far-right (populist) parties in Europe and the US.

Author:

Cartoon analysis is the study of a non-elite communication. Ilan Danjoux examined over 1200 Israeli and Palestinian editorial cartoons to explore whether changes in their content anticipated the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in October of 2000. Political Cartoons and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict provide readers an engaging introduction to cartoon analysis and a novel insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conflict researchers benefit from paying attention to popular fears because they influence the policies of career-minded politicians and autocratic leaders seeking to placate domestic dissent. The book begins by outlining the rationale for this research project, while explaining the choice of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a case study. It identifies the challenges of cartoon research and outlines the methodological approaches available to researchers. After laying the framework for this study, the book details the collapse of the Israel-Palestinian Peace Process into full-scale violence by October 2000. A description of Israeli and Palestinian media production follows. The book demonstrates the cartoon's ability to chronicle changes in conflict. Not only did both Israeli and Palestinian cartoons change their focus with the outbreak of violence, the mood of cartoons also shifted. It also shows that Israeli and Palestinian cartoons also changed the way that each portrayed the other. Changes in both Israeli and Palestinian cartoons corresponded with, but did not precede, the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

This book addresses some of the neglected problems, people and vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific region. It talks about emancipation, human security, 'security politics', language and threat-construction. The book is divided into three sections: agents; strategies and contexts; and futures. The first section outlines a range of possible agents or actors potentially capable of redressing individual suffering and vulnerability in the region. It examines East Asian regional institutions and dynamics of regionalism as potential sources of 'progressive' security discourses and practices. There is focus on the progressive security potential of regional institutions and regionalism has become increasingly prominent in literature on security in the Asia-Pacific. Two common interpretations of the role of epistemic communities in the construction of security are contested: that they are either passive sources of governmental legitimacy, or autonomous agents with the capacity of constructing or creating state interests. The second section reviews strategies and contexts, outlining a range of different sites of insecurity in the region, the ways in which dominant security discourses and practices emerge, and the extent to which such discourses are contested in different contexts. Indonesian government's approach to minority groups and separatism, the issue of civil unrest and human rights abuses in Burma, and the Australian government's attitude towards refugees and asylum-seekers are discussed. The third section deals with security futures, specifically discussing the question of what alternative security discourses and practices might look like. Finally, the book outlines a feminist critical security discourse and examines its applicability to the Asia-Pacific region.

This book is about understanding how former combatants come home after war, and how their political lives are refracted by the war and the experience of coming home itself. In particular, it captures the political mobilization among former combatants as they come home from three very different types of war: civil war (Colombia), war of independence (Namibia), and interstate war (United States involvement in the Vietnam War). The book provides a much-needed long-term perspective on peace. It also demonstrates the artificial division between literatures across the Global North and Global South, and demonstrates how these literatures speak to each other just as the three cases speak to each other. The novel use of interviews to document life histories and the inside perspective they provide also give a unique insight into the former combatants’ own perspectives on the process of coming home and their sense of political voice. This book is not about peacebuilding in the sense of interventions. Rather, it examines peace as a process through studying the lived experiences of individuals, displaying the dynamics of political mobilization after disarmament across time in the lives of fifty former combatants. The book demonstrates how the process of coming home shapes their political commitment and identity, and how the legacy of war is a powerful reminder in the lives of these former combatants long after the end of the war.

Exploiting the forbidden

This book analyses the Syria crisis and the role of chemical weapons, in relation to US foreign policy. The Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and their subsequent elimination would dominate the US’ response to the conflict, where these are viewed as particularly horrific arms – a repulsion known as the chemical taboo. On the surface, this would seem an appropriate reaction: these are vile and intolerable weapons, and eradicating them would ostensibly comprise a ‘good’ move. But this book reveals two new aspects of the taboo that challenge this view. First, actors employ the taboo strategically to advance their own self-interested policy objectives. This is in contrast to the highly static and constructivist approaches that have informed conceptualisation of the taboo until now. Far from a situation of normative adherence, this is a case in which the taboo exists as a strategic political resource, used to achieve aims that may have nothing to do with preventing chemical warfare. Second, it is argued that applying the taboo to Syria has exacerbated the crisis. While many expound the benefits of the taboo, it is demonstrated here that the exact opposite is true. The taboo has actually made the conflict significantly worse. As such, this book not only provides a timely analysis of Syria, but also a major and original rethink of the chemical taboo, as well as international norms more widely.