The Wars Within
Robin M. Williams
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik
In The Wars Within, Robin M. Williams Jr. brings together decades of thought about ethnic conflicts in an effort to better understand their dynamics and to lessen their disastrous consequences. Williams presents a worldwide perspective, conscious that many studies of ethnicity focus primarily on the United States. The stakes of struggles can involve both material resources, such as oil, diamonds, and gold, and sociocultural goods, such as group status and cultural distinctiveness. Ethnic conflict, Williams finds, can be portrayed as a set of dynamic processes that may escalate from restrained confrontations over limited issues to devastating ethnic warfare and genocide.
Throughout, Williams attends to present-day realities and continually reminds readers that ethnic conflict has human significance and lasting effects. His analysis implies that the military and political behavior of the United States profoundly affects whether faraway places attempt ethnic cooperation or shatter into deadly conflict. The Wars Within ends on a note of mild hope as Williams provides an overview of ways to prevent, moderate, or resolve severe intrastate violence.