This volume provides an overview of the costs, benefits, consequences, and prospects for rebuilding nations emerging from violent conflict. The rationale for this comes from the growing realization that, in the post-Cold War era and in the aftermath of 9-11, our understanding of conflict and conflict resolution has to include consideration of the conditions conducive to sustaining the peace in nations torn by civil war or interstate conflict.
First, whereas wars between sovereign nations had dominated international politics for the previous 300 years, civil wars within nations - revolutions, secessionist wars, ethnic conflicts, and terrorism - have become the most frequent and deadly forms of armed conflict since the end of World War II. Second, the Third World - Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East - has become the site of most of the armed conflict in last half century. Third, not only has civil war become the dominant conflict modality in the international community but once it occurs in a nation, it is highly likely to recur at some time in the future. Fourth, while the end of the Cold War has not significantly diminished the frequency and destructiveness of war, the international community has compiled an unprecedented record of mediating peaceful settlements to a number of protracted conflicts in the Third World.
These trends define a new agenda for the international community in the new century: how do we sustain the peace in nations previously torn by civil war? Each of the chapters here analyzes the prospects for building a sustainable peace from a number of different perspectives, examining: the role of economicdevelopment, democratization, respect for human rights, the potential for renewal of conflict, the United Nations, and other critical topics. In an age when 'nation-building' is once again on the international agenda, and scholars as well as policymakers realize both the tremendous costs and benefits in fostering developed, democratic, peaceful and secure nations, the time has truly come for a book that integrates all the facets of this important subject.