If you thought the point of war was to win, this book will make you think again. This book argues that understanding the complex functions of wars - alongside other forms of human disaster such as famine and ethnic strife - is essential if we are to reduce suffering and move towards lasting peace agreements.
Publisher: Polity Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 576 g
Dimensions: 234 x 155 x 22 mm
"A much more sophisticated contribution than most ... a valuable contribution to the ever-growing literature on conflict and violence." Times Literary Supplement "Complex emergencies aims to analyse the various abusive systems of government that have created the world's recent humanitarian disasters. It is an important and challenging book and, being well edited and thoroughly researched, it achieves its stated aim." International Affairs "A lucid and highly accessible volume and an essential text for anyone wishing to understand the multifaceted interaction between conflict and its benefactors." Journal of Peace Research "The great value of this book is that it enables understanding of the causes of complex emergencies. It provides powerful, detailed analysis of many specific instances from across the globe." Third Way "Combining critical theorizing and detailed knowledge of conflict zones around the world, Keen challenges a mountain of received wisdoms, urban myths, and simplified understandings regarding collective violence, aid, reconstruction, and peace-building." Making Sense of Darfur "Recommended for scholars of international relations and development studies. It provides an important contribution to the literature by synthesizing existing research about the dilemmas of trying to intervene in complex emergencies that initially may seem irrational to outside observers but ultimately make sense from the perspective of the different interests involved." Journal of Refugee Studies "Complex Emergencies is the indispensable text on the topic of internal war and its humanitarian implications. It analyses how conflict functions systemically and the role of psychological factors in extreme violence. Moreover, despite dealing with such a difficult subject, this book is also a delight to read." Alex de Waal, Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University "In providing a powerful corrective to the urge to dismiss African wars or terrorism as mindless violence, this book represents David Keen at his incisive best. In this comprehensive and challenging review of complex emergencies, Keen brilliantly shows how factors often dismissed as irrational or unforeseen actually function to constitute the predicament in question. For anyone seriously concerned with what is happening in the world's disaster zones - whether student, policy-maker or general public - you will not find a better or more illuminating guide." Mark Duffield, University of Bristol