This work analyzes the post-Cold War revival of what is essentially a British colonial theory of ethnic division. It looks at the Bosnian partition process in relation to earlier partitions of Ireland, India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine and Cyprus. The book traces the way ethnic mobilization developed in parallel with changing colonial policies of administration, contending that the shift from divide and rule to divide and quit, which was made between the two world wars, stimulated rather than diminished conflict. Radha Kumar points to the irony of reviving a British colonial practice to deal with a country that was not a colony, in a period which is not only post-colonial, but in which a post-Cold War vision of re-integration is being implemented through NATO expansion and the ending of Cold War partitions. She raises the possibility that the Western powers' acceptance of Bosnian partition indicates that the reversal of Cold War partitions will be accompanied by the revival of ethnic partitions.
Kumar concludes that such an eventality is unlikely because the revival of a colonial theory of partition in the present period would damage both NATO expansion and European integration, to the point of divide and fall. Radha Kumar is the author of "A History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women's Rights and Feminism in India 1880-1990".
Publisher: Verso Books