Arms and Ethnic Conflict

Overview

Ethnopolitical conflicts have grown in frequency and intensity over the past 30 years. At the same time, major powers like the U.S. seem less inclined to get involved in internal conflicts far from home, especially after the trials of Rwanda, Somalia, and Kosovo. Arms fuel ethnic tension and violence, and yet the relationship between arms and ethnic conflict is not well understood. This book explores the function of arms in ethnic conflict by looking at arms acquisition by ethnic groups, government involvement in...
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Overview

Ethnopolitical conflicts have grown in frequency and intensity over the past 30 years. At the same time, major powers like the U.S. seem less inclined to get involved in internal conflicts far from home, especially after the trials of Rwanda, Somalia, and Kosovo. Arms fuel ethnic tension and violence, and yet the relationship between arms and ethnic conflict is not well understood. This book explores the function of arms in ethnic conflict by looking at arms acquisition by ethnic groups, government involvement in escalation, and the role of outsiders in arms influx and sometimes, conflict resolution. Important new data and a fresh look at established records of arms and ethnic conflict are hallmarks of this book.

Author Biography: John Sislin is a research associate at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. Frederic S. Pearson is director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies on Mediating Theory and Democratic Systems at Wayne State University.

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Editorial Reviews

Herbert Wulf
Arms and Ethnic Conflict is an extremely topical book. It presents a wealth of information on the crucial impact of arms in ongoing conflicts. It is important to know, and politically highly relevant, that the availability of arms is neither necessary nor sufficient to start or escalate a war, but that mounting arms availability appears to carry away political decision makers in a conflict.
Joseph Smaldone
This is the first full-length systematic study of the relationships between arms flows and the outbreak, progression, and outcomes of contemporary ethnic conflicts, and also the first to inject arms export controls into the entire spectrum of conflict prevention, management, resolution, and post-war reconstruction and peace-building. It will provide powerful ammunition to advocates of arms transfer restraint. Its policy recommendations should be taken seriously by all concerned governments and implemented wherever possible.
Ted Robert Gurr
Sislin and Pearson dissect incisively the many ways in which the stocks and supply of arms affect the onset, course, and outcomes of ethnic warfare. Efforts to establish an international regime regulating the flow of arms to countries in crisis are thus far weak and wildly inconsistent, but the authors document just enough instances of partial success to justify redoubled efforts. First and last steps are clear and feasible. The first is to monitor and publicize stocks and flows of arms, light arms most of all, in bad neighborhoods. The last is to provide international incentives and guarantees for decommissioning arms and armies, an essential step in civil war settlement.
American Political Science Review
John Sislin and Frederic S. Pearson have written a fine book that addresses a complex and understudies issue: the role of arms in ethnic conflict.
Arms and Ethnic Conflict is a very good book that is judicious in its use of data, cautious in its claims, and of relevance to policymakers as well as scholars.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847688548
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/14/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sislin is a research associate at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. Frederic S. Pearson is director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies on Mediating Theory and Democratic Systems at Wayne State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
1 Arms and Ethnic Conflict 1
2 The Diffusion of Arms 23
3 Arms and the Onset of Ethnic Conflict 59
4 Arms and the Progression of Ethnic Conflict 83
5 Arms and Efforts to Resolve Ethnic Conflict 117
Appendix 145
6 Reducing the Negative Impact of Arms 151
Bibliography 175
Index 191
About the Authors 205
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