Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict

Overview

Conflicts involve powerful experiences. The residue of these experiences is captured by the concept and language of emotion. Indiscriminate killing creates fear; targeted violence produces anger and a desire for vengeance; political status reversals spawn resentment; cultural prejudices sustain ethnic contempt. These emotions can become resources for political entrepreneurs. A broad range of Western interventions are based on a view of human nature as narrowly rational. Correspondingly, intervention policy ...

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Overview

Conflicts involve powerful experiences. The residue of these experiences is captured by the concept and language of emotion. Indiscriminate killing creates fear; targeted violence produces anger and a desire for vengeance; political status reversals spawn resentment; cultural prejudices sustain ethnic contempt. These emotions can become resources for political entrepreneurs. A broad range of Western interventions are based on a view of human nature as narrowly rational. Correspondingly, intervention policy generally aims to alter material incentives (“sticks and carrots”) to influence behavior. In response, poorer and weaker actors who wish to block or change this Western implemented “game” use emotions as resources. This book examines the strategic use of emotion in the conflicts and interventions occurring in the Western Balkans over a twenty-year period. The book concentrates on the conflicts among Albanian and Slavic populations (Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, South Serbia), along with some comparisons to Bosnia.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521281263
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2011
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,499,433
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger D. Petersen holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Since 2001, he has taught in the Political Science Department at MIT, where he was recently named Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science. Petersen studies comparative politics with a special focus on conflict and violence, mainly in Eastern Europe, but also in Colombia and other regions. He is the author of Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He also has an interest in comparative methods and has co-edited, with John Bowen, Critical Comparisons in Politics and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1999). He teaches classes on civil war, ethnic politics and civil-military relations.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Background and Theory: 1. Western intervention in the Balkans: the strategic use of emotion in conflict; 2. Emotions as resources; 3. The strategic use of emotions I: theory; 4. Western intervention games; 5. The strategic use of emotions II: developing strategies, examples from non-Balkan cases; 6. The strategic use of emotions III: hypotheses; Part II. Cases and Tests: 7. Background to Western intervention in the Balkans; 8. The case of the Roma; 9. Background on Kosovo; 10. Kosovo: waiting for the West; 11. Kosovo: intervention games I; 12. Kosovo: intervention games II; 13. Kosovo conclusions; 14. South Serbia; 15. Macedonia; 16. Bosnia; 17. Montenegro; 18. Conclusion.

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