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Cornell University Press
The Wars Within: Peoples and States in Conflict / Edition 1

The Wars Within: Peoples and States in Conflict / Edition 1

by Robin M. Williams
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In The Wars Within, Robin M. Williams Jr. brings together decades of thought about ethnic conflicts in an effort to better understand their dynamics and to lessen their disastrous consequences. Williams presents a worldwide perspective, conscious that many studies of ethnicity focus primarily on the United States. The stakes of struggles can involve both material resources, such as oil, diamonds, and gold, and sociocultural goods, such as group status and cultural distinctiveness. Ethnic conflict, Williams finds, can be portrayed as a set of dynamic processes that may escalate from restrained confrontations over limited issues to devastating ethnic warfare and genocide.

Throughout, Williams attends to present-day realities and continually reminds readers that ethnic conflict has human significance and lasting effects. His analysis implies that the military and political behavior of the United States profoundly affects whether faraway places attempt ethnic cooperation or shatter into deadly conflict. The Wars Within ends on a note of mild hope as Williams provides an overview of ways to prevent, moderate, or resolve severe intrastate violence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801441332
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 05/14/2003
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robin M. Williams Jr. is Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science, Emeritus, at Cornell University and longtime Visiting Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Irvine. He is a former president of the American Sociological Association and the author of several books, including American Society: A Sociological Interpretation and Strangers Next Door: Ethnic Relations in American Communities.

What People are Saying About This

Charles Tilly

"Robin Williams has earned a reputation as one of our keenest analysts of inter-group conflict. The Wars Within glows with wisdom, humanity, and concern, boldly drawing out the implications of its arguments for intervention in ethnic conflicts and their termination."

William Julius Wilson

"This magisterial and timely study of peoples and states in conflict is a reflection of the depth and breadth of Robin Williams's scholarship. The Wars Within is replete with insights on the sources and social dynamics of ethnopolitical conflicts and how they can be managed or controlled to avoid undesirable outcomes."

Charles Hirschman

"Robin M. Williams has written another classic. The Wars Within: Peoples and States in Conflict is a masterful and systematic account of the social forces that have contributed to and characterize tragic episodes of violence in the modern world. The lessons learned from this book may allow human societies to moderate the causes and consequences of collective violence, even if we cannot change the inner hearts of human beings."

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