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Conflict, Culture, and History Regional Dimensions

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The essays presented in this volume suggest that, in the foreseeable future, the spectrum of conflict will encompass war in forms and on levels of intensity that render ineffectual conventional means to resolve them. In many cases, the reasons for a growing spectrum of conflict are directly related to the ideological and civilizational factors present in rapidly evolving cultures under the impact of internal and external political, economic, and social forces. For the Soviet Union such conflict takes the form of the classical problem of disaffected minorities unable to satisfy their demands for autonomy within a federated structure without destroying the structure itself. On the other hand, in the Far East the cultures that underlie Sinic societies are well meshed with the state. The majority of Middle Eastern political communities, founded on the Western concept of the nation-state, coexist tenuously with a politicized religious culture ready at any moment to wage war against them in the name of extirpating their secular European roots. Although Africa leads the world in the number of prolonged struggles, there is little evidence that such conflicts are motivated by the war-like African cultures. What most prolonged conflicts in Africa share in common is the degree of external intervention, whether such intervention comes in the form of funds, weapons, training, refuge, or leadership. In the contemporary era Latin American conflicts have been fueled by external ideologies rather than by purely internal cultural tensions. Negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and conciliation have been the hallmark of Latin American foreign policy initiatives for nearly two centuries.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History

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