Diminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific: Why some subside and others don't

Diminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific

Author/s (editor/s):

Edward Aspinall, Robin Jeffrey, Anthony Regan

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Is the world experiencing a decline in armed conflict? This book takes up this crucial contemporary issue in the study of war and peace by examining fifteen intrastate conflicts in the Asia-Pacific. Over the last several decades, civil wars within states have been the deadliest form of armed conflict in the region. Yet the last two decades have also seen remarkably successful attempts to end some of these conflicts by negotiations and compromise. This book diagnoses the broad regional trend by surveying histories and prospects in a range of very different conflict situations, from Pakistan in the West to Fiji in the East. While pointing to positive developments, including greater readiness by international actors to intervene creatively to find solutions for internal conflicts – with encouraging results in places like Aceh in Indonesia and Bougainville in Papua New Guinea – it also points to continuing sources of conflict and underlying ambiguities within the broader trend of conflict diminution. In some areas, even if armed conflict has declined, the underlying cleavages and issues that spark it remain as divisive as ever. Elsewhere, new forms of localised, criminal and petty violence are taking the place of the more organised civil wars of the past.


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