Summary of "Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict"

Summary of

Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict

By Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson with Pamela Aall

Summary written by Conflict Research Consortium Staff

Citation: Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict, Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson with Pamela Aall, eds. Washington DC:United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996, 642 pp.

Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict examines sources of post Cold War international and intrastate conflict and the ability of the latter to spill over its boundaries and attain a global meaning. It discusses ways of managing those conflicts and foreign policy of the United States in the twenty first century. The book brings together the experience of practitioners and analytical perspective of scholars in the field of international conflict management.

This work is divided into four major parts which consist of forty one articles. The following description of the book is taken from its Introduction chapter, pp. XVI-XIX. "The first section of the volume, the sources of conflict in a changing world, looks at those factors that are of increasing importance in international conflict processes [the lack of an overarching political authority, declining state authority, uncontrolled movement of ideas, technology, and communication across borders, etc.].... In the first chapter of this book, "Contending Theories of International Conflict," Jack Levy places many of [these] factors ... in a large theoretical framework. Reviewing the leading theories of international conflict, Levy concludes that there are different causal paths to war and peace. He argues that, in an age when the locus of conflict has shifted to various regions of the globe, conventional "realist" theories of international politics appear increasingly limited, both geographically and theoretically, to previous eras of European-centered great-power struggles. He suggests that societal-level variables are going to be increasingly important in the future, not only in shaping foreign policy, but also in contributing to domestic instability and international tensions. At the same time, resource scarcities and rising expectations brought on by the processes of democratization are likely to increase pressures on domestic political systems and contribute to tensions among neighboring states.

The rest of Part I of this volume explores some of these new sources of conflict in international politics. Whereas chapters 2 and 3 focus on the "structural" sources of international conflict brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the state "failure" in many Third World countries, chapters 4 through 6 deal with social and psychological explanations of conflict, including the relationships between ethno-nationalism and conflict, religion and religious militancy, and identity and conflict. Chapters 7 through 10 address the trans-border and transnational aspects of conflict, including such factors as population movement and refugees, arms transfers, and the trade and investment dimensions of international conflict....

The second section addresses the "intervention dilemma" and the instruments that are available to bring military power, coercive diplomacy, collective security, peacekeeping, and humanitarian intervention to bear at different stages in the conflict cycle.... Part II ... is devoted to stimulating a dialogue between scholars and practitioners on the subject of statecraft, intervention, and international order.

In his lead chapter in Part II, Henry Kissinger discusses the new challenges for diplomacy that confront U.S. policymakers with the end of the Cold War. He argues that the international system in the twenty-first century will be marked by two conflicting tendencies: the fragmentation of power, with the rise of regional coalitions and great powers like China and Japan; and the increasing globalization of world politics, with the growing integration of the world economy and the emergence of problems that can only be dealt with on a worldwide basis, like nuclear proliferation, population growth, and environmental degradation. Reconciling competing values and different historical experiences will pose a major challenge for decision makers in the next century, and the United States will find its foreign policy even more constrained than before, because it will not be able to withdraw from the world or to dominate it. In view of these constraints, it is critical to consider the full range of tools and methods available to U.S. policymakers and other actors for addressing the many different conflict situations they are likely to face well into the next century. These options range from the direct use of force, to diplomatic threats, to preventive diplomacy, to negotiation, mediation, and other instruments that involve governmental and nongovernmental actors. Part II of this volume examines the different forms that intervention can take and also attempts to draw lessons from previous instances of intervention....

Chapters 13 through 18 examine the changing uses of military power, coercive diplomacy, and collective security at the end of the Cold War. Together, they illustrate both the continuing importance of military power in settling disputes and the continuing need for the United States to maintain a strong defense capability. At the same time, they point to the constraints--both domestic and international--on the use of the force and the growing need to develop other instruments of intervention that can complement, and sometimes substitute for direct military intervention.

In chapters 19 through 25, this volume focuses on the broader question of peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention. There is a lively debate in these chapters between those who believe that peacekeeping is in a state of crisis and those who believe that such operations can continue to make a positive contribution to maintaining international order. Because nongovernmental actors are playing an increasingly important role in situations of conflict, [authors include] several chapters that discuss the role of professional groups, media, and nongovernmental organizations in conflict management and resolution....

The third part explores a wide range of other actors and methods for managing, preventing, and resolving conflicts.... Chapter 12 [Part II], along with chapters 26 through 35 of Part III, examines the different diplomatic and political instruments that are available to outsiders for preventing, managing, and settling today's conflicts. These chapters discuss a range of options, including preventive diplomacy, engagement, mediation, and second-track diplomacy, showing how these different intervention techniques have applied in a variety of different circumstances. The discussion is complemented by several historical case studies that explain why certain techniques worked or failed.

The end of the Cold War has witnessed many negotiated settlements to end regional and inter-communal conflicts; the Dayton Accords are just the latest chapter. Many of these settlements were negotiated and implemented with the assistance of outsiders. Part IV of this volume addresses the larger questions of why some peace settlements succeed while others fail, and what outsiders can do to help prevent failure....

Chapters 36 through 41 discuss the measures and approaches that are necessary to consolidate the peace so that a political settlement takes root. These activities include preparing for and monitoring elections, demining, demobilizing, resettling refugees, providing humanitarian assistance, reintegrating displaced populations, repairing and restoring key infrastructure (such as transportation and communications), maintaining law and order, restoring human rights and the rule of law, and engaging in economic reconstruction through investments in the national, local, and household economies".