War is now an important part of development discourse. Aid agencies have become involved in humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution and the social reconstruction of war-torn societies. This deeply thoughtful book explores the growing merger of development and security. Its author unravels the nature of the new wars - in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia - and the response of the international community, in particular the new systems of global governance that are emerging as a result.
The breakdown of order is seen as symptomatic of long-term social processes: economic crisis, the social exclusion of wide strata of populations and internal conflict. Instead of the historic goals of modernity, development to reduce inequality, and a central role for the state, we have a neo-medieval situation in which overlapping and fragmented sovereignties confront an increasingly weakened central authority.
The consequences, as Duffield shows, are far-reaching. Development now focuses primarily on the shortcomings of structures within the South. Aid is privatized. A rising level of violence and misery are accepted as normal, and new forms of humanitarian aid intervention, far from solving the problem, accommodate and coexist with this instability and inequality. Pessimistic perhaps, but this book is profound in its insights and pregnant with policy implications.
About Mark Duffield
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Published August 25, 2001
by Zed Books.
History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Business & Economics.