New and Old Wars Reading Questions

Here are some questions that we will try to answer in class, based on the Mueller, Kalyvas, Collier & Hoeffler, and Kaldor readings:

Thematic Questions:

  1. How has the nature of warfare changed (or has it) over the course of the last 70 years or so? Provide evidence from at least four sources.
  2. Comparatively assess the arguments of Collier & Hoeffer, Kalyvas, Mueller, and Kaldor. What are some commonalities? Divergence of opinion?
  3. What are the policy implications–from a humanitarian perspective–of taking each of the authors’ arguments seriously? Discuss.

Collier & Hoeffler (2004) “Greed and Grievance in Civil War

  1. De fine `greed’ and `grievance’ in the context of the analysis of rebellion/civil war.
  2. What are the types of causal mechanisms that each term implies?
  3. What do C & L mean by `opportunity’?
  4. Based on the statistical results, what conclusion do C & L draw regarding the causes of the onset of rebellion?
  5. What is the analytical importance of diaspora communities?
  6. How important are ethnic grievances in fomenting rebellion?

. Mueller (2000) The Banality of `Ethnic War’

  1. Why does Mueller put the words ethnic war in scare quotes in the title?
  2. What does Mueller mean when he says that ethnic war is `banal?’
  3. What evidence does Mueller use to support his main argument(s)?
  4. According to Mueller, what are the stages of ethnic war and ethnic cleansing?
  5. What is `ethnic cleansing’?
  6. Did ethnicity play any role in the inter-ethnic violence in Yugoslavia and Rwanda?

Kaldor (2000) `Old’ and `New’ Wars

  1. How are globalization processes implicated in the phenomenon that Kaldor refers to as `new’ wars? What characteristics of globalization are relevant here? How?
  2. What does Kaldor mean by the phrase `identity politics’?
  3. Assess the analytical usefulness of Kaldor’s distinction between a “politics of identity” and a “politics of ideas”
  4. What are the two main sources of identity politics. Give some examples.

Kalyvas (2001) `Old’ and `New’ Wars: A Valid Distinction?

  1. In Kalyvas’ view, what is the importance of the end of the Cold War in terms of understanding civil war? How does this di er from Kaldor’s view?
  2. Along what three dimensions are new and old civil wars conventionally thought to diverge? Discuss.
  3. Do you agree or disagree with Enszensberger’s claim that new civil wars are “about nothing at all?” How would Kalyvas respond?
  4. Kalyvas asks a relevant question: “do people wage war in order to loot or do they loot to be able to wage war?”
  5. What are warlords and why is understanding what they do important to this whole debate?
  6. Were old civil wars ideologically pure? Discuss.
  7. “Our understanding of violence is culturally dened.” What does Kalyvas mean by this and why is it important?
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