Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict

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Cambridge University Press, 2011 M09 30
Conflicts involve powerful experiences. The residue of these experiences is captured by the concept and language of emotion. Indiscriminate killing creates fear; targeted violence produces anger and a desire for vengeance; political status reversals spawn resentment; cultural prejudices sustain ethnic contempt. These emotions can become resources for political entrepreneurs. A broad range of Western interventions are based on a view of human nature as narrowly rational. Correspondingly, intervention policy generally aims to alter material incentives ('sticks and carrots') to influence behavior. In response, poorer and weaker actors who wish to block or change this Western implemented 'game' use emotions as resources. This book examines the strategic use of emotion in the conflicts and interventions occurring in the Western Balkans over a twenty-year period. The book concentrates on the conflicts among Albanian and Slavic populations (Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, South Serbia), along with some comparisons to Bosnia.

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2 Emotions as Resources
3 The Strategic Use of Emotions I
4 Intervention Games
5 The Strategic Use of Emotions II
6 The Strategic Use of Emotions III
part 2 Cases and Tests
8 The Case of the Roma in Kosovo
9 Background to Kosovo
13 Kosovo Conclusions
14 South Serbia
15 Macedonia
16 Bosnia
17 Montenegro
18 Conclusion
Appendix A A Note on Names
Appendix B Alternative Arguments

10 Waiting for the West
11 Kosovo Intervention Games I
12 Kosovo Intervention Games II

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About the author (2011)

Roger D. Petersen holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Since 2001, he has taught in the Political Science Department at MIT, where he was recently named Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science. Petersen studies comparative politics with a special focus on conflict and violence, mainly in Eastern Europe, but also in Colombia and other regions. He is the author of Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe (Cambridge, 2001) and Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe (Cambridge, 2002). He also has an interest in comparative methods and has co-edited, with John Bowen, Critical Comparisons in Politics and Culture (Cambridge, 1999). He teaches classes on civil war, ethnic politics and civil-military relations.

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