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Leading political scientist Barbara F. Walter has spent her career studying civil conflict in places like Iraq, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka as well as the dramatic rise in violent extremism around the globe. Over the last two decades, the number of active civil wars around the world has almost doubled. Walter reveals the warning signs—where wars tend to start, who initiates them, what triggers them—and why some countries tip over into conflict while others remain stable. Drawing on the latest international research and lessons from over twenty countries, Walter identifies the crucial risk factors, from democratic backsliding to factionalization and the politics of resentment. A civil war today won’t look like America in the 1860s, Russia in the 1920s, or Spain in the 1930s. It will begin with sporadic acts of violence and terror, accelerated by social media. It will sneak up on a country and leave citizens wondering how they could have been so blind. In this urgent and insightful book, Walter redefines civil war for a new age, providing the framework we need to confront the danger we now face—and the knowledge to stop it before it’s too late.
Recognized as a Best Books of the Year by Financial Times, The Times (UK), Esquire, Prospect (UK), The Sunday Times; and Winner Of The Global Policy Institute Award
Barbara F. Walter is the Rohr Professor of International Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Walter helps to run the award-winning blog "Political Violence at a Glance" and has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, and Foreign Affairs.
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