Complex Emergencies | Zookal Textbooks | Zookal Textbooks
  • Author(s) David J. Keen
  • Edition1
  • Published11th November 2007
  • PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons (UK)
  • ISBN9780745640204
If you thought the point of war was to win, this book will make you
think again.

David Keen questions the model of war as a contest between two
sides aiming at political and military victory, and he also rejects
the contrasting view that war represents a collapse into anarchy,
mindless violence and ethnic hatred. Rather than a contest or a
collapse, war is analysed as a system that has significant
functions and that yields complex economic, political and
psychological benefits. Some may be more interested in prolonging a
war than in ending it. War may help elites to derail democracy and
suppress dissent; it may be profitable for government and rebel
actors; and it may allow armed groups to enjoy a sense of power
over unarmed civilians.


This book argues that understanding the complex functions of
wars alongside other forms of human disaster, such as famine and
ethnic strife, is essential if we are to reduce suffering and move
towards lasting peace agreements.


Complex Emergencies will be essential reading for
students of development, political economy, political science and
international relations.

Complex Emergencies

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  • Author(s) David J. Keen
  • Edition1
  • Published11th November 2007
  • PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons (UK)
  • ISBN9780745640204
If you thought the point of war was to win, this book will make you
think again.

David Keen questions the model of war as a contest between two
sides aiming at political and military victory, and he also rejects
the contrasting view that war represents a collapse into anarchy,
mindless violence and ethnic hatred. Rather than a contest or a
collapse, war is analysed as a system that has significant
functions and that yields complex economic, political and
psychological benefits. Some may be more interested in prolonging a
war than in ending it. War may help elites to derail democracy and
suppress dissent; it may be profitable for government and rebel
actors; and it may allow armed groups to enjoy a sense of power
over unarmed civilians.


This book argues that understanding the complex functions of
wars alongside other forms of human disaster, such as famine and
ethnic strife, is essential if we are to reduce suffering and move
towards lasting peace agreements.


Complex Emergencies will be essential reading for
students of development, political economy, political science and
international relations.

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