Click here to read an interview with me in MO*Magazine. In Dutch.
My new book, The Peace Front: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention [Het Vredesfront: etnisch conflict en internationale interventie] has just been published by Acco Publishers in Leuven and The Hague.
In 1989 the Cold War ended, less than two years later the wars in Yugoslavia erupted. Since then, the images of ethnic conflict have hardly been out of the world news. In the last twenty years several places in the world - from East Timor to Rwanda, from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan - have been ravaged by ethnic violence. The perspective shifted from power blocks to citizens, from ideology to identity, from world order to everyday chaos.
What have political scientists and sociologists learned from the past two decades of ethnic conflict? What explanations have they put forward, what insights they have gained, and which assumptions were they forced to revise? This book guides the reader through the current academic literature. It examines the elusive term “ethnicity” and looks for the theory that best explains the emergence of ethnic violence. It also explores possible solutions. When the number of civilian casualties rises, calls for international intervention sound louder and more compelling. But how can and should the international community intervene? How can societies be rebuilt after the violence stops? How do they deal with continuing strife and trauma? And how big is the risk that international intervention will merely deepen the divides and aggravate the antagonism?
The Peace Front examines these questions and analyzes numerous examples from current events. More information here.
At this moment only available in Dutch.
At the upcoming annual world convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities in NYC, I'll be presenting a paper entitled 'Governing Roma Inclusion: Can the EU be a catalyst for local social change?', which I co-authored with Eva Sobotka (EU Fundamental Rights Agency). The paper is part of a panel on 'European governance and the Roma'. Other members of this panel include Nando Sigona (University of Oxford), Laura Cashman (Canterbury Christ Church University), and André Liebich (Graduate Institute, Geneva). I will also take part in an ASN roundtable discussion on the role of blogging in social science. For those interested in all things Belgian: the conference will host an interesting panel on the ongoing political crisis in that country (with, among others, Ian Buruma and Dave Sinardet).
As usual the ASN convention takes place at the International Affairs building, Columbia University. Dates are: April 14-16.
The full programme of the conference can be downloaded from this link.
At the Passa Porta Festival, Brussels' biannual international literary festival held on March 27th, I hosted a panel discussion on the 'The borders of the Balkans'. Participants were novelist, essayist and translator Christos Chrissopoulos, novelist and poet Johan de Boose, novelist György Dragomán and novelist and political scientist Igor Štiks. BalkanInsight published a good summary of the discussion. It can be accessed here.