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Complex Emergencies


Complex Emergencies

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    Available in PDF Format | Complex Emergencies.pdf | English
    David J. Keen(Author)
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.

"A much more sophisticated contribution than most ... a valuable contribution to the ever–growing literature on conflict and violence."Times Literary Supplement

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  • Pdf

*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

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Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 296 pages
  • David J. Keen(Author)
  • Polity Press; 1 edition (11 Nov. 2007)
  • English
  • 5
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

Review Text

  • By loveandpolisci on 18 December 2009

    Complex Emergencies provides an excellent overview for anyone who is seeking to enter the fields of international development and conflict resolution. Keen, a professor at the London School of Economics, observes a wide variety of issues, explaining them in clear detail and viewing them from an entirely different angle from many other academics. Topics include the effects and functions of famines, the greed vs. grievance debate, the debate over peace, and whether or not ethnic conflicts are actually ethnic.This book is highly recommended -- a must read for all aspiring development workers and academics.

  • By GDB on 20 April 2012

    first off this book is well done and thats why i have it 4 stars, however i got this book as from what i could see it was a very one sided view on 'complex emergencies' I would have to say as a manager in humanitarian disasters its important to be aware of all sides to one topic and this book is a intersting read however some of its ideas are not main stream and should be read with a pintch of salt for lack of a better word! What i like about this book is that over all it highlights the bad sides as well as the good! overall its fine read well worth getting. just keep an open mind!

  • By Mousa alekresh on 29 November 2012

    The book helps clarify the complex nature of many emergencies in the developing world. Professor Keen, teaches a course with the same name at the London School of Economics. The book and the course are amazing. I would defiantly recommend it for anyone interested in the developing world.

  • By Buju on 10 February 2016

    Complex Emergencies provides an excellent overview for anyone who is seeking to enter the fields of international development and conflict resolution. I am still reading the book and enjoying it page by page

  • By Guest on 14 February 2016

    For all those who study civil war

  • By Guest on 17 May 2016


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