In This Review

Elusive Peace: Negotiating an End to Civil Wars
Elusive Peace: Negotiating an End to Civil Wars
Edited by I. William Zartman
Brookings, 1995, 353 pp

A workmanlike effort, this book seeks to explain why civil wars, now the dominant form of conflict, are so hard to resolve. As in many efforts of this type, the book's real interest lies in the case studies of individual conflicts in Sri Lanka, Spain, Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, South Africa, and so on; here they are, by and large, informative. The general conclusions point to the asymmetry of power and objectives as a major reason for the intractability of civil wars. The collection lays out a descriptive taxonomy but provides no startling insights as to how such conflicts ought to be resolved.