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Conflict Prevention: Path to Peace or Grand Illusion?
Edited by David Carment and Albrecht Schnabel
UNU Series on Foundations of Peace

Conflict Prevention evaluates the institutional record on conflict prevention, identifies current trends in conflict prevention practice, and makes recommendations on improving organizational capacity. This volume brings together a diverse group of individuals involved in conflict prevention activities; scholars from developed and developing countries, and practitioners with insights on the work of regional organizations and the United Nations.

The first part of the book addresses the question: What is successful conflict prevention? The distinctive answers to this question reflect an understanding of conflict prevention that is both analytically rigorous and useful to practitioners. Conflict prevention can be understood as an important but understated element of statecraft and coercive diplomacy, as the physical presence of a deterrent force, or as a rehabilitative action taken to prevent the re-emergence of violence. Collectively, these interpretations point to the malleability of conflict prevention as a theory and as a policy.

Contributors to the second part of the volume reflect on how existing mechanisms and instruments for conflict prevention can be properly evaluated and improved. They focus on several institutions that are at the forefront of conflict prevention policy: the EU, the OSCE, and NATO. They further show how informational and analytical needs can be used to enhance the quality of conflict analysis and its policy relevance. Drawing on experiences in Africa and the Americas, Conflict Prevention concludes with reflections on the efforts and challenges of building regional capacity in the developing world.

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