This section includes book notes of 150-300 words as well as some book reviews of 600-900 words on books of particular interest to the members of our group. If you have either suggestions for books you would like to review or see reviewed (including recent books of your own), please contact Nigel Copsey of the University of Teesside (UK).
Book Notes Bruno Coppieters et al Europeanization and Conflict Resolution, Ghent: Academia Press, 2004, 258 pp., EUR 8.50, ISBN: 9-038-20648-8 (pbk). Reviewed by Christopher Hewitt (University of Maryland)
This is a study of four unresolved secession crises on the periphery of the European Union, and how Europeanization could mitigate and help to defuse the conflicts. The cases chosen for analysis are Cyprus, Serbia and Montenegro, Georgia-Abkhazia, and Moldova-Transnistria. The authors deliberately exclude secessionist movements within EU member states, and note that including other secessionist conflicts such as Chechnya, Kosovo, and Nagorno-Karabakh might have revealed additional interesting features. "Europeanization" is understood as a process that links the final outcome to some degree of integration of the opposing actors into the European Union. It has a number of dimensions; the EU may serve as a framework, and as an actor. By insisting that in order to gain access to the EU, the conflicting parties must modify their positions, the EU can encourage a compromise solution. Through social learning, it is hoped that "European values" will become manifested within those societies who aspire to closer links with the EU. As a thoughtful and sophisticated analysis of several important ethnic-secessionist conflicts and a history of attempted solutions to these conflicts, this is an excellent book. However, the overall impression that it leaves is one of pessimism, since none of the conflicts are in any sense resolved. According to the introductory essay we live in a "post-national" world, in which Europeanization is "based on [both] universal values and the acceptance of the principle of multiculturalism." Yet these secessionist cases clearly show how strong are the forces fostering ethnic communalism and nationalism, and how difficult it is to resolve ethno-nationalist conflicts.
Steffen Kailitz, Politischer Extremismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag f端r Sozialwissenschaften, 2004, 259 pp., EUR 19.90,ISBN: 3-531-14193-7 (pbk).