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  • Published: 6 January 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241988404
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

How Civil Wars Start




Civil wars are the biggest danger to world peace today - this book shows us why they happen, and how to avoid them.

Most of us don't know it, but we are living in the world's greatest era of civil wars. While violence has declined worldwide, civil wars have increased.

Since 1946, over 250 armed conflicts have broken out around the world, a number that continues to rise. Major civil wars are now being fought in countries including Iraq, Syria and Libya. Smaller civil wars are being fought in Ukraine, India, and Malaysia. Even countries we thought could never experience another civil war - such as the USA, Sweden and Ireland - are showing signs of unrest.

In How Civil Wars Start, acclaimed expert Barbara F. Walter, who has advised on political violence everywhere from the CIA to the U.S. Senate to the United Nations, explains the rise of civil war and the conditions that create it. As democracies across the world backslide and citizens become more polarised, civil wars will become even more widespread and last longer than they have in the past. This urgent and important book shows us a path back toward peace.

  • Published: 6 January 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241988404
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Praise for How Civil Wars Start

'A vivid, compelling book on a globally vital issue. Timely, important and original'

Professor Richard English, author of Does Terrorism Work? A History

'When one of the world's leading scholars of civil war tells us that the West stands at the brink of violent conflict, we should pay attention. Drawing on her deep understanding of the causes of intra-state violence in places like Myanmar, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Yugoslavia, Barbara Walter argues, chillingly, that many of the conditions that commonly precede civil wars are present today in Western democracies such as the US, UK and Belgium. This is an important book'

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of How Democracies Die

'How Civil Wars Start is a stop sign for us. What an imperative book for our time. Read and act'

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

'We have all now witnessed the death of the idea of American Exceptionalism. We are in the same boat as everyone else. What do we do? Barbara Walter shows the way. Polemical and essential'

James A. Robinson, co-author of Why Nations Fail

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