Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Apocalypse Observed is about religious violence. By analyzing five of the most notorious cults of recent years, the authors present a fascinating and revealing account of religious sects and conflict. Cults covered include:
* the apocalypse at Jonestown * the Branch Davidians at Waco * the violent path of Aum Shinrikyo * the mystical apocalypse of the Solar Temple * the mass suicide of Heaven’s Gate.
Through comparative case studies and in-depth analysis, the authors show how religious violence can erupt not simply from the beliefs of the cult followers or the personalities of their leaders, but also from the way in which society responds to the cults in its midst.
Book by  John R. Hall, Philip D. Schuyler and Sylvaine Trinh
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This book, authored by a multi-national team, draws a complicated, yet logically evolving picture of the problems in the security sector reform field of South-East Europe, examining the post-totalitarian and post-conflict challenges to be faced.

Review

Aus den Rezensionen: “Das Niveau der zivil-militärischen Beziehungen ist … für einen demokratischen Rechtsstaat bedeutend … Die Staaten in Südosteuropa im Allgemeinen und die Staaten am Westbalkan im Besonderen waren und sind diesbezüglich mit speziellen Herausforderungen konfrontiert, daher wird im vorliegenden Sammelwerk genau diese hoch aktuelle Problematik im geopolitisch sensiblen Raum behandelt. Das Sammelwerk … beinhaltet Beiträge von fünfzehn Autoren aus elf Staaten … Zusammenfassend sei … anzumerken, dass die einzelnen Beiträge trotz unterschiedlicher Schwerpunkte einen guten Überblick über den Entwicklungsstand der zivilmilitärischen Beziehungen im jeweiligen Land darstellen” (Rastislav Báchora, in: Der Donauraum, 2006, Issue 3-4, S. 279 f.)

From the Back Cover

It is notorious that the evolution of civil-military relations and the security sector reform in South East Europe has to deal with post-totalitarian and post-conflict challenges. The book treats these issues also in the context of the adaptation to fighting terrorism and the need to be effective in this struggle while continuing the democratic reforms in the individual countries. A team of authors from all South East European states, Western Europe and North America draws the complicated, yet logically evolving picture of the problems in the security sector reform field of the region and proves the validity of the particular research area. The comprehensive study concludes there is a rising maturity of the security sector in the region, but also a variety of uncompleted tasks.
Book by Philipp H. Fluri (Editor), Gustav E. Gustenau (Editor), Plamen I. Pantey (Editor)

The Balkans—the gateway between East and West—are also Europe’s soft underbelly, a rough neighborhood where organized crime and terrorism present a constant threat. This eye-opening book details how 15 years of misguided Western interventions, political scheming, and local mafia appeasement, compounded by a massive infusion of Arab cash, fundamentalist Islamic preaching and mosque-building have allowed radical Islamic groups to fill in the cracks between internal ethnic and religious schisms and take root in key areas of the Balkans.

With all eyes currently focused on the widening conflict in the Middle East and the terrorist threat coming from the region, the West is in danger of overlooking a potent new battleground in the greater war on terror—the Balkans. This historically volatile region saw some of the worst violence of the late 20th century in the Yugoslav Wars of Secession. During these conflicts, stunningly shortsighted and politically motivated policies of the United States and its allies directly allowed Islamic mujahedin and terrorist-related entities to establish a foothold in the region—just as with the progenitors of the Taliban a decade earlier in Afghanistan.

Although the 9/11 attacks caused a partial reassessment of Western policy, it may already be too late for a region still largely ignored. The proliferation of foreign fundamentalist groups has had a cancerous effect on traditional Balkan Islamic communities, challenging their legitimacy in unprecedented and often violent ways. Well-funded groups like the Saudi-backed Wahabbis continue to exploit internal schisms within local communities, while the international administrations in Bosnia and Kosovo have actually strengthened the grip of local mafia groups—business partners of terrorists. Worst of all, the Western peacekeepers’ chronic don’t rock the boat mentality has allowed extremist groups to operate unchallenged. Nevertheless, regional demographic and cultural trends, coinciding with an increasingly hostile attitude in the larger Muslim world over Western military actions and perceived symbolic provocations, indicate that the lawless Balkans will become increasingly valuable as a strategic base for Islamic radicals over the next two decades. Utilizing the post-al-Qaeda tactics of a decentralized jihad carried out through small, independent cells (leaderless resistance) while seeking to fundamentally and violently remold Muslim societies, such Balkan-based extremists pose a unique and tangible threat to Western security.

Book by Christopher Deliso

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0275995259/themauduitgroupA/

This important book examines why terrorism prevails in the otherwise stable and advanced democracies of Western Europe and why some countries have been more severely hit than others. Whilst Western Europe today seems relatively peaceful, some countries in this region have, in fact, experienced significantly high levels of terrorism for decades. Moreover, the threat has not only come from international terrorists operating in Europe but as a result of internal conflicts which have produced terrorist campaigns conducted by groups originating in the countries themselves. The author maps the trends in internal terrorism in eighteen Western European countries since 1950 and explains those trends, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective. It uses a unique data set called TWEED, which covers around 9000 terrorist attacks and records the activities of about 200 terrorist groups over the post-war period.
Book by Ian Oskar Eugene
This volume traces the developments in the laws and practices of the European Union and five of its Member States (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Italy) at two points in time: first, at the time of the Gulf War following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 2000; secondly, following the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001. The focus is on the legal status of immigrants and asylum seekers and how that legal status is being modified on grounds of security-related measures adopted over a period of about ten years. Particularly, the question is whether and how far situations have come into existence, which could be considered to be in conflict with fundamental principles of human rights.
 Anneliese Baldaccini is a Committee Specialist for the House of Lords European Union Committee. She was previously Human Rights Legal Officer for JUSTICE, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists, working on UK and EU asylum law and policy. She is the author of Asylum Support: a practitioners’ guide to the EU Reception Directive (Justice, 2005), and of various reports and articles in the field of asylum, immigration and non-discrimination. Elspeth Guild is Professor of European Immigration Law at the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, and also a partner at the London law firm Kingsley Napley. She is the author of a number of books on the development of citizenship, immigration and asylum law at the European and national levels. She lectures widely in Europe on the subject.
Book by Elspeth Guild (Editor), Anneliese Baldaccini (Editor)

As the French Presidential elections clearly demonstrated in the Spring of 2002, the popularity of far right parties is gaining ever more strength. From the National Front in France to the British National Party, anti-immigration, anti-European Union platforms are winning more voters. The numbers alone are striking: the National Front in France received nearly eighteen percent of the nationwide vote in 2002 Presidential run-off between Chirac and Le Pen; the Swiss People’s Party received 23 percent of the popular vote in a 1999 election; and Jorg Haider’s Austrian Freedom Party moved from near collapse to second place in the 1999 election. The essays in Shadows Over Europe explore this growing presence of extreme right political parties in governments throughout Europe. These parties can no longer be dismissed as anomalous or temporary. It is clear that they have established an enduring presence in European politics. The contributors to this volume explore the origins of this trend, why they have gained such support, and where these parties might be headed. They explore the policy orientations of these parties and their role in electoral politics across the continent. Together, these essays provide a significant contribution toward understanding the rise and impact of the far right in Europe.

Book by Martin Schai (Editor), Aristide Zolberg (Editor), Patrick Hossa (Editor)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0312295936/themauduitgroupA/

Over the last 30 years several western European nations have faced protracted low-intensity conflicts. A key aspect in the state’s response to such political violence is through the prison system, yet this is an area that up to now has only been of peripheral interest to scholars. This book is a study of the role that prison can play in the reduction of terrorism. It examines the experiences of three western Europe jurisdictions: North Ireland, Italy and the Spanish Basque Country. It looks at the role of the prisons both as tools for counter-insurgency and as part of a process of conflict resolution. The book also takes a detailed look at each jurisdiction and then compares the experience of the three conflicts.

Book by Michael von Tangen Page

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0312216556/themauduitgroupA/