■ Porter, Elisabeth; Gillian Robinson, Marie Smyth, Albrecht Schnabel & Eghosa Osaghae, eds, 2005. Researching Conflict in Africa: Insights and Experiences. Hong Kong: United Nations University Press. 184 pp. ISBN 9280811193

AuthorJørgen Carling
DOI10.1177/00223433080450010811
Published date01 January 2008
Date01 January 2008
Subject MatterArticles
peaceful conflict management. He strongly rejects
the assumptions of simple rational actor models,
that people have fixed, purely self-interested and
material goals. However, he acknowledges that
sometimes people’s contradictory preferences are
diff icult to change, and then bargaining (between
rational, opposing actors) becomes necessary to
avoid conflicts turning violent. He applies his
theory to analyses of the issues of land reform and
climate change in more depth. These short analyses
may give ideas about how theories can be sharpened
and hypotheses tested in this neglected research
field. The book is interesting not only because it
attempts to break new ground in theorizing about
social change, conflict and violence. It also summar-
izes well a great amount of theoretical and empir-
ical conflict research.
Helge Holtermann
Moghalu, Kingsley C., 2005. Rwanda’s
Genocide: The Politics of Global Justice. Palgrave
Macmillan. 252 pp. ISBN 1403970815.
Moghalu gives an eloquent overview of the histor-
ical hinterland of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
(Chapter 1), and the political processes that led to
the establishment of the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR)
(Chapter 2). In Chapter 3, Moghalu describes the
Tribunal as an international institution of criminal
justice, and in Chapter 4, he examines some of the
Tribunal’s main trials and decisions. These chap-
ters represent very useful descriptive analysis, fully
accessible to non-lawyers. Moghalu is a long-term
spokesman of the ICTR and a frequent visitor to
UNHQ in New York. His book has interesting
factual detail, but I would have liked to read his
full memoirs of his ICTR experience. He could
have drawn more extensively on his unique experi-
ence as an insider, while still respecting his pro-
fessional obligations of confidentiality. Instead,
Moghalu tries to square his story with the theme
‘politics of global justice’. It is not so clear where
he wants to go with this. International courts are
born of political processes and exist in intensely
political environments. Normally, only a small
number of war criminals can be selected for inves-
tigation and prosecution, which allows for very
broad exercise of discretion. Moghalu’s develop-
ment of these topics in the specific context of the
ICTR necessarily becomes fact-sensitive, exposing
the book to possible challenges of soft facts. In
Chapter 6, for example, he seems to miss a critical
set of facts involving key members of Del Ponte’s
Off ice in The Hague and a permanent member of
the Security Council, thus giving only a partial
account of the non-renewal of Del Ponte’s ICTR
mandate. But this should not make Moghalu’s
book less interesting for eager students of the
emerging system of international criminal justice.
Morten Bergsmo
Pappe, Ilan, 2006. The Ethnic Cleansing of
Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld. 320 pp. ISBN
1851685553.
That the Palestine war(s) of 1948 created a wave
of Palestinian refugees (ca. 750,000) is an undis-
puted fact. But who bears responsibility for the
exodus? The original explanation was that the
Arab states had called on the Palestinians to flee so
that they would not be in the way of the Arab inva-
sion of Israel. Such calls were never issued. In the
late 1980s, new explanations took over. Michael
Palumbo called it an ‘expulsion’ (1987), blaming
the Israelis. Then Benny Morris wrote the main
work on the issue, the one that has held the mantle
ever since, claiming that the war itself was to
blame – The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Pro-
blem (1988). That the Palestinians fled during the
war was, concludes Morris, considered a convenient
side-effect, but it was not masterminded. Later
research has, however, added more and more evi-
dence to the ‘expulsion’ theory. Ilan Pappe’s The
Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine could easily have been
the clincher. Pappe’s research, combined with
earlier studies, should have been enough to break
the greatest of taboos concerning the 1948 war. As
such, it does not do the job. The problem is not
the evidence – this is adequate – but the argument.
Rather than saying that one aspect of the various
war plans was to expel the Palestinian inhabitants,
Pappe claims that the reason for the war was the
preplanned expulsion. To most readers, this flip-
sided argument is absurd. Pappe’s book is still a
good read, providing both the expert and average
reader with new facts presented clearly. By turning
the argument on its head, Pappe risks turning a
clear argument into a conspiracy theory. This is
unfortunate.
Jørgen Jensehaugen
Porter, Elisabeth; Gillian Robinson, Marie
Smyth, Albrecht Schnabel & Eghosa Osaghae,
eds, 2005. Researching Conflict in Africa: Insights
and Experiences. Hong Kong: United Nations
University Press. 184 pp. ISBN 9280811193.
This edited volume is based on papers presented
at a workshop on ethical and methodological
journal of PEACE RESEARCH volume 45 / number 1 / january 2008
124
Book Notes_JPR_121-126.qxd 12/14/2007 2:41 PM Page 124

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