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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

1999, Vol. 2 No. 1 .


Challenging Boundaries: Global Flows, Territorial Identities
Edited by Michael J. Shapiro & Hayward R. Alker

(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996) Distributed by Taylor & Francis
493pp. Index. ISBN 0-8166-2698-7. Pb.: 14.95; 0-8166-2699-5.



Challenging Boundaries is a provocative collection of essays on contemporary international theory. The contributors argue that tradition models of International Relations Theory (i.e. Realism and Pluralism) have failed to explain in a convincing manner the state of the New World Order. Instead, they propose a series of wide-ranging theories concerned with national identities, cultural values and political expression. The challenging framework of this book has much to offer the discipline of International Relations and the study of ethnic conflict. In particular, the section of essays on 'Boundary Anxieties' provides a timely analysis of the growing regional and global instabilities that are putting pressure on the bordered world of states. The book succeeds admirably in presenting new theories for a better understanding of the post-Cold War world. It provides a useful complement to traditional theories of International Relations and should find a wide audience amongst critically-inclined scholars and their critics.


Ian Jackson,
Manchester Metropolitan University




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