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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

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The Post-Cold War Order: The Spoils of Peace
Ian Clark

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
276pp. Pb.: 15.99; ISBN 0-19-877633-0



Ian Clark has successfully created a template for understanding disparate views of order in the post Cold War environment. Unabashedly revealing paradoxes inherent to the discussion of order, war, and peacemaking, Clark illuminates the conceptual underpinnings of the topic. Although the contradictory opinions presented in the first section entitled ?Post Cold War Perspectives? can at times leave the reader disoriented, the maze of logic gives a broad and unbiased view of the discussions complexity. In this section, Clark explores the nature of order in the 20th Century and outlines both positive and negative perspectives of the Post-Cold War world. Clark then imbeds the discussion in the historical context of peacemaking, referring to the Congress of Vienna, the Treaty of Versailles, and the peace settlements of 1945. This compelling shift stets the stage for the two excellent segments that follow.

When one views the Post-Cold War order as a phase of peacemaking, asserts Clark, its analysis can be divided into the categories of ?The Distributive Peace?, and ?The Regulative Peace? which are outlined in the second and third sections respectively. Distributive Peace refers to the material and territorial settlements made over time between the victor and the vanquished. In this concentrated section, Clark clearly details the major distributive decisions and provides critique on weather the measures were voluntary or punitive. Clark?s well-organised account of the European settlement includes East Germany?s mobilisation for reunification, united Germany?s entry under the NATO umbrella, and the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact. Globalisation was also presented as substantially impacting economic peace and the Russian transition as well as international distribution. Central to the discussion was the actual dissolution of the USSR and how Russia?s internal dynamics led to the end of the Cold War. In its wake, Clark envisages a bilateral Russian-American relationship that began with armistice, led to a co-operative phase of peacemaking, and was followed by a more antagonistic and disillusioned phase that remains today.

In the last poignant section, ?The Regulative Peace?, the main subjects of commentary are multilateralism, the collectivisation of security, and the liberal rights order. Clark asserts that multilateralism pre-dates the Cold War and thus it should be seen as disconnected to the superpower rivalry, but presents competing views of weather one can unstick multilateralism from American power. Clark ensues by discussing the history of the collectivisation of security and its role in the Cold War and its aftermath, while juxtaposing this collectivisation with the dichotomous trend of economic privatisation. Clark then provides a theoretical review of the current liberal hallmark of the human rights regime, focusing on the interventions in Kuwait and Kosovo. Throughout this segment, Clark reveals economic and political undertones of the international order that can be used to understand other contemporary peace processes.

Clark allows the reader to view the Post-Cold War Order from different layers and various angles. By referring to a clearly presented historical backdrop and incorporating a kaleidoscope of views on the subject, Clark keeps the reader satisfied and stimulated. The Post-Cold War Order comes highly recommended.


Brooke E. Loder



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