Global Geopolitical Flashpoints: An Atlas of Conflict

 
9780117026568: Global Geopolitical Flashpoints: An Atlas of Conflict

This resource describes more than 120 major flashpoints--current and potential conflicts from around the world. The work analyzes each situation, its issues, and present status, and includes specially commissioned maps and extensive bibliographies to aid understanding. Also includes 125 maps.

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From Booklist:

A flashpoint is defined here as a "current, dormant, or potential" area of geopolitical instability. It is a place where the interplay of geography and politics gives rise to chronic instability that, in most cases, exerts an influence well beyond local borders. Because they appear daily in the front-page headlines we scan with our morning coffee, some of the names are all too familiar: Columbia, Croatia, Eritrea, Kurdistan, Palestine, and Sudan. Others, though usually relegated to less-prominent pages, may gain front-page status overnight: Ceuta, Epirus, The Hawar Islands, Mururoa Atoll, and Suriname.The three- to four-page entry for each of 123 flashpoints is handily arranged in three uniform sections: "Situation," "Issue," and "Status." The "Situation" section pinpoints the geographic position of the area, describes its physical relationship to the areas that surround it, and informs the reader as to why it is a flashpoint. The "Issue" section explains the historical context of the area and identifies the current political forces that keep it at the boiling point. The "Status" section succinctly describes what effect flashpoint status is having on the inhabitants of the region and makes some cautious predictions as to what is likely to happen next. Accompanying the text are a detailed black-and-white map of the flashpoint, a locator map, and a short reading list.The entry for Colombia is typical of what readers will find. Information is given on its land area, population, size relative to other Latin American nations, topography, and political structure. The key issue Colombia faces today is identified as "the maintenance and development of a democratic state in the face of a rising tide of violence." Its 20-year history of civil war is outlined, as is the relationship between this instability and the drug cartels. Finally, there is analysis of how the situation in Colombia will continue to influence U.S. drug policy, the lives of Colombians, and the security of its neighbors.There are two added features that make the volume especially useful. The first is a world map that pinpoints each flashpoint and tags it with the corresponding number for its entry in the text. The second is a list of more than 150 abbreviations and acronyms, the ones all good reference librarians know they ought to remember but frequently can't, such as UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees).This source will be a welcome and worthwhile addition to collections that support both general current events research and political science programs. Depending on the focus of a particular library's information service, it may deserve to be part of the ready-reference collection. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review:

"This title is suitable for the reference collections of all public and academic libraries."
-"American Reference Books Annual

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