Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thank You, Comrade Putin

It looks like I am going to owe Vladimir Putin a debt.  How so?  My co-author, Bill Ayres, and I just signed a contract with Columbia University Press to write a new introduction to a paperback version of the 2008 For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War.  In that book, we sought to explain the irredentism (the efforts by countries to annex "lost" kin in neighboring territories) that did and did not occur in the 1990s.

Well, Russia was in the "did not" category in the 1990s and is now in the "did" category since then--clearly with Crimea, less clearly with hunks of Georgia.  Of the cases we focused on most clearly, Russia is the one that went from silent dog to barking dog.  Romania?  Had some nationalist dynamics but no real effort to reclaim Moldova.  Hungary?  Has become authoritarian with increased nationalism and moving beyond the optimally obnoxious stage.  Armenia has kept its hunks of Azerbaijan.  Croatian and Serbian irredentism remain quelled by external intervention.  Whether their democratization also reduces their bad neighborly ways is something we have to think about.

Anyhow, our goal is to finish our side of this soon with the aim for a new paperback edition of For Kin or Country by sometime in 2015.  Look for it online (either the paperback or e-book) soon-ish.

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