Good Fences, Bad Neighbors: Border Fixity and International Conflict

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Feb 1, 2012 - Political Science - 292 pages
0 Reviews

Border fixity—the proscription of foreign conquest and the annexation of homeland territory—has, since World War II, become a powerful norm in world politics. This development has been said to increase stability and peace in international relations. Yet, in a world in which it is unacceptable to challenge international borders by force, sociopolitically weak states remain a significant source of widespread conflict, war, and instability.

In this book, Boaz Atzili argues that the process of state building has long been influenced by external territorial pressures and competition, with the absence of border fixity contributing to the evolution of strong states—and its presence to the survival of weak ones. What results from this norm, he argues, are conditions that make internal conflict and the spillover of interstate war more likely. Using a comparison of historical and contemporary case studies, Atzili sheds light on the relationship between state weakness and conflict. His argument that under some circumstances an international norm that was established to preserve the peace may actually create conditions that are ripe for war is sure to generate debate and shed light on the dynamics of continuing conflict in the twenty-first century.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Theory and Practice of Borders
10
2 Which Wars Make the State and Which States Make War
31
Making the Case for Comparison
57
BrandenburgPrussia Argentina and PolandLithuania
73
Lebanon Congo and Israel
118
6 State Weakness and International Conflict in a FixedBorders World
163
7 Conclusions
194
Notes
223
Bibliography
263
Index
281
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Boaz Atzili is assistant professor in the School of International Service, American University.

Bibliographic information