Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution

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Syracuse University Press, 2010 - History - 319 pages
"The Western Sahara is one of the world's last vestiges of colonialism. In this thoughtful and impressive analysis, Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy provide valuable insights on the importance of enabling the people of the Western Sahara to determine their own future through a democratic referendum:'¨the late senator Edward Kennedy

"This book is a timely and scholarly synthesis presented with clarity and comprehension. Backed by their fieldwork, the authors consider Western Sahara's irresolution as a consequence of not only competing nationalisms (and interfering actors), but also of conflicting imaginations of polity and society"¨Phillip Naylor, author of France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation

"A well researched, well written, and all encompassing book on one of the most intractable, but for the most part forgotten conflicts of our times:'¨Anna Theofilopoulou, special advisor to UN Secretary-General's personal envoy to Western Sahara James Baker

"Jacob Mundy and Stephen Zunes have done a great service in putting together this book, the most comprehensive coverage of the Western Sahara conflict in the English language in a quarter-century:'¨George McGovern, from the Foreword

The Western Sahara Conflict has proven to be one of the most protracted struggles facing the international community. Pitting local Sahrawi nationalism against Moroccan territorial ambitions, the dispute is further complicated by regional tensions with Algeria and the geostrategic concerns of major global players, including the United States, France, and the territory's former colonial ruler, Spain. For over twenty years, the UN Security Council has failed to find a formula that delicately balances these international interests against Western Sahara's long-denied right to a self-determination referendum as Africa's last UN-recognized colony.

In this first comprehensive treatment of the conflict in over two decades, Zunes and Mundy examine the origins, evolution, and resilience of the Western Sahara dispute, deploying a diverse array of sources and firsthand knowledge of the region gained from multiple research visits. Shifting geographical frames¨local, regional, and international¨provide for a robust analysis of the stakes involved.

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About the author (2010)

Stephen Zunes is professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He serves as a senior analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies.
Jacob Mundy is a doctoral candidate at the University of Exeter's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, and author of several book chapters and articles on North African politics. He is Amnesty USA's Country Specialist for Morocco and Western Sahara, and served as a consulting external analyst for the International Crisis Group for the Western Sahara conflict.

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