chapter  1
29 Pages

The Shape of the Past: How We Got Here

The structure of violence was more like interstate war than civil war, in the sense that the calculus of positive appeal to a common center of gravity was almost entirely missing. What they saw is a relatively benign security environment, where outbreaks of organized violence are relatively infrequent and becoming more infrequent and where most of it occurs outside the mainstream of international relations. The major forms of conflict in the contemporary period are the chaotic new internal wars raging mostly in areas outside the growing prosperity of the globalizing economy. As the cold war wound down and the paralysis of the UN Security Council veto disappeared, the world body became the agency of choice to deal with the world's problems, including those associated with the spate of internal violence.