DOI link for Introduction
At the doorstep to the third millennium, political violence and wars are still threatening and killing people in numerous countries. This fact serves as the most obvious justification for our critical and systematic analysis of the major trends and patterns of political conflict over the second half of the twentieth century. The underlying and crucial question for such an endeavor is old and still unchanged: How can people organize and maintain peaceful relations among and within modernizing pluralistic societies? Our underlying assumption is that in and among societies, where this question is not properly addressed and answered, the risk of violent conflicts will not diminish. Whereas many Western, Latin American and Asian states have successfully managed to build a modem nation state, other countries are still struggling along the dangerous road from traditional societal structures to political, economic and cultural modernization.