Civil war(s) November 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Intriguing book review in History Ireland this last month by Eoin Dillon of Bill Kissane’s Nations Torn Asunder – The Challenge of Civil War.
In it he writes that:
According to Kissane… scholarly interest in civil war now outstrips that in revolution and inter-state war. Wars that may be classified under the rubric of civil, internal or new – a paradoxically globalised form of civil war are likely to predominate over big inter-state wars of rate foreseeable future, thus ensuring no fall off in interest.
Just to be clear Kissane’s definition as describe by Dillon is as follows:
1) At the opening rivals are subject to a common authority
2) both sides are highly organised militarily
3) there is a de facto territorial division between the two sides.
Casting one’s mind over our own civil war all three conditions held for at least some of the conflict. Can a civil war exist absent that? And what does it become? For example, was the conflict in the North a civil war or something different? And Dillon asks useful questions..
Ultimately civil wars are fought to win control of a state or to exit from the control of one state to form another. This puts the state at the centre of any understanding of what civil war is. But what is a state?
Is that another discussion entirely?