A Contemporary Record
Ali Ahmed
ARMED CONFLICTS IN SOUTH ASIA 2011: THE PROMISE AND THREAT OF TRANSFORMATION by D. Suba Chandran Routledge, New Delhi, 2012, 2012, 297 pp., 795
October 2012, volume 36, No 10

The book under review is the fifth Annual Report on Armed Conflicts in South Asia brought out by the think tank, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi. The Institute’s idea and practice of taking out annual reports is laudable. Over a period of time, these can serve as a reliable contemporary record, besides being useful for students, academics, policy makers and practitioners over the immediate term. The previous editions have been welcomed, no doubt prompting and enabling continuing of the series.

It is perhaps in genuflecting to peace studies that the editors have chosen to include the term ‘Transformation’ in the subtitle. Suba Chandran details why this has been done in his leading chapter in the second part of the book (pp. 137-38) in referring to the concept of some significance for peace studies. He goes on to say that his contribution ‘focuses on negative conflict transformation and conflict decay’ (p. 138).

This goes against the grain of the definition from the Berghof Handbook he reproduces while launching into his chapter: ‘actions that seek to alter the various characteristics and manifestations of conflict by addressing its root causes over the long-term, with the aim to transform negative ways of dealing with conflict into positive, constructive ones.’

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