Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security
DescriptionWorlds Apart tells of a well-meaning foreign policy establishment often deaf to the voices of everyday people. Its focus is the Bosnian War, but its implications extend to any situation that prompts the consideration of military intervention on humanitarian grounds. Ambassador Swanee Hunt served in Vienna during the Bosnian War and was intimately involved in American policy toward the Balkans. During her tenure as ambassador and after, she made scores of trips throughout Bosnia and the rest of the former Yugoslavia, attempting to understand the costly delays in foreign military intervention. To that end, she had hundreds of conversations with a wide range of politicians, refugees, journalists, farmers, clergy, aid workers, diplomats, soldiers, and others. In Worlds Apart, Hunt's eighty vignettes alternate between the people living out the war and "the internationals" deciding whether or how to intervene. From these stories, most of which she witnessed firsthand, she draws six lessons applicable to current conflicts throughout the world. These lessons cannot be learned from afar, Hunt says, with insiders and outsiders working apart. Only by bridging those worlds can we build a stronger paradigm of inclusive international security.
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About the Author
Swanee Hunt chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security. During her tenure as US ambassador to Austria (1993-97), she hosted negotiations and symposia focused on securing the peace in the neighboring Balkan states. She is a member of the US Council on Foreign Relations, the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the president of Hunt Alternatives Fund. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, and she has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the International Herald Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She is the author of Half-Life of a Zealot and This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, both also published by Duke University Press.
"Good research. Brilliant analysis. Important book. These lessons about global security are especially urgent in light of today's headlines."--Dan Rather, internationally acclaimed veteran newscaster
"Swanee Hunt has written an intelligent, insightful, and highly readable account of the Bosnia conflict and America's response to it. She brings to her analysis the passion appropriate to a firsthand account, together with a critical and sophisticated appreciation for the larger political context. Those interested in lessons important to future policy will not be disappointed. The book is an important addition to the literature on Bosnia, and on the continuing debate over appropriate circumstances for military intervention for humanitarian purposes."--Ambassador Robert Gallucci, former Dean, Georgetown School of Foreign Service
"The slaughter in Bosnia in the 1990s still haunts policymakers everywhere. With Worlds Apart, Swanee Hunt brings us all into the room alongside the decision makers at the center of an international crisis, and she simultaneously draws important lessons from those events for the resolution of future conflicts. It's a compelling read for anyone motivated to learn those larger lessons from a tragedy that tested the will of the free world."--Senator John Kerry, Chair, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
"Worlds Apart reminds the reader how difficult and yet imperative is individual and collective action in the face of moral collapse. . . . . It took over a decade for Swanee Hunt to distill and to write the experiences from Bosnia. That history and its lessons remain eerily relevant today."
--Joanne Leedom-Ackerman "Christian Science Monitor"
"[T]he book is an absorbing read. . . . [G]eneral readers, students and activists will find much of value in a book that is more accessible than most academic works on the conflict. Academics and regional experts may not find much new material, but there are enough details and conversations with senior politicians to warrant reading it purely for the insight it offers into diplomatic and political life of the 1990s. . . ."--Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik "Times Higher Education"
"Ambassador Hunt has long championed a greater and more substantive role for women in political and civil life and this book is rich with illustrations why that cause is both worthy today and should have been employed much earlier in the Balkan unraveling that led to the wars over Bosnia and Kosovo. . . . Whether the reader may agree with Swanee Hunt's opinions on Bosnia or not, one can come away from this book with some useful lessons to apply to areas of conflict generally."--William P. Kiehl "American Diplomacy"
"Part apology, part cri de coer, [Hunt's] book culminates in a catalog of specific lessons applicable to much more than the Bosnian experience. she advises potential intervenors to 'test truisms' and to locate allies and partners within the local community rather than rely on outsiders who reside in the Pentagon or in sanctuaries protected by sandbags and concrete barriers."-- "Foreign Affairs"