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Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country (Crises in World Politics) Paperback – 8 Jun 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (8 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1850659672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1850659679
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 2.1 x 14.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 773,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'According to this marvelous new study, Talking to Terrorists... there are serious reasons to doubt that the model of conflict resolution relied on here is an accurate account of what actually happened in Northern Ireland.' ----The Weekly Standard

'This provocative book is a useful corrective to recent work on terrorism and conflict resolution. I believe it should be read by policymakers and practitioners, many of whom continue to be blinded by the apparent success of the Northern Ireland peace process and will benefit from the powerful counterarguments.' ----Stephen Hopkins, University of Leicester

About the Author

John Bew is Lecturer in Modern British History, Harris Fellow and Director of Studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Martyn Frampton is a Research Fellow, also at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and an expert on the Irish republican movement. Inigo Gurruchaga is the London correspondent for the Basque daily, El Correo.

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Format: Paperback
The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan (and, for a while, Iraq) has seen the publication of a wide range of books attempting to answer the question: 'how do we end this war'. 'Talking to Terrorists' is, tangentially, one of the most interesting of these books, offering a detailed account from Northern Ireland and the Basque experience. It isn't directly tied into Afghanistan or any other conflicts, but that is one of the book's strengths. I only hope that when someone one day writes a book about the peace process in Afghanistan it is half as thorough as this book.

The book does caution against drawing parallels between different circumstances -- everything is local, after all -- but the fact that even a brief read in the book will remind you of what is happening with international policy towards the Taliban at the moment is an indicator that there are at least lessons to be learnt here: ending political stalemate in the greater Kandahar area at the moment should be the single priority of any efforts to find `a solution', but doing so from a point of strategic bankruptcy will inevitably be to the detriment of everyone's long-term future.

As such, 'Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country' is an absolute must-read for policy-makers who see a future (or an end-game) in the possibility of some sort of negotiated settlement with the Taliban.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book, but it seems obvious that the author comes down heavily on the British side of the Northern Ireland conflict. Still, gives a good political (not military) history of the events. Basque section isn't as detailed as the NI section. The comparisons section is a little meh and superficial.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of magic formulas 30 Jan. 2010
By Thomas Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The authors do their best to explode the recent myth that negotiating with terrorists is a magic solution to political problems. They do this by reviewing the history of interaction between the British government and the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland from 1975 through the Good Friday Agreement and Basque terrorists in Spain. Their prosaic conclusion is that negotiations with terrorists only work when the situation is ripe for the terrorists to deal--usually after they have been sufficiently frustrated in achieving their ends. Negotiating or even talking to terrorists before then can actually be counterproductive and strengthen their resolve. I didn't read the portion dealing with the ETA. The authors include the son of one of Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble's closest advisors, a Spanish journalist who also worked in Northern Ireland, and a third specialist on terrorism.
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