DIVIDED NATIONS IN A DIVIDED WORLD by

DIVIDED NATIONS IN A DIVIDED WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Comparative case studies of politically divided or partitioned nations including Germany, China, Korea, India-Pakistan, Ireland, Mongolia and Vietnam by a group of scholars convened under the aegis of the Institute on the United Nations, City University of New York. Despite the wealth of historical material and shrewd political analysis in the individual essays dealing with the causes and conditions of partition and its repercussions on the politics, economy and ""identity"" of the splinter states, the overall conclusions of the editors are banal. Methodologically they opt for limp behavioralism claiming that ""the cement holding social systems together is psychological"" and ""group dynamics"" the key to comprehending the political vagaries of each severed unit. They propose a four-stage paradigm of partition: immediately after the division the successor states (viz. the two Germanys and Koreas) are bitter rivals; each claims to be the true representative of the people; they compete for diplomatic recognition, undergo extreme ideological polarization, practice mutual nonrecognition and attempt to subvert or militarily extinguish each other. Time passes. Stage II brings (assuming the political and economic viability of both halves) an easing of tensions with economic development acting as an incentive to a detente. Gradually cooperation in trade, tourism, etc. begins. Carried far enough this becomes ""Rapprochement,"" Stage III. Stage IV is reunification with federation as a likely first step. But, alas, ""No Data"" . . . it hasn't happened yet. (Ireland vividly shows how quickly the cooperation of Stages II and III can be reversed.) It's a theoretical model of sorts, dear to the hearts of political scientists, in each instance complicated by problems of minorities, refugees, ethnic and/or religious cleavage or simply the current state of U.S.-Soviet relations. Ponderous, and essentially unenlightening.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: McKay