Ten years before the Soviet Union collapsed, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stood almost alone in predicting its demise. As the intelligence community and cold war analysts churned out statistics demonstrating the enduring strength of the Moscow regime, Moynihan, focusing on ethnic conflict, argued that the end was at hand. Now, with such conflict breaking out across the world, from Central Asia to South Central Los Angeles, he sets forth a general proposition: Far from vanishing, ethnicity has been and will be an elemental force in international politics.
Drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, the Senator provides in Pandaemonium a subtle, richly textured account of the process by which theory has grudgingly begun to adapt to reality. Moynihan--whose previous studies range over thirty years from Beyond the Melting Pot (with Nathan Glazer) to the much acclaimed On the Law of Nations--provides a deep historical look at ethnic conflict around the globe. He shows how the struggles that now absorb our attention have been going on for generations and explain much of modern history. Neither side in the cold war grasped this reality, he writes. Neither the liberal myth of the melting pot nor the Marxist fantasy of proletarian internationalism could account for ethnic conflict, and so the international system stumbled from one set of miscalculations to another.
Toward the close of World War I, Woodrow Wilson declared the "self-determination of peoples" to be an Allied goal for the peace. Toward the end of World War II, Josef Stalin inserted "self-determination of peoples" into Article I of the United Nations Charter, defining "The Purposes" of the new world organization. This process has been going on ever since. The first phase, the breaking up of empire, was relatively peaceful. The second phase, presaged by the 1947 partition of India, is certain to be far more troubled, as fifty to a hundred new countries emerge.
Moynihan argues, however, that a dark age of "ethnic cleansing" is not inevitable; that the dynamics of ethnic conflict can be understood, anticipated, moderated. Ethnic pride can be a source of dignity and of stability, if only its legitimacy is accepted. Moynihan writes in a learned, reflective voice: at times theoretical, but always in the end directed to issues of fierce immediacy. A splendid achievement, Pandaemonium begins the re-education of Western diplomacy.
`Should provoke much debate.'
San Francisco Chronicle
` The musings of a man as witty and erudite as Mr Moynihan contain many plums.'
`This is not a book with a single carefully woven argument; rather it is a series of sparky and frequently contradictory observations on ethnicity in international relations ... stimulating.'
New Statesman and Society
`Interesting and provocative.'
Wall Street Journal Europe
`Moynihan's essay is a witty polemic against the po-faced `realism' of American Cold War foreign policy ... a lucid guide to our confusions.'
Michael Ignatieff, The Observer
`In Pandaemonium, Daniel Patrick Moynihan has created a brilliant work of utmost importance. The spectre of violent ethnic conflict and the fractious breakup of nations haunts the contemporary world. Senator Moynihan has addressed the issue with a rare combination of skills and experience which include deep knowledge of relevant ethnic scholarship and analysis, a virtuoso command of the content of recent historical events, and personal
involvement at the highest levels of international diplomacy. This is assuredly a book no other living person could have written.'
Milton M. Gordon, Professor-Emeritus of Sociology, University of Massachusetts
`Today as much asDSperhaps even more thanDSever, ethnicity makes the world go 'round. And bleed. So, too, does careless talk about the `right' of `self-determination' when an armed ethnic group is the `self'. Because Moynihan has written this passionate essay, we have been warned.' George F. Will
'Moynihan displays erudition and a mastery of material.'
Kirkus Reviews, Feb '93
`an interesting and provocative perspective for debating these issues in Pandaemonium: Ethnicity and International Politics'
Wall Street Journal
' The splendid principle of self-determination. The musings of a man as witty and erudite as Mr Moynihan contain many plums.'
'A short, thought-provoking and densely written essay, Pandaemonium provides some welcome context for the confusion on the world stage at the moment.'
John Lorinc, The Globe & Mail (Toronto)
'few publications have offered a much-needed historical perspective ... In this far-ranging, data-packed study, Moynihan provides much of that sort of perspective ... provocative and informative.'
Daniel Newberry, Foreign Service Journal, May 1993
`He certainly knows how to put across his message with force and humour, and all international observers and practitioners should read this little book.'
`Moynihan's great achievement in Pandaemonium lies in his ability to lay bare the principle of self-determination in all of its tangled complexity and to argue persuasively for the formative role that it plays in shaping the character of international politics.'
Harvard International Review
'He is a talented collector of anecdotes and sayings ... no one else in the thick of U.S. government keeps on thinking and learning as much as Senator Moynihan. I do not know of a living American more admirable.'
Gerald Owen, The Toronto Star
`masterly reflections on ethnicity and its place in our intellectual and political life ... Though Moynihan has a master story-teller's eye for detail, a scholar's instinct for comparison, and a publicist's flare for delightful exaggeration, he writes wth considerable wisdom and insight that can come only after two decades of a distinguished academic career and another two decades of public life'
The Economic Times New Delhi
`anyone interested in the problems that such passions present to the contemporary state system will ... find his reflections informed, well-considered and timely ... Pandaemonium is a series of reflections and should be read as such ... this collection of essays reveals a certain singularity of personal conviction ... Pandaemonium offers lucid and stimulating reflections on a very important subject. Moynihan's
wide-ranging historical and theoretical overview of ethnicity in international politics is not only a timely introductory text but also a guide to further lines of academic inquiry'
'Despite the seemingly unsurmountable wealth of facts from both history and present times that show the Senator's dazzling knowledge and deep understanding of the topics, his work allows access to everybody who is concerned about the situation of our world.'
Dagmar Reimmann, Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 27.Jahrgang-1.Quartal 1994
`Pandaemonium is a little book about a big subject ...Its author is nearly as important as the subject. Daniel "Pat" Moynihan is the senior senator from the state of New York ... He is also street-wise and smart as hell.'
`this book is of particular interest today when each newscast brings horror stories of atrocities committed by one ethnic group against another. While he offers no solutions to ethnic strife, he enables the reader to think more clearly about the issue'
`This book is written in an easily comprehensible though intellectual style. Despite the seemingly unsurmountable wealth of facts from both history and present times that show the Senator's dazzling knowledge and deep understanding of the topics, his work allows access to everybody who is concerned about the situation of our world.'
US News and World Report
Ethnicity as a discipline; on the "self-determination" of peoples; national proletarian internationalism; before the fall; order in the age of chaos.