born in 1951, is professor of political science at Berlin’s Humboldt University and is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. Several of his books have become bestsellers and standard works in their respective fields, including The New Wars (2002), and The Myths of the Germans (2009), the latter winning the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.
Fragments of War
While the two world wars indelibly shaped the global political landscape, the very nature of war has since changed. Herfried Munkler traces this evolution from cultural and political perspectives, noting that the disappearance of empires has fostered many smaller, open-ended conflicts. The partial collapse of order in parts of the Middle East, for example, originates in the power vacuum left by the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. The combatants in these conflicts are fielded not in large armies but in small groups; probably the variety of fighter most feared today is the terrorist acting alone. And geopolitical fault lines no longer run along physical borders, but along boundaries between competing value systems, such as those between demagoguery and enlightenment, rich and poor, or between digital privacy and data surveillance in the cyberwars of the future. Munkler argues for a real, coherent geopolitical strategy on the part of the West and analyses new, modern forms of violence and conflict.