The Conflict in Comparative Perspective

  • Oliver Ramsbotham
Part of the St Antony’s book series


Any attempt to interpret interpretations of great events confronts the difficulty of distinguishing event from interpretation — in this case the Gulf Conflict of 1990–91 from differing perspectives on it. The problem is defined within two limits, both at the extreme considered unsatisfactory by most commentators. The first is the conclusion that interpretations are no more than epiphenomena — of history (such as precipitations of inherited tradition), sociology (determinations of culture or power), individual and social psychology (symptoms of the pathology of misperception), political science (rationalizations of interest). The second is the conclusion that there is no central event independent of them. The first may lead to various forms of reductionism or relativism, the second to general mystification — like Jean Baudrillard’s notorious conclusion that ‘The Gulf War Has Not Taken Place’.1


Saudi Arabia Conflict Situation Comparative Perspective Arab World World Order 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Ramsbotham

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