With The Warrior's Honor and Virtual War, Blood & Belonging forms part of the acclaimed trilogy by Michael Ignatieff on the face of modern conflict.
In 1993 Michael Ignatieff set out on a journey to the former Yugoslavia, the Ukraine, Germany, Quebec, Kurdistan and Northern Ireland in order to explore the many faces of modern nationalism at its worst.
Modern nationalism is a language of blood: a call to arms that can end in the horror of ethnic cleansing. But it is also a language of belonging: a call to come home. In Blood & Belonging Michael Ignatieff explores both sides of nationalism in a personal odyssey that begins in the nightmare of the former Yugoslavia and ends with his return to his adopted homeland, Great Britain's disunited kingdom.
Charlie Johnson is a veteran war correspondent who thinks he has seen it all - until he makes one rash expedition into a war zone in the Balkans. Horrified, he watches as a woman who sheltered him is set on fire. As he tries to save her, he too is caught in the deadly fire that engulfs her. From then on, his life is consumed by the mission to find the man who did it - caught on film by his friend and cameraman Jacek- and once he is set on his journey of revenge, nothing and no one can stop him.
Drawing on his own experience of war zones, Michael Ignatieff probes into the damage that blights Charlie's life and threatens to destroy his humanity.
In Empire Lite, Michael Ignatieff explores both sides of what he sees as a new global empire - the imperial and the humanitarian - and argues that the international community has failed to engage intelligently with the problems of nation building in the aftermath of apocalyptic events.
The collapse of political order around the world is now seen as a major threat, and a new international order is emerging, one that is crafted to suit American imperial objectives. This presents humanitarian agencies with the dilemma of how to keep their programs from being suborned to imperial interests. Yet they know that it was American air-power that made an uneasy peace and humanitarian reconstruction possible, first in Bosnia, then in Kosovo, and finally in Afghanistan.
This is the new world of geopolitics we live in and must try to grasp. The vivid, cogent essays in this book attempt to understand the phenomenon of state collapse and state failure in the world's zones of danger and the gradual emergence of an American led humanitarian empire. Focussing on nation building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, Ignatieff reveals how American military power, European money and humanitarian motive have combined to produce a form of imperial rule for a post-imperial age.
Drawing on his own experiences of war zones, and with an extraordinary account of life in Afghanistan, Ignatieff identifies the illusions that make a genuine act of solidarity so difficult and asks what can be done to help people in war-torn societies enjoy the essential right to rule themselves.
Michael Ignatieff is internationally renowned both as a commentator on moral, ethical and political issues and as a novelist. His novel Scar Tissue was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1993, and his non-fiction works include a biography of Isaiah Berlin, and four books on ethnic war and intervention: Blood and Belonging, The Warrior's Honour, Virtual War and the recent Empire Lite: Nation Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan.