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Rightsizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders Hardcover – February 7, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0199244904 ISBN-10: 0199244901

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199244901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199244904
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,064,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The empirical part of the volume offers a fascinating tour d'horizon of actual, potential and failed examples of "right-sizing" throughout the world. Canadian Journal of Political Science This is an excellent book and seems set to become a foundational work ... both theoretically strong and directly politically relevant ... The book displays the kind of coherence and clear sense of purpose which is lacking in many edited books ... All of the contributors bring a wealth of empirical data and a fine-grained understanding of the specifics of place to the book ... This is an amazingly rich book, both theoretically and empirically. The Global Review of Ethnopolitics This book with its two frameworks in an attempted synthesis, one by O'Leary focused on ethno-nationalism and the other by Lustick not especially dealing with nationalism, must be evaluated as a new creative set of propositions of much value in the quest for solutions for states with inflamed borders. The case studies are, in particular, rich in offering insights and can be fruitfully applied to ethno-national struggles. Nations and Nationalism

About the Author

Brendan O'Leary is at London School of Economics. Ian S. Lustick is at University of Pennsylvania.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a well-written book overall, but I shouldn't comment on it until I've finished all its chapters.

I have to write in here, though, that anyone who appreciates standup comedian Eddie Izzard's humor will love professor Brendan O'Leary's introductory contributions.

For example (these moderately funny quips are the only excerpts I can find on Google Books, and my copy is at home), he writes:

"Agraria...is typically severely caste-ridden; people are hunted and gathered, shepherded and 'domesticated', ranked and sorted, generally tied to the land by force and dependency, and, not least, by ignorance. Stocks in slavery and serfdom do well."

"The most extreme 'solutions' to ethnic difference are the most abhorrent: genocide and expulson. Regrettably they have NOT proven sufficiently abhorrent to prevent some power elites from engaging in these extreme modes of right-peopling."

I was able to take notes very easily on his chapter and, once I had taken my notes, realized that I could go back and label his 8 types of right-sizing & right-peopling strategies (I used "A1-A4" & "B1-B4")--and then go through the subsequent detail pages and write in those labels as headers. O'Leary doesn't explain anything significant about the strategy of genocide in the passage on assimilation. He may mention it for comparison, but no new information about genocide will appear in anything but the genocide passage.

As I said, the rest of the book is also well-written and will contribute greatly to your understanding of small parts of our world.

I paired it with "Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World," and they both quickly followed a reading of "Politics of Language in the Ex-Soviet Muslim States: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan." Those books both helped me enjoy this one.
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