Gesprächsleitung: Dr. Guillermo Del Pinal, Berlin
The 1990s were one of the bloodiest decades of the 20th century. The Rwandan genocide and the Balkan wars are well-known in the west, but the decade also included the Sri Lankan civil war, Algeria’s “Years of Fire,” the first and second Congo wars, the first Liberian civil war, the violence of Eritrean independence, the massacres of Chinese minorities in Indonesia, and many other upheavals within and across national boundaries. Why were the 1990s so violent? What can we learn from what now appears the hinge period between the Cold War and the post-September 11 world? In the wake of the collapsing certainties of the Cold War, the new “liberal international order,” consecrated by Bush I, Blair, and Clinton in the 1990s, was largely an exercise to find new purpose for American power in a world whose conditions no longer fit the original rationale for the US’s desire to become a global leader. What do the violent episodes of the 1990s tell us about that world order, and how was it experienced by smaller powers on the map? How much does the peculiar tumult of our own current moment owe to this tumultuous period of world history?
Thomas Meaney, derzeit Albert Einstein-Stipendiat in Caputh, ist Historiker und Journalist. Er schreibt unter anderem für den New Yorker, The National Interest und die London Review of Books.