PREFACEKumar puts her cards on the table in the very first sentence:
"This book is intended to counter the recently revived idea that partition can be a solution to ethnic conflict."
Kumar notes that partition was originally a colonial formula, and that after WWII two distinct forms of partition emerged:
"...ethnic partition, which was accepted as a compromise formula for decolonization, and ideological partition, which was primarily a means of distinguishing Cold War spheres of influence."
Kumar goes on to note that the reemergence of ethnic partition is oddly anachronistic, since the end of Cold War has delegitimized ideological partition (the continued division of Korea aside). She also notes that the "structures of ethnonational negotiation" were developed under colonialism; when "divide and rule" switched to "divide and quit." She goes on to point out that in Bosnia, the "divide and rulers" were not the same parties as the "divide and quitters." Milosevic, Karadzic, and Tudjman wanted to divide and rule; the West and the "international community" wanted to divide and quit.
Kumar closes by claiming that her book will demonstrate that the reversion to ethnic partition as an acceptable strategy will not last, and will ultimately be deemed a failure. It will be very interesting to see how she develops this argument over the following 168 pages.