"The fact is that war comes in many guises and its effects continue to be felt long after peace is proclaimed. This challenges the anthropologists who write of war as participant observers. Participant observation inevitably deals with the here and now, with the highly specific. It is only over the long view that one can begin to see the commonalities that emerge from the different forms of conflict and can begin to generalize." - from the Introduction by Elisabeth Colsen. This book offers an important contribution to a better understanding of the specific and the general in wartime. It examines how people cope and adjust to situations of war, depending upon whether these are low-intensity or high-intensity ones, on whether they are brief phases of conflict or long enduring periods of violence, with or without intermittent spells of peace. Of particular interest is the exploration of a largely new dimension of social interaction - that of the internet, thus providing a bridge between local concerns and global networks.
The late Aparna Rao spent many years doing ethnographic fieldwork among numerous rural and semi-rural communities in Afghanistan, Kashmir and in western India, and published several books and papers based on her research. Michael Bollig is a Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne. He has conducted fieldwork in northern Kenya and northern Namibia with pastoral communities. He is interested in the dynamics of human-environment relations and socio-economic change in rural communities. Conflict management and the socio-cultural processes connected to violence are a second focus of his work. He recently published Risk Management in a Hazardous Environment. A Comparative Study of Two Pastoral Societies (Springer/New York 2005). He is the chairperson of the interdisciplinary ACACIA programme (Arid Climate, Adaptation and Cultural Innovation in Africa). Monika Bock is a Social Anthropologist, affiliated with the University of Cologne. She has conducted fieldwork among a matrilineal community in North-Eastern India. She is interested in kinship & gender studies, cognitive anthropology, and the medializaon of war and violence. Together with Aparna Rao she published Culture Creation and Procreation: Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice (Berghahn Books 2000).