August 29, 2023

The Western Sahara conflict has proven to be one of the most protracted and intractable struggles facing the international community. Pitting local nationalist determination against Moroccan territorial ambitions, the dispute is further complicated by regional tensions with Algeria and the geo-strategic concerns of major global players, including the United States, France, and the territory’s former colonial ruler, Spain. Since the early 1990s, the UN Security Council has failed to find a formula that will delicately balance these interests against Western Sahara’s long-denied right to a self-determination referendum as one of the last UN-recognized colonies.

The widely-lauded first edition was the first book-length treatment of the issue in the previous two decades. Zunes and Mundy examined the origins, evolution, and resilience of the Western Sahara conflict, deploying a diverse array of sources and firsthand knowledge of the region gained from multiple research visits.

Shifting geographical frames—local, regional, and international—provided for a robust analysis of the stakes involved. With the renewal of the armed conflict, continued diplomatic stalemate, growing waves of nonviolent resistance in the occupied territory, and the recent U.S. recognition of Morocco’s annexation, this new revised and expanded paperback edition brings us up-to-date on a long-forgotten conflict that is finally capturing the world’s attention.

War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution