There are few countries as misunderstood, or even as unknown, as Eritrea. The beleaguered nation encapsulates some of the region's most pressing issues: it has an undemocratic power structure, a low level of socioeconomic development, a highly militarized political system given increasingly to armed adventurism, and the tendency to disregard international opinion in the search for local solutions. Yet Eritrea is becoming increasingly important to the stability of sub-Saharan Africa. This volume brings together the insights of international analysts and scholars in an effort to understand the nature of Eritrea's foreign relations, both regionally and in the wider international arena. Contributors include Gunther Schroeder (independent scholar and analyst), Dan Connell (Simmons College), Kidane Mengisteab (Penn State University), Gaim Kibreab (London South Bank University), Redie Bereketeab (Africa Institute, Norway),Tesfa Mehari (University of Greenwich), and Sally Healy (Chatham House, London).
Richard Reid is lecturer in the History of Africa in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He taught for several years at the University of Asmara in Eritrea and has also taught at Durham University. He is the author of Political Power in Pre Colonial Buganda (Oxford, 2002) and War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa (Oxford, 2007). He was guest editor of a special volume of the Journal of Eastern African Studies in 2007, dealing with identities in east and northeast Africa. He is also the author of several articles on modern Eritrea and Ethiopia, dealing particularly with the liberation struggle, the 1998-2000 war, and the current political situation.