Every once in a while I notice that the mode name on the mode-line says [Emacs-Lisp] instead of just Emacs-Lisp. I realise that this indicates a recursive edit, and I can get rid of it with C-M-c, but I never know what triggered it.

Is there a way to find out the cause of a current recursive-edit?

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    Oh, is that what it is? I always wondered why those square brackets appeared. At times I have also seen the major mode name double or triple square bracketed: [[Emacs-Lisp]] – Kaushal Modi May 2 '15 at 17:37
  • I can think of unclean exit from edebug. Will try that out next time. – Kaushal Modi May 2 '15 at 23:28

I don't think there's a "clean command" that will tell you that directly. But M-x debug RET will give you the current backtrace, where you should be able to find both recursive-edit and its predecessor (i.e. caller).

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