What Causes War?: An Introduction to Theories of International Conflict by Greg CashmanIn What Causes War? Greg Cashman provides a new synthesis of a rapidly expanding field. His analysis of international conflict starts at the level of individual psychology and proceeds through levels of rational decision making to large-scale theories of international systems. Cashman covers topics such as human aggression and psychological explanations for war; governmental decision making; the state and international conflict; and stimulus-response and game theories and their relation to arms races and deterrence. As the first such analysis published in years, this book will be invaluable for classroom use and will provide a substantial addition to the existing literature.
Causes of armed conflict
There have been many grand theories, each based on a certain interpretation of facts in the belief that patterns repeat themselves over and over again. Although each situation is different, these theories help frame debates, set priorities, and provide alternative lens with which to view specific cases. Since the end of the Cold War, theorists have emphasized economics and identity because ethnic identities have played a greater and geopolitics a lesser role in civil war than previously. A focus on horizontal inequities chimes well with my focus on social cohesion its presence, absence, degree. Countries are much more fragile when they have weak cohesion than when they have weak institutions. Tunisia is likely to get through the Arab Spring in much better shape than Libya , Syria , and Yemen because of its greater social cohesion and stronger national identity as well as better institutions. India and Bangladesh do better than Pakistan because of their cohesion, not because of their especially better institutions.
War arises because of the changing relations of numerous variables--technological, psychic, social, and intellectual.
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This website is coordinated by Modus Operandi. The research on causes of armed conflict so far has not produced a consistent theory acceptable to most scholars working in the field. However, It is very likely that there is one consensus: that conflict cannot be reduced to a single cause, or a single explanation. War is possible as soon as weapons are available with which to fight it and as long as there is a dispute between two or more parties. What makes war probable, however, is a far more complicated question.