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Interventions/Uses of Force Short of War

Brandon C. Prins

Subject International Studies » Foreign Policy Analysis

Key-Topics bargaining, conflict management, military intervention, violence

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444336597.2010.x


Comment on this article   The causes and consequences of war among nation-states have been studied extensively by scholars of international politics. The volumes devoted to particular conflicts would easily fill the stacks at major research universities. The main library at the University of Tennessee, for instance, holds 7000 or so separate titles for the American Civil War, over 3000 for World War I, and some 10,000 for World War II. Despite such scholarly attention, however, Vasquez (1993 :3) concluded that a generalizable and “coherent explanation of war” remained elusive. Since then, theorizing and empirical investigation of the causes of war has become more sophisticated. Yet one still wonders whether we know more about violent conflict today than then, or even 50 years ago. Early behavioralists anticipated the rapid accumulation of knowledge as traditional methods of inquiry gave way to a more scientific process. J. David Singer and Melvin Small expressed the hopes of these post-World War II social scientists when they wrote, “Without belittling the efforts of earlier generations it is only within the past several decades that any intellectual assault of promise has been launched against this organized tribal slaughter. That is, until war has been systematically described, it cannot be adequately understood, and with such understanding comes the first meaningful possibility ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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