Why Nations Fight: Past and Future Motives for War

Cambridge University Press
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Four generic motives have historically led states to initiate war: fear, interest, standing, and revenge. Using an original data set, Richard Ned Lebow examines the distribution of wars across three and a half centuries and argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, only a minority of these were motivated by security or material interest. Instead, the majority are the result of a quest for standing, and for revenge - an attempt to get even with states who had previously made successful territorial grabs. Lebow maintains that today none of these motives are effectively served by war - it is increasingly counterproductive - and that there is growing recognition of this political reality. His analysis allows for more fine-grained and persuasive forecasts about the future of war as well as highlighting areas of uncertainty.
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About the author

Richard Ned Lebow is James O. Freedman Presidential Professor at Dartmouth College and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Among other books, he is the author of A Cultural Theory of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2008) which won the 2009 American Political Science Association Jervis and Schroeder Award for the Best Book on International History and Politics as well as the British International Studies Association Susan Strange Book Prize for the Best Book in International Studies, and The Tragic Vision of Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2003) which won the 2005 Alexander George Book Award of the International Society for Political Psychology.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Sep 2, 2010
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Pages
309
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ISBN
9781139490139
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / General
History / Military / World War I
History / Military / World War II
History / World
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
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