The Steps to War: An Empirical Study

Princeton University Press
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The question of what causes war has concerned statesmen since the time of Thucydides. The Steps to War utilizes new data on militarized interstate disputes from 1816 to 2001 to identify the factors that increase the probability that a crisis will escalate to war. In this book, Paul Senese and John Vasquez test one of the major behavioral explanations of war--the steps to war--by identifying the various factors that put two states at risk for war. Focusing on the era of classic international politics from 1816 to 1945, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War period, they look at the roles of territorial disputes, alliances, rivalry, and arms races and show how the likelihood of war increases significantly as these risk factors are combined. Senese and Vasquez argue that war is more likely in the presence of these factors because they increase threat perception and put both sides into a security dilemma.

The Steps to War calls into question certain prevailing realist beliefs, like peace through strength, demonstrating how threatening to use force and engaging in power politics is more likely to lead to war than to peace.

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About the author

Paul D. Senese was associate professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He died in 2006 as this book was coming to completion. John A. Vasquez is the Thomas B. Mackie Scholar in International Relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 21, 2008
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781400837830
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / International Relations / Treaties
Political Science / Peace
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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