Causes of war : power and the roots of conflict


Causes of war : power and the roots of conflict

Stephen Van Evera

(Cornell studies in security affairs / edited by Robert J. Art, Robert Jervis, and Stephen M. Walt)

Cornell University Press, 1999

  • : pbk

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 41



Includes bibliographical references and index



What causes war? How can military conflicts best be prevented? In this book, Stephen Van Evera frames five conditions that increase the risk of interstate war: false optimism about the likely outcome of a war, a first-strike advantage, fluctuation in the relative power of states, circumstances that allow nations to parlay one conquest into another, and circumstances that make conquest easy. According to Van Evera, all but one of these conditions-false optimism-rarely occur today, but policymakers often erroneously believe in their existence. He argues that these misperceptions are responsible for many modern wars, and explores both World Wars, the Korean War, and the 1967 Mideast War as test cases. Finally, he assesses the possibility of nuclear war by applying all five hypotheses to its potential onset. Van Evera's book demonstrates that ideas from the Realist paradigm can offer strong explanations for international conflict and valuable prescriptions for its control.


  • 1. Introduction Questions Addressed, Why They Arise Arguments Advanced, Answers Offered Implications for Realism Methods Plan of the Book2. False Optimism: Illusions of the Coming War False Hope and War Illusions of Victory Illusions of Cheap War To Prevent War, Promote Transparency3. Jumping the Gun: First-Move Advantages and Crisis Instability First-Strike, First-Mobilization, and First-Move Advantages Hypotheses on the Effects of First-Move Advantages Tests of Stability Theory Causes of and Cures for First-Move Advantage4. Power Shifts: Windows of Opportunity and Vulnerability Types of Windows Hypotheses on the Effects of Windows Tests of Window Theory Causes and Cures of Windows5. Cumulative Resources What Is Cumulativity? Cumulativity and Conflict Types of Cumulativity Beliefs about Cumulativity and Their Implications The Future of Cumulativity6. Offense, Defense, and the Security Dilemma Hypotheses on the Effects of Offense Dominance Qualifications: When Offensive Doctrines and Capabilities Cause Peace Causes of Offense and Defense Dominance Predictions and Tests of Offense-Defense Theory How Much History Can Offense-Defense Theory Explain? Offense-Defense Theory in Perspective7. Offense-Defense Theory and the Outbreak of World War I The Rise of the Cult of the Offensive, 1890-1914 Predictions of Offense-Defense Theory about Europe, 1890-1914 Evidence on Offense-Defense Theory, 1890-1914 Offense-Defense Theory and the Test of 1914 Explaining World War I8. The Nuclear Revolution and the Causes of War MAD among Deterrable States MAD among Nondeterrable States
  • MAD among Many States Alternatives to MAD: MARNE, BAD, WORSE, and USA The Janus-Faced RevolutionConclusionAppendix: Hypotheses on Power and the Causes of WarIndex

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