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(p. 67) 4. The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace 

(p. 67) 4. The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace
(p. 67) 4. The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace

John Garnett

and John Baylis

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date: 08 July 2020

Introduction 67

The Study of War 68

Human Nature Explanations of War 72

Wars ‘Within’ and ‘Beyond’ States 78

Conclusion 81

Scholarship dealing with the causes of war is voluminous and multidisciplinary. This chapter describes and explains theories that have been advanced by biologists, philosophers, political scientists, and sociologists about why wars occur. It groups their ideas into categories and shows how different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. It is argued that it is useful to make distinctions between immediate and underlying causes of war. The chapter pays particular attention to explanations of war based on human nature and instinct, but it also considers those psychological theories that emphasize misperception and frustration as causes of aggression. The ideas of those who find the causes of war in human collectives—states, tribes, and ethnic groups—and those who favour ‘systemic’ rather than ‘unit’ explanations are also described. The chapter also looks at the debate between ‘greed’ and ‘grievance’ as a cause of civil wars....

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