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War is a state of organized, armed and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. In addition to the existence of this organized behavior pattern amongst human primates, very similar organized warlike behavior patterns are also found in many other primate species. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of War is usually called Peace. In the 1832 treatise On War, Prussian military general and theoretician Carl Von Clausewitz defined war as follows: ‘War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will’. Polemology is the study of human conflict and war.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on War. It provides the materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 10. War in General; Peace Research: In General and subject heading (keyword) War are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
Tagged with: War
- Baofu, P., The Future of Post-Human War and Peace: A Preface to a New Theory of Aggression and Pacificity, Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
- Clausewitz, C.Ph.G. von, On the Nature of War, London, Penguin Books, 2005.
- Dinstein, Y., War, Aggression and Self-Defence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Jäger, Th. und R. Beckmann (Hrsg.), Handbuch Kriegstheorien, Wiesbaden, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011.
- Lindley-French, J. and Y. Boyer (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Neff, S.C., War and the Law of Nations: A General History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Levy, J.S., “The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace”, in Theories of International Relations, Farnham, Ashgate, 2008, pp. 691-717.
- Moorre, J.N., “Newer Theories in Understanding War: from the Democratic Peace to Incentive Theory”, in National Security Law, Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, 2005, pp. 15-28.
Periodicals, serial publications
1. Civil War
Electronic article available in library.
Electronic book available in library.
1. Civil War
These publications are selected for you by R. Steenhard.
Checkel, J.T., Transnational Dynamics of Civil War, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2013. Showcase item
Civil wars are the dominant form of violence in the contemporary international system, yet they are anything but local affairs. This book explores the border-crossing features of such wars by bringing together insights from international relations theory, sociology, and transnational politics with a rich comparative-quantitative literature. It highlights the – framing, resource mobilization, socialization, among others – that link the international and transnational to the local, emphasizing the methods required to measure them. Contributors examine specific mechanisms leading to particular outcomes in civil conflicts ranging from Chechnya, to Afghanistan, to Sudan, to Turkey. Transnational Dynamics of Civil War thus provides a significant contribution to debates motivating the broader move to mechanism-based forms of explanation, and will engage students and researchers of international relations, comparative politics, and conflict processes.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Regan, R.J., Just War: Principles and Cases, Washington, DC, Catholic University of America Press, 2013. Showcase item
Bringing just war doctrine to life, Richard J. Regan raises a host of difficult questions about the evils of war, asking first and foremost whether war is ever justified, and, if so, for what purposes? Regan considers the basic principles of just war theory and applies those principles to historical and ongoing conflicts through case studies and discussion questions. His well-received 1996 work is updated with the addition of case studies on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Islamist terrorist organizations. Especially timely are the added discussions of the use of drones to assassinate terrorist leaders and, in the matter of weapons of mass destruction, asking how certain is “certain enough” that a country has weapons of mass destruction before it can be justly attacked? Regan considers the roles of the president, Congress, and the U.N. Security Council in determining when long-term U.S. military involvement is justified.
Kamm, F.M., The Moral Target: Aiming at Right Conduct in War and Other Conflicts, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2012.This book comprises essays that discuss aspects of war and other conflicts in the light of both nonconsequentialist ethical theory and the views of such theorists as Barbara Herman, Jeff McMahan, Avishai Margalit, and Michael Walzer. The first essay deals with the relation between states of affairs whose termination justifies war and states of affairs that once achieved should put an end to war. The next few essays deal with conduct in war. They first consider the implications of general moral principles (including the Doctrine of Double Effect and Principle of Permissible Harm) for the permissibility of harm to combatants and noncombatants, and then whether factors unique to war should alter what is permissible. In particular, if the context of war should affect the relative violability of different combatants and different noncombatants, if terror killing combatants and/or noncombatants should ever be permissible, and if there is liability to harm in virtue of belonging to a group. The fifth essay examines how recent discussions by nonconsequentialists about redirection of threats (as in the famous Trolley Problem) may illuminate the moral status of collaboration that took place with Nazis during the Holocaust. What justice requires after conflict and how our ability to provide it affects the permissibility of starting war, is the next topic. Truth and reconciliation commissions and retribution post-conflict are discussed, and whether harm to civilians stemming from such procedures (and how the harm arises) bear on the permissibility of instituting the procedures. The three concluding essays deal with moral aspects of conflicts outside of standard war, including those involving the threat of terrorism, resistance to communal injustice (for example, in the case of the Taliban women), and the use of nuclear weapons for deterrence.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Whitman, J.Q., The Verdict of Battle: the Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2012.
Today, war is considered a last resort for resolving disagreements. But a day of staged slaughter on the battlefield was once seen as a legitimate means of settling political disputes. James Whitman argues that pitched battle was essentially a trial with a lawful verdict. And when this contained form of battle ceased to exist, the law of victory gave way to the rule of unbridled force. The Verdict of Battle explains why the ritualized violence of the past was more effective than modern warfare in bringing carnage to an end, and why humanitarian laws that cling to a notion of war as evil have led to longer, more barbaric conflicts. Belief that sovereigns could, by rights, wage war for profit made the eighteenth century battle’s golden age. A pitched battle was understood as a kind of legal proceeding in which both sides agreed to be bound by the result. To the victor went the spoils, including the fate of kingdoms. But with the nineteenth-century decline of monarchical legitimacy and the rise of republican sentiment, the public no longer accepted the verdict of pitched battles. Ideology rather than politics became war’s just cause. And because modern humanitarian law provided no means for declaring a victor or dispensing spoils at the end of battle, the violence of war dragged on. The most dangerous wars, Whitman asserts in this iconoclastic tour de force, are the lawless wars we wage today to remake the world in the name of higher moral imperatives.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Hashmi, S.H. (ed.), Just Wars, Holy Wars and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, Muslim Encounters and Exchanges, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2012.
Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads explores the development of ideas of morally justified or legitimate war in Western and Islamic civilizations. Historically, these ideas have been grouped under three labels: just war, holy war, and jihad. A large body of literature exists exploring the development of just war and holy war concepts in the West and of jihad in Islam. Yet, to date, no book has investigated in depth the historical interaction between Western notions of just or holy war and Muslim definitions of jihad. This book is a major contribution to the comparative study of the ethics of war and peace in the West and Islam. Its twenty chapters explore two broad questions: 1. What historical evidence exists that Christian and Jewish writers on just war and holy war and Muslim writers on jihad knew of the other tradition? 2. What is the evidence in treatises, chronicles, speeches, ballads, and other historical records, or in practice, that either tradition influenced the other? The book surveys the period from the rise of Islam in the early seventh century to the present day. Part One surveys the impact of the early Islamic conquests upon Byzantine, Syriac, and Muslim thinking on justified war. Part Two probes developments during the Crusades. Part Three focuses on the early modern period in Europe and the Ottoman Empire, followed by analysis of the era of European imperialism in Part Four. Part Five brings the discussion into the present period, with chapters analyzing the impact of international law and terrorism on conceptions of just war and jihad.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Chan, D.K., Beyond Just War: A Virtue Ethics Approach, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.Are today’s wars different from earlier wars? Or do we need a different ethics for old and new wars alike? Unlike most books on the morality of war, this book rejects the ‘just war’ tradition, proposing a virtue ethics of war to take its place. Like torture, war cannot be justified. David Chan asks and answers the question: ‘If war is a very great evil, would a leader with courage, justice, compassion, and all the other moral virtues ever choose to fight a war?’ A ‘philosophy of co-existence’ is proposed which is much more restrictive than just war theory but not pacifist. War can be correctly chosen by a virtuous leader only in rare ‘supreme emergencies’ when faced with enemies as evil as Hitler. This virtue ethics approach to war is used to find new answers to difficult issues such as humanitarian intervention, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Fabre, C., Cosmopolitan War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
War is about individuals maiming and killing each other, and yet, it seems that it is also irreducibly collective, as it is fought by groups of people and more often than not for the sake of communal values such as territorial integrity and national self-determination. Cécile Fabre articulates and defends an ethical account of war in which the individual, as a moral and rational agent, is the fundamental focus for concern and respect–both as a combatant whose acts of killing need justifying and as a non-combatant whose suffering also needs justifying. She takes as her starting point a political morality to which the individual, rather than the nation-state, is central, namely cosmopolitanism. According to cosmopolitanism, individuals all matter equally, irrespective of their membership in this or that political community. Traditional war ethics already accepts this principle, since it holds that unarmed civilians are illegitimate targets even though they belong to the enemy community. However, although the traditional account of whom we may kill in wars is broadly faithful to that principle, the traditional account of why we may kill and of who may kill is not. Cosmopolitan theorists, for their part, do not address the ethical issues raised by war in any depth. Fabre’s Cosmopolitan War seeks to fill this gap, and defends its account of just and unjust wars by addressing the ethics of different kinds of war: wars of national defence, wars over scarce resources, civil wars, humanitarian intervention, wars involving private military forces, and asymmetrical wars.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Askari, H., Conflicts and Wars: Their Fallout and Prevention, New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
What are the costs of wars and conflicts – and why do governments of nation states continue to incur them? Using detailed examples drawn from recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf, this book explains how the price of aggression is low enough that governments do not avoid conflicts, examines many dimensions of costs incurred by warfare, and proposes a private sector solution to warfare’s low cost.
J. Lindley-French and Y. Boyer (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
The Oxford Handbook of War is the definitive analysis of war in the twenty-first century. With over forty senior authors from academia, government and the armed forces world-wide the Handbook explores the history, theory, ethics and practice of war. The Handbook first considers the fundamental causes of war, before reflecting on the moral and legal aspects of war. Theories on the practice of war lead into an analysis of the strategic conduct of war and non Western ways of war. The heart of the Handbook is a compelling analysis of the military conduct of war which is juxtaposed with consideration of technology, economy, industry, and war. In conclusion the volume looks to the future of this apparently perennial feature of human interaction. Readership: Scholars and students of international relations, war studies, strategic studies, peace studies, and policymakers and practitioners working in the area.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Farid Mirbagheri, S.M., War and Peace in Islamic/ist Political Discourses, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.The question of conflict in Islam has now for sometime been interpreted in the Western diplomatic circles through the violent actions of fundamentalist groups and amongst many academics through a jurisprudential outlook. This work, however, views war and peace in Islam in a critical theoretical framework, in relation to systemic approaches to International Relations. In so doing it relies heavily on the teachings of Islamic mysticism. It suggests that empowering the individual to control him/herself within, as propounded in Sufism and as opposed to systemic approaches, is a prelude to establishing enduring global peace. Without internal tranquility, external harmony will be next to impossible.
Dinstein, Y., War, Aggression and Self-Defence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.Yoram Dinstein’s influential textbook is an indispensable guide to the legal issues of war and peace, armed attack, self-defence and enforcement measures taken under the aegis of the Security Council. This fifth edition incorporates recent treaties such as the Kampala amendments of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, new case law from the International Court of Justice and other tribunals, and contemporary doctrinal debates. Several new supplementary sections are also included, which take into account recent conflicts around the world, and consideration is given to new resolutions of the Security Council. With many segments having been rewritten to reflect recent State practice, this book remains a wide-ranging and highly readable introduction to the legal issues surrounding war and self-defence.
Peace Palace Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize 2012 awarded to War Child
On November 15 2012 War Child received the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize.
The Carnegie Foundation awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize to War Child for the global efforts that War Child has made on behalf of children and young people in (former) conflict.
War Child is an independent humanitarian organization that since 1995 has committed itself to helping children and youngsters that have been affected by war to attain a peaceful future. With a creative approach War Child helps children and teens deal with their war experiences.Read more
The Body Counts : Civilian Casualties in War
Throughout the post Cold War period there has been a widespread view that war and armed conflict have changed radically since the First World War to the point where some 80-90% of war victims are now civilians. Many modern wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations, along with destruction of infrastructure and resources.Read more
“Resistance is Futile”
Many people have expressed their concern over this futuristic way of Predator warfare as practized by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Amongst others, Philip Ashton, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, presented a critical report on the secrecy of the US drone program and its legal basis.Read more
Cyberwar: from fiction to fact
Computers rather than missiles could pose the biggest security threat of the future with nations able to cripple rivals by using cyberwarfare. Computer strikes could damage a country’s infrastructure as well as defence equipment, cutting off communications, power supplies and military command systems. Major interference on a large scale can be generated by computer viruses. [...]Read more
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