War and Peace

Introduction

War and Peace | Research Guide International Law

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.

The history of Peace is as old as the history of humanity itself, and certainly as old as War. War is often thought to be the natural state of humanity, Peace of any sort being fragile and fleeting. However, Peace in its various forms has been by far humanity's more common experience, as much of history has been relatively peaceful and orderly, while frameworks for security, law and justice have constantly been advancing. Thus, over the centuries the concept of Peace has been broadened from the absence of overt violence and war to something much more sophisticated, incorporating terms such als peacemaking, conflict resolution, and statebuilding.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on War and Peace. 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 systematic classification → War and peace research and subject headings (keywords) War and Peace 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.

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Systematic classification → War and peace research

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  • Jones, S.G., Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons from the Vietcong to the Islamic State, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2017.

    Since the end of World War II, there have been 181 insurgencies around the world. Today, there are over three dozen violent insurgencies, including in such high-profile countries as Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. These insurgencies have been led by a range of groups, from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to the Taliban in Afghanistan. In fact, most warfare today occurs in the form of insurgencies. If we are to understand modern warfare, we need to understand insurgencies. While numerous books have been written on the subject of insurgencies, there is no book that brings together all of what we know into one accessible volume that policymakers can understand and use. Waging Insurgent Warfare is that book. Seth G. Jones, who has been deeply involved in the Afghanistan war over the last decade, aims to help policymakers, scholars, and general readers better understand how groups start, wage, and end insurgencies. He weaves together examples from today and from recent history into an analytic synthesis that focuses on several sets of questions. First, what factors contribute to the rise of an insurgency? Second, what are the key components involved in conducting an insurgency? As he explains, insurgent groups need to decide on a strategy, employ a range of tactics, select an organizational structure, secure outside aid from state and non-state actors, and conduct information campaigns. They then have to routinely re-assess these decisions over the course of an insurgency. Third, what factors contribute to the end of insurgencies? Finally, what do the answers to these questions mean for the conduct of counterinsurgency warfare? Waging Insurgent Warfare is not only a practical handbook for understanding insurgent warfare, but it also has implications for waging counterinsurgent warfare. Highly readable, empirically sophisticated, and historically informed, Waging Insurgent Warfare will become a standard work on the topic.

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  • Goertz, G., P.F. Diehl and A. Balas, The Puzzle of Peace: The Evolution of Peace in the International System, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2017.

    The Puzzle of Peace moves beyond defining peace as the absence of war and develops a broader conceptualization and explanation for the increasing peacefulness of the international system. The authors track the rise of peace as a new phenomenon in international history starting after 1945. International peace has increased because international society has developed a set of norms dealing with territorial conflict, by far the greatest source of international war over previous centuries. These norms prohibit the use of military force in resolving territorial disputes and acquiring territory, thereby promoting border stability. This includes the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by military means as well as attempts by secessionist groups to form states through military force. International norms for managing international conflict have been accompanied by increased mediation and adjudication as means of managing existing territorial conflicts.

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  • Due-Gundersen, N., The Privatization of Warfare and Inherently Governmental Functions: Private Military Companies in Iraq and the State Monopoly of Regulated Force, Cambridge; Antwerp; Portland, Intersentia, 2016.

    Since the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq, the private military sector has seen the largest growth of profit for decades. As Iraq continues to be the focal point of private military clients, staff and related actors, the recurring issue of legitimacy must be addressed. While many texts focus only on existing or proposed legislation, this book analyses the public perception of private military companies (PMCs) and, of wider significance, how their use by states affects how the general public perceives state legitimacy of monopolizing force. Furthermore, this book provides a timely overview of how the energy sector and PMCs are challenging the established sovereignty of politically fragmented oil states, illustrating how energy firms may become as culpable as states in their partnerships with the private military sector and subsequent political ramifications.

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  • Fabre, C., Cosmopolitan Peace, Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 2016.

    This book articulates a cosmopolitan theory of the principles which ought to regulate belligerents' conduct in the aftermath of war. Throughout, it relies on the fundamental principle that all human beings, wherever they reside, have rights to the freedoms and resources which they need to lead a flourishing life, and that national and political borders are largely irrelevant to the conferral of those rights. With that principle in hand, the book provides a normative defence of restitutive and reparative justice, the punishment of war criminals, the resort to transitional foreign administration as a means to govern war-torn territories, and the deployment of peacekeeping and occupation forces. It also outlines various reconciliatory and commemorative practices which might facilitate the emergence of trust amongst enemies and thereby improve prospects for peace. The book offers analytical arguments and normative conclusions, with many historical and/or contemporary examples.

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  • Frowe, H., The Ethics of War and Peace, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

    Frowe, H., The Ethics of War and Peace, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

    When is it right to go to war? When is a war illegal? What are the rules of engagement? What should happen when a war is over? How should we view terrorism? The Ethics of War and Peace is a fresh and contemporary introduction to one of the oldest but still most relevant ethical debates. It introduces students to contemporary Just War Theory in a stimulating and engaging way, perfect for those approaching the topic for the first time. Helen Frowe explains the core issues in Just War Theory, and chapter by chapter examines the recent and ongoing philosophical debates on: theories of self defence and national defence, Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello, and Jus post Bellum, the moral status of combatants, the principle of non-combatant immunity, and the nature of terrorism and the moral status of terrorists. Each chapter concludes with a useful summary, discussion questions and suggestions for further reading, to aid student learning and revision. The Ethics of War and Peace is the ideal textbook for students studying philosophy, politics and international relations.

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  • Coates, A.J., The Ethics of War, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2016.

    The ethics of war explores the moral limits and possibilities of conflict. The argument proceeds from a just war standpoint which balances rules or principles against the moral capacities and dispositions of belligerents and the particular circumstances in which they act. In this enlarged second edition, a new introduction reflects on the impact of changes to just war thinking and to the practice of war since the book's original publication. The common criticism that traditional just war theory is incoherent, outmoded and in need of radical revision is resisted, and instead, a case is made for an ethics of war rooted in the historic tradition of just war. The concept of just war is compared with realism, militarism and pacifism; the principles of just recourse and just conduct are examined with the aid of real life examples; and a new third part addresses some of the ethical problems raised by terrorism and counterterrorism.

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  • Martel, G., Twentieth-Century War and Conflict: A Concise Encyclopedia, Chichester, Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

    Drawn from the award-winning 5-volume Encyclopedia of War, this valuable, one-volume reference provides readers with essential information on the conflicts and concepts that shaped global warfare in the twentieth-century and up to the present day.

    • Provides essential coverage of twentieth-century warfare across the world
    • Incorporates entries on all major wars, conflicts and concepts in the study of warfare during the period
    • Features detailed coverage of the First and Second World Wars, along with conflicts including the Russo-Japanese War, the Greco-Turkish War, the Falklands Conflict, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the Gulf Wars, the War Against Terrorism, and the Somalian Civil War
    • Covers topics including chemical warfare, ethnic cleansing, psychological warfare, and women and war
    • Creates an affordable and handy personal reference for students of modern and contemporary history, professional scholars, and military history enthusiasts
    • Comprises authoritative, up-to-date content - each entry ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 words - written by the best international scholars
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Database

Blogs

  • Interview Sigrid Kaag

    This month, we have the honor of interviewing Ms. Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat who currently serves as a United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). Last month, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation awarded Sigrid Kaag the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. Before the ceremony took place, we took the opportunity to interview Ms. Kaag to discuss her work at the UN, in particular, the succesful UN-OPCW joint mission Ms. Kaag led to eliminate the chemical weapons programme in Syria. We also discussed the role of international law in her daily work at the UN. Here’s what she had to say.

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  • "That the Guns may Fall Silent at Least upon the Night the Angels Sang"

    Only five months after the outbreak of the Great War in Europe, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies. Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force heard Germans troops in the trenches opposite them singing carols and patriotic songs and saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches. Messages began to be shouted between the trenches.

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  • Africa's Peacemakers: Nobel Peace Laureates

    As Africa and its diaspora commemorate fifty years of post-independence Pan-Africanism, Adekeye Adebajo’s new book ‘Africa’s Peace Makers: Nobel Peace Laureates of African Descent’ provides profound insight into the thirteen prominent individuals of African descent who have won the Nobel Peace Prize since 1950. These laureates have been variously involved in women’s rights, environmental protection, and nuclear disarmament. ‘Africa’s Peacemakers’ reveals how this remarkable collection of individuals has changed the world.

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  • International Congress of Women of 1915

    This Spring, on April 28, the Peace Palace will participate in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the International Congress of Women that took place in the city of The Hague in 1915. The women who attended this Congress a century ago, were suffragists who up until that time, met every other year through their national organization at the International Women Suffrage Alliance. A small delegation headed by Dutch suffragist and physician Dr. Aletta Jacobs, believed it to be important to organize a meeting, even during wartime, to discuss the principles of constructive peace.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • “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.

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  • 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. A computer hacker can launch an attack by infiltrating databases and destroying critical data in any industry, company or government organization. Imagine the devastation of a deliberate power outage or shortage in the water supply. We’ve seen the dire results when this occurs because of a natural disaster. Such conflict has the ability to completely incapacitate an economy. The use of computers and internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace, is becoming increasingly more sophisticated.

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More Research guides on War, Peace and Security

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