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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Bibliography

Reference works

Recent books (2015-2018)

Documents

 Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

Systematic classification → War and peace research

New titles


1. Political Competition and the Initiation of International Conflict
Political Competition and the Initiation of International Conflict : A New Perspective on the Institutional Foundations of Democratic Peace / by Benjamin E. Goldsmith, Dimitri Semenovich, Arcot Sowmya, and Gorana Grgic In: World Politics = ISSN 0043-8871: vol. 69, issue 3, page 493-531. - 2017
Keywords: Conflicts, Democracy, Peace,

Librarian's choice

  • Barash, D.P. and C.P. Webel, Peace and Conflict Studies, Fourth Edition, 2018. Showcase item

    The thoroughly updated Fourth Edition of the gold standard text explores historical and current topics in today’s rapidly changing world to provide a comprehensive introduction to peace and conflict studies. Authors David P. Barash and Charles P. Webel offer an insightful analysis of 21st-century global affairs, including such timely topics as ISIS, the nature of violence and nonviolence, cutting-edge military technologies, the Terrorism and Global Peace Indexes, and the latest developments in Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Comprehensive yet written in a student-friendly and accessible style, the text represents a commitment to inspire readers to create a better world through an understanding of what has happened and what is happening, and therefore what is likely to take place in the future.

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  • Durieux, B., J.-B. Jeangène Vilmer et F. Ramel (dir.), Dictionnaire de la Guerre et de la Paix, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2017. Showcase item

    L’entrée dans le XXIe siècle n’a pas relégué la guerre dans la catégorie des reliques de l’histoire, bien au contraire. Depuis le 11 septembre 2001 jusqu’aux actions menées par l’État islamique en passant par les interventions au Moyen-Orient ou au Mali, les événements récents confirment son actualité. Affectée par une série de mutations qui dépassent les seules innovations technologiques et l’irruption de nouveaux acteurs stratégiques, la guerre doit être pensée dans toutes ses dimensions, historiques et philosophiques, politiques et militaires, juridiques et prospectives. Et une telle entreprise ne peut être conduite sans que, en symétrie, la paix soit appréhendée dans ses fondements, ses modèles et ses conditions. Regroupant plus de 300 entrées et faisant appel à plus de 200 contributeurs – universitaires, militaires, acteurs de la société civile –, le présent dictionnaire entend offrir une série de repères indispensables pour analyser ces enjeux de notre temps, avec un double objectif : constituer un ouvrage de référence en langue française sur les questions stratégiques et contribuer à la consolidation des études sur la guerre et la paix dans le monde francophone.

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Database

Blogs

  • What are Peace Museums? Lecture by Joyce Apsel

    What are Peace Museums? How are they distinct from War Museums? Is there overlap?

    Location: Peace Palace Library. Date: 2 March 2018. Time: 16:45 – 18:00 (CET)

    Dr Joyce Apsel is Professor of Liberal Studies and lectures on International Human Rights, Human Rights & the Environment, Global Violence at New York University. She is also President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide. In her talk Joyce Apsel will provide images from a range of peace museums and discuss the images, narratives and education which promote cultures of peace.

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  • The Washington Naval Treaty: Averting the Allied Arms Race

    The 1916 US Naval Act and its 1918 proposed expansion triggered a Naval Arms Race between it and it’s allied nations of Great Britain and Japan.
    Finally, the United States Government invited the principal naval powers to a conference to discuss the situation and end the Naval Arms Race.
    A bold opening suggestion from the US government resulted in the scrapping and halting of most naval capital ships.
    The Washington Naval Treaty signed on the 6th of February 1922

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  • The Raid on the Medway, 1667: Forcing Peace at Breda

    350 Years ago, the Treaty of Breda was signed at the Dutch city of Breda, 31 July, 1667, by England, the Dutch Republic, France, and Denmark-Norway. It brought a hasty end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) in favour of the Dutch. It was a typical quick uti possidetis treaty. In the latter stages of the war, the Dutch had prevailed. Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter virtually controlled the seas around the south coast of England. His presence encouraged English commissioners to sue for peace quickly. Negotiations, which had been long protracted, and had actually begun in Breda before the raid, took only ten days to conclude after resumption of talks.

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  • The Declaration of Christmas Peace

    A Declaration of Christmas Peace is announced in several Finnish cities on Christmas Eve. The oldest and most popular event is held at noon at the Old Great Square of the former Finnish capital Turku, where the declaration has been read since the 1320s. The Declaration of Christmas Peace is a tradition which launches the Christmas celebrations and in a way marks the official start of Christmas. The exact wording used during the first few centuries of the tradition has been lost over time, but the main contents of the declaration remain the same: the declaration is read out loud to remind people that Christmas Peace has begun, to advise people to spend the festive period in harmony, to threaten offenders with harsh punishments, and to wish all a merry Christmas!

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  • 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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See also

More Research guides on War, Peace and Security

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Systematic classification → War and peace research