Only the Dead by Bear F. Braumoeller

£19.99
Available
Product Ref. (e.g. ISBN, SKU)
9780197624272
Published:
04 Apr 2022
Format:
Paperback
Number of pages:
325 pages
Dimensions:
157x234x22.9mm
Weight:
0.590kgs
In Only the Dead, Bear Braumoeller assesses the claim that armed conflict is in decline and finds it wanting. In the course of his assessment, he also develops a powerful explanation for trends in warfare over time. His central finding is that, although there has been a drop in the rate of international conflict following the end of the Cold War, that drop followed nearly two centuries of steady increases in the rate of conflict initiation.
A unique assessment that challenges humanity's quest to abolish warfare. The idea that war is going out of style has become the conventional wisdom in recent years. But in Only the Dead, award-winning author Bear Braumoeller demonstrates that it shouldn't have. With a rare combination of historical expertise, statistical acumen, and accessible prose, Braumoeller shows that the evidence simply doesn't support the decline-of-war thesis propounded by scholars like Steven Pinker. He argues that the key to understanding trends in warfare lies, not in the spread of humanitarian values, but rather in the formation of international orders--sets of expectations about behavior that allow countries to work in concert, as they did in the Concert of Europe and have done in the postwar Western liberal order. With a nod toward the American sociologist Charles Tilly, who argued that "war made the state and the state made war," Braumoeller argues that the same is true of international orders: while they reduce conflict within their borders, they can also clash violently with one another, as the Western and communist orders did throughout the Cold War. Both highly readable and rigorous, Only the Dead offers a realistic assessment of humanity's quest to abolish warfare. While pessimists have been too quick to discount the successes of our attempts to reduce international conflict, optimists are prone to put too much faith in human nature. Reality lies somewhere in between: While the aspirations of humankind to govern its behavior with reason and justice have had shocking success in moderating the harsh dictates of realpolitik, the institutions that we have created to prevent war are unlikely to achieve anything like total success--as evidenced by the multitude of conflicts in recent decades. As the old adage advises us, only the dead have seen the end of war.

About the Author: Bear F. Braumoeller is a professor in the Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University who studies Great Power politics, international conflict, complex systems, and statistical methodology. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He has previously been a faculty member at Harvard University and the University of Illinois and has been a Fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. His first book, The Great Powers and the International System, won the Best Book Award from the International Studies Association as well as the J. David Singer Award.

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Number of pages 325

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