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International Conflict

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Presentation on theme: "International Conflict"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Conflict

2 War is as ancient as humanity and has been studied seriously by human beings for almost as long…Since we don’t have very good answers, the question becomes: Why War?

3 “Pray tell, my brother, Why do dictators kill and make war
“Pray tell, my brother, Why do dictators kill and make war? For glory; for things, for beliefs, for hatred, for power. Yes, but more, because they can.” -R. J. Rummel

4 The Causes of International Conflict
As Ray and Kaarbo (p 162) suggest, “war is a pervasive part of global politics and has been the central topic of study for scholars of international relations” They explain (p. 163) there are two types of intl conflict: Interstate wars (wars b/n countries) and Intrastate wars (wars inside countries)

5 The Causes of International Conflict
According to the Ray textbook (p.162): “since 3600 B.C., there have been only 292 years w/o war, and each decade since 1816 has averaged 22 wars” They add (p. 162) that “about 150 million people have died from war-related deaths since 300 B.C.

6 The Causes of International Conflict
According to my favorite international relations scholar, R. J. Rummel (Understanding War): “There have been about 350 wars of all kinds since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which once and for all defeated Napoleon's lust for power. If this number fairly well represents the frequency of war in history, there have been nearly 13,600 wars since 3,600 B.C.1 The toll of human misery measures around 30,000,000 direct battle deaths since Waterloo and 1,000,000,000 since 3,600 B.C.1a Then there are the uncountable deaths, the broken bodies and lives from the ravages and effects of these wars.”

7 The Causes of International Conflict
Amazingly, when looking at world history, statistics show (Cioffi-Revilla 1996) that the world has been totally FREE of significant interstate, colonial, or civil war in only 1 out of every 12 years in ALL of recorded history

8 The Causes of International Conflict
Speaking to war’s Severity: During WWI, 8.4M soldiers and 1.4M civilians died; during WWII 16.9M soldiers and 34.3M civilians died (so you can see civilians were more of a target since WWI—ratio of soldiers to civilians killed went from 6:1 in WWI to 1:2 by WWII)

9 The Causes of International Conflict
According to Kegley & Wittkopf (2004, p412), armed conflict has become increasingly concentrated in the 3rd world…since 1945, 9 out of every 10 wars have been in the weak or failed states of the Global South (Worldwatch 2003 database)

10 The Causes of International Conflict
*Since 1990, most armed conflicts have occurred in Asia and Africa—regions w/the largest # of countries, largest populations, and LOWEST levels of incomes *According to Harper’s 13 of the world’s 35 wars were underway in Africa in

11 The Causes of International Conflict
*Most wars NOW are INTERNAL (or civil wars) in nature *Since this is the case, scholars have turned their attention, predictably, to the study of civil wars… *In fact, as Ray and Kaarbo (pp ) highlight, “from 1989 to 1996 [and cont. into 2004] there have been 96 armed conflicts of which ONLY 5 have been between states…”

12 The Causes of International Conflict
**At the end of the day, in and of themselves, these war-related statistics do NOT aid our understanding of such international violence. **Rather, they simply interest or depress, much like the weird facts you may find in the Guinness Book of World Records. **Understanding requires digging beneath the numbers to the how and why of each war. In other words, it takes looking at factors like: a. the personality and perceptions of leaders, b. the decision-making process, c. the environmental and cultural limits and forces, d. the political and social context, e. and the historical grievances.

13 The Causes of International Conflict
Starting today, we begin to look at the “how and the why” of international conflict…hopefully, we will all come to a better understanding of why human beings have been slaughtering each other for thousands of years Today, we start with a brief examination of the causes of war Then we analyze specific 20th century conflicts—WWI, WWII, the Cold War, etc—using the Why Nations Go to War & Ray and Kaarbo texts as well as several videos…Should be an interesting month

14 The Causes of International Conflict
Let’s now turn to the internet lecture on the causes of international conflict…

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