Jack S. Levy, William R. Thompson

Although wars within states have always been more common than wars between states, the relative frequency of civil war to external war has increased significantly since 1945, and the human costs of civil wars now exceed those of interstate wars. Data from the Correlates of War project show that in the period from 1945 to 1997 there were 23 interstate wars involving 3.3 million battle deaths and 108 civil wars involving 11.4 million deaths. On average, civil wars last four times as long as do interstate wars, and approximately three – quarters of the countries experiencing a civil war suffered from at least one additional civil war.

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2 Responses to Jack S. Levy, William R. Thompson

  1. shinichi says:

    7. Civil War

    Causes of War

    by Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson


    1. Introduction to the Study of War
    2. System-Level Theories
    3. The Dyadic Interactions of States
    4. The State and Societal Level
    5. Decision-Making: The Individual Level
    6. Decision-Making: The Organizational Level
    7. Civil War
    8. Conclusion: Refl ections on Levels, Causes, and War

  2. shinichi says:

    8. Conclusion: Refl ections on Levels, Causes, and War

    Einstein might have been right that “ God does not play dice with the universe. ”We suspect, however, that Bernstein et al. are right that “ God gave physics the easy problems, ”and that the social world is even more complex than the physical world. War is hardly an exception. Clausewitz was right that there is a “ fog of war, ”and a fog of peace as well. That fog complicates the conduct of war and impedes our comprehension of war, particularly its causes. The collective efforts of scholars in recent decades have helped to dissipate the fog to some extent. Further progress is anticipated, warranted, and needed, but it is not clear that the fog of war will ever lift completely. An appreciation of the nature of past efforts to make sense of the causes of war is a necessary but not sufficient foundation for further progress, and for further efforts to reduce the incidence of war and to mitigate its effects. We hope that this book has contributed to that foundation.

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