Conflict After the Cold War : Arguments on Causes of War and Peace book cover
6th Edition

Conflict After the Cold War
Arguments on Causes of War and Peace

Edited By

Richard K. Betts

ISBN 9781032010083
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
722 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Edited by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, Richard K. Betts’s Conflict After the Cold War assembles classic and contemporary readings on enduring problems of international security. Offering broad historical and philosophical breadth, the carefully chosen and excerpted selections in this popular reader help students engage in key debates over the future of war and the new forms that violent conflict will take. Conflict After the Cold War encourages closer scrutiny of the political, economic, social, and military factors that drive war and peace.

New to the Sixth Edition

  • Eight new readings covering issues that have grown in salience since the previous edition or that present new interpretations of answers to old problems, including pieces by Robert Kagan, Edward O. Wilson, Scott D. Sagan, Robert Jervis and Jason Healey, Jacqueline L. Hazelton, Oystein Tunsjo, and Michael Beckley.
  • Updated volume and chapter introductions and a new reading by Richard K. Betts.

Table of Contents


PART I Visions of Conflict and Peace

1.1 The End of History?

Francis Fukuyama

1.2 Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War

John J. Mearsheimer

1.3 The Clash of Civilizations?

Samuel P. Huntington

1.4 The Strongmen Strike Back

Robert Kagan

PART II International Realism: Anarchy and Power

2.1 The Melian Dialogue


2.2 Doing Evil in Order to Do Good

      Niccolò Machiavelli

2.3 The State of Nature and the State of War

      Thomas Hobbes

2.4 Realism and Idealism

      Edward Hallett Carr

2.5 The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory

      Kenneth N. Waltz

2.6 Hegemonic War and International Change

      Robert Gilpin

2.7 Power, Culprits, and Arms

Geoffrey Blainey

PART III International Liberalism: Institutions and Cooperation

3.1 Perpetual Peace

      Immanuel Kant

3.2 Peace Through Arbitration

      Richard Cobden

3.3 Community of Power vs. Balance of Power

      Woodrow Wilson

3.4 Liberalism and World Politics

      Michael W. Doyle

3.5 Power and Interdependence

      Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye

3.6 The Obsolescence of Major War

John Mueller  

PART IV Psychology and Culture: The Human Mind, Norms, and Learning

4.1 Why War?

      Sigmund Freud

4.2 How Good People Do Bad Things

      Stanley Milgram

4.3 War and Misperception

      Robert Jervis

4.4 Spirit, Standing, and Honor

      Richard Ned Lebow

4.5 War Is Only an Invention—Not a Biological Necessity

      Margaret Mead

4.6 People Must Have a Tribe

      Edward O. Wilson

4.7 Men, Women, and War

J. Ann Tickner

PART V Economics: Interests and Interdependence

5.1 Money Is Not the Sinews of War, Although It Is Generally So Considered

      Niccolò Machiavelli

5.2 The Great Illusion

      Norman Angelll

5.3 Paradise Is a Bazaar

      Geoffrey Blainey

5.4 Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

      V. I. Lenin

5.6 Imperialism and Capitalism

      Joseph Schumpeter

5.7 War as Economic Policy

Alan S. Milward

5.8 Structural Causes and Economic Effects

      Kenneth N. Waltz

5.9 Trade and Power

Richard Rosecrance

PART VI Politics: Ideology and Identity

6.1 Democratization and War

      Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder

6.2 Nations and Nationalism

      Ernest Gellner

6.3 Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars

      Chaim Kaufmann

6.4 The Troubled History of Partition

Radha Kumar

PART VII Military Technology, Strategy, and Stability

7.1 Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma

      Robert Jervis

7.2 The Offensive/Defensive Balance of Military Technology

      Jack S. Levy

7.3 Why Nuclear Proliferation May Be Good

      Kenneth N. Waltz

7.4 Why Waltz Is Wrong

      Scott D. Sagan

7.5 The Dynamics of Cyber Conflict

Robert Jervis  and Jason Healey

7.6. Is Strategy an Illusion?

Richard K. Betts


PART VIII Terrorism, Revolution, and Unconventional Warfare

8.1 The Strategic Logic of Terrorism

      Martha Crenshaw

8.2 Speech to the American People

      Osama bin Ladin

8.3 Science of Guerrilla Warfare

      T. E. Lawrence

8.4 On Guerrilla Warfare

      Mao Tse-Tung

8.5 Patterns of Violence in World Politics

      Samuel P. Huntington

8.6 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

      David Galula

8.7 Principles, Imperatives, and Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency

Eliot Cohen, Conrad Crane, Jan Horvath, and John Nagl  

8.8 The "Hearts and Minds" Fallacy

Jacqueline L. Hazelton


PART IX Threat Assessment and Misjudgment: Recurrent Dilemmas

9.1 The German Threat? 1907

      Eyre Crowe and Thomas Sanderson

9.2 The German Threat? 1938

      Neville Henderson

9.3 The Threat to Ukraine From the West

Vladimir Putin

9.4 China: The Return of Bipolarity

Oystein Tunsjo

9.5 China: The Overestimated Threat

Michael Beckley

9.6 How Could Vietnam Happen? An Autopsy

James C. Thomson, Jr


PART X New Threats and Strategies for Peace

10.1 Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict

Thomas F. Homer-Dixon

10.2 Why Cyberdeterrence Is Different

Martin C. Libicki

10.3 The Dark Side of Progress

      Fred C.Iklé

10.4 A World of Liberty Under Law

G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter

10.5 Peace Among Civilizations?

Samuel P. Huntington

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Richard K. Betts is Leo A. Shifrin Professor of War and Peace Studies in the Department of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of American Force, Enemies of Intelligence, Military Readiness, Surprise Attack, and other books.


Praise for Conflict After the Cold War

"Conflict After the Cold War is a carefully selected, tightly inter-related, and crisply summarized collection that introduces the reader to the key conceptual approaches to the study of international conflict. It illustrates how different theoretical approaches offer contrasting explanations for key historical episodes and suggest different policy responses to future problems. No stone is left unturned: Causes of conflict at the international, domestic, and human levels are all addressed. Betts' clear, comprehensive introductions connect each section to the overall theme of the book. Reflecting a lifetime of careful scholarship and teaching, this book is a gift to undergraduate and graduate students, and to the faculty tasked with teaching them the fundamentals of international politics."

Barry R. Posen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This collection of readings is both timeless and timely, offering an unrivaled introduction to the core questions and concepts of international relations. By assembling and judiciously excerpting classic texts into one handy volume, Richard Betts has done a real service to the field."

Rosemary Kelanic, Williams College

"Richard K. Betts, one of our shrewdest and wisest observers of international affairs, has assembled a varied and illuminating set of readings to help students and other readers better understand the major issues of war and peace in the second decade of the contentious and confusing twenty-first century."

Michael Mandelbaum, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Author of Mission Failure: America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era

"For students of international relations and security, and those who teach them, Conflict After the Cold War is the indispensable volume. It is a superb collection of foundational and contemporary readings on the causes of war and peace, curated to stimulate serious thinking about today’s conflicts as well as tomorrow’s. Pulling it all together are Betts’ ten commentaries, each one an illuminating gem of thematic overview, scholarly synthesis, and critical insight."

Timothy Crawford, Boston College

"There is no better source of essential readings on the topic of war and security. Conflict After the Cold War introduces students to many seminal works that form the foundations of contemporary thinking in international relations. I highly recommend this book to those wishing to gain a deeper understanding of realist and liberal thought on anarchy, power, and domestic and international institutions. Excellent readings throughout the book help explain a diverse set of issues related to international conflict, such as economic interdependence, terrorism, and climate change."

David Lektzian, Texas Tech University

"Conflict After the Cold War is an indispensable resource for any course on international security. The blend of contemporary and classic writings, presented by leading thinker Richard Betts, helps students understand the causes of war and peace and the elements of sound security policy. All aspiring strategists should read, and re-read, this volume."

Michael Beckley, Tufts University

"A generation after the Cold War, Richard Betts’ Conflict After the Cold War remains the gold standard of international security readers. Grounded in classical theory and immersed in contemporary issues, Betts' blend of world leaders, philosophers, and scholars offers a three-dimensional foundation for classroom discussion that is both informative and provocative."

Richard W. Maass, University of Evansville

"Richard Betts has assembled an essential collection of essays for any student of security studies. Expertly organized and introduced, Conflict After the Cold War provides historical and contemporary perspectives on a wide range of security challenges."

Brian Urlacher, University of North Dakota

"An impressive collection of classic readings with contemporary work on modern and currently emerging challenges. It works perfectly in exposing students to both theoretical concepts and practical policy problems. With well-edited selections, students can understand the key ideas of competing viewpoints without exhaustive reading."

John W. Dietrich, Bryant University