Conflict After the Cold War : Arguments on Causes of War and Peace book cover
5th Edition

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

Edited By

Richard K. Betts

ISBN 9781138290693
Published April 11, 2017 by Routledge
682 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Edited by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, Richard Betts' 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 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 Fifth Edition:

  • Original introductions to each of 10 major parts as well as to the book as a whole have been updated by the author.
  • An entirely new section (Part IX) on "Threat Assessment and Misjudgment" explores fundamental problems in diagnosing danger, understanding strategic choices, and measuring costs against benefits in wars over limited stakes.
  • 12 new readings have been added or revised:

Fred C. Iklé, "The Dark Side of Progress"

G. John Ikenberry, "China’s Choice"

Kenneth N. Waltz, "Why Nuclear Proliferation May Be Good"

Daniel Byman, "Drones: Technology Serves Strategy"

Audrey Kurth Cronin, "Drones: Tactics Undermine Strategy"

Eyre Crowe and Thomas Sanderson, "The German Threat? 1907"

Neville Henderson, "The German Threat? 1938"

Vladimir Putin, "The Threat to Ukraine from the West"

Eliot A. Cohen, "The Russian Threat"

James C. Thomson, Jr., "How Could Vietnam Happen? An Autopsy"

Stephen Biddle, "Afghanistan’s Legacy"

Martin C. Libicki, "Why Cyberdeterrence is Different"

Table of Contents


Part I. Visions of Conflict and Peace_____________________________________

    1. Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History?"
    2. John J. Mearsheimer, "Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War"
    3. Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?"
    4. Fareed Zakaria, "Economics Trumps Politics"
    5. Fred C. Iklé, "The Dark Side of Progress"

Part II. International Realism: Anarchy and Power_____________________________

    1. Thucydides, "The Melian Dialogue"
    2. Niccolo Machiavelli, "Doing Evil in Order to Do Good"
    3. Thomas Hobbes, "The State of Nature"
    4. Edward Hallett Carr, "Realism and Idealism"
    5. Kenneth N. Waltz, "The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory"
    6. Robert Gilpin, "Hegemonic War and International Change"
    7. Geoffrey Blainey, "Power, Culprits, and Arms"

Part III. International Liberalism: Institutions and Cooperation_______________

    1. Immanuel Kant, "Perpetual Peace"
    2. Richard Cobden, "Peace Through Arbitration"
    3. Woodrow Wilson, "Community of Power vs. Balance of Power"
    4. Michael W. Doyle, "Liberalism and World Politics"
    5. Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, "Power and Interdependence"
    6. John Mueller, "The Obsolescence of Major War"

Part IV. Psychology and Culture: The Human Mind, Norms, and Learning________

    1. Sigmund Freud, "Why War?"
    2. Stanley Milgram, "How Good People Do Bad Things"
    3. Robert Jervis, "War and Misperception"
    4. Richard Ned Lebow, "Spirit, Standing, and Honor"
    5. Margaret Mead, "War is Only an Invention, Not a Biological Necessity"
    6. J. Ann Tickner, "Men, Women, and War"

Part V. Economics: Interests and Interdependence__________________

    1. Niccolo Machiavelli, "Money is Not the Sinews of War..."
    2. Norman Angell, "The Great Illusion"
    3. Geoffrey Blainey, "Paradise is a Bazaar"
    4. V.I. Lenin, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism"
    5. Joseph Schumpeter, "Imperialism and Capitalism"
    6. Alan S. Milward, "War as Policy"
    7. Kenneth N. Waltz, "Structural Causes and Economic Effects"
    8. Richard Rosecrance, "Trade and Power"
    9. G. John Ikenberry, "China’s Choice"

Part VI. Politics: Ideology and Identity_____________________________

    1. Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, "Democratization and War"
    2. Ernest Gellner, "Nations and Nationalism"
    3. Chaim Kaufmann, "Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars"
    4. Radha Kumar, "The Troubled History of Partition"

Part VII. Military Technology, Strategy, and Stability__________________

    1. Robert Jervis, "Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma"
    2. Jack S. Levy, "The Offensive/Defensive Balance of Military Technology"
    3. Kenneth N. Waltz, "Why Nuclear Proliferation May Be Good"
    4. Daniel Byman, "Drones: Technology Serves Strategy"
    5. Audrey Kurth Cronin, "Drones: Tactics Undermine Strategy"

Part VIII. Terrorism, Revolution, and Unconventional Warfare________

    1. Martha Crenshaw, "The Logic of Terrorism"
    2. Osama bin Ladin, "Speech to the American People"
    3. T. E. Lawrence, "Science of Guerrilla Warfare"
    4. Mao Tse-tung, "On Guerrilla Warfare"
    5. Samuel P. Huntington, "Patterns of Violence in World Politics"
    6. David Galula, "Insurgency and Counterinsurgency"
    7. Eliot Cohen, Conrad Crane, Jan Horvath, and John Nagl, "Principles, Imperatives, and Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency"
    8. Gian P. Gentile, "A Strategy of Tactics: The Folly of Counterinsurgency"

Part IX. Threat Assessment and Misjudgment: Recurrent Dilemmas

    1. Eyre Crowe and Thomas Sanderson, "The German Threat? 1907"
    2. Neville Henderson, "The German Threat? 1938"
    3. Vladimir Putin, "The Threat to Ukraine from the West"
    4. Eliot A. Cohen, "The Russian Threat"
    5. James C. Thomson, Jr., "How Could Vietnam Happen? An Autopsy"
    6. Stephen Biddle, "Afghanistan’s Legacy"
    7. Richard K. Betts and Thomas J. Christensen, "China: Can the Next Superpower Rise Without War?"

Part X. New Threats and Strategies for Peace______________________

    1. Thomas F. Homer-Dixon, "Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict"
    2. Martin C. Libicki, "Why Cyberdeterrence is Different"
    3. G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter, "A World of Liberty Under Law"
    4. Samuel P. Huntington, "Peace Among Civilizations?"

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Richard K. Betts is the Arnold Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies in the Department of Political Science, the director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies, and the director of the International Security Policy Program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is also Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies on the Council of Foreign Relations, a commissioner to the National Commission on Terrorism, and former staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His research interests include national security, military strategy, and international conflict, and he has published numerous articles on foreign policy, military strategy, intelligence operations, conventional forces, nuclear weapons, arms trade, collective security, strategic issues in Asia, and other subjects.


Praise for the Fifth Edition

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

In this new edition, 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, the fifth edition of 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, the new edition of Conflict After the Cold War provides historical and contemporary perspectives on a wide range of security challenges.

Brian Urlacher, University of North Dakota

This new edition brings together 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