The Waning of Major War: Theories and Debates, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Waning of Major War

Theories and Debates, 1st Edition

Edited by Raimo Vayrynen


344 pages

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pub: 2005-11-24
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This book is a systematic effort by leading international scholars to map the trends in major-power warfare and explore whether it is waxing or waning. The main point of departure is that major-power war as a historical institution is in decline. This does not mean, though, that wars between states are in general disappearing. While there is some convergence in the conclusions by individual authors, they are by no means unanimous about the trend. The articles explore different causes and correlates of the declining trend in major-power warfare, including the impact of the international structure, nuclear weapons, international law, multilateral institutions, sovereignty and value changes.


"Historians and political scientists from North America and Europe met at Notre Dame University (US) in May 2001 and presented papers predicting that wars between major powers would become less and less likely; they have revised them for publication, but note that the perceived rise of terrorism since then does not impinge on their argument. Their 11 essays cover debating the past and future of major war, systemic causes of major wars and their decline, the international system and institutions, and long-term perspectives." --Reference & Research Book News

Table of Contents

Introduction, Raimo Väyrynen, Waning of Major War: Contending Views

1. Paul W. Schroeder, Debating the Waning of Major War

2. John Mueller, Does War Still Exist?

3. Marie T. Henehen and John Vasquez, The Changing Probability of Interstate War, 1816-1992

4. Peter Wallensteen, Major War is Not Waning, Yet

5. Martin van Creveld, The Decline of Major War: Nuclear Weapons and International Law

6. T.V. Paul, Does the Risk of Nuclear War Belong to History?

7. Kalevi J. Holsti, The Changing International System and the Decline of Major War

8. Patrick M. Morgan, Multilateral Institutions and Major War

9. Hendrik Spruyt, Normative Transformations in International Relations and the Waning of Major War

10. William R. Thompson, Democratic Peace, Civil Society, and Major War

11. Raimo Väyrynen, Capitalism, Peace, and War

Raimo Väyrynen, Conclusion

About the Editor

Raimo Varynen is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, and Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

About the Series

Contemporary Security Studies

This series focuses on new research across the spectrum of international peace and security, in an era where each year throws up multiple examples of conflicts that present new security challenges in the world around them.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security