Human Nature and the Causes of War

  • John DavidĀ Orme

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. John David Orme
    Pages 1-20
  3. John David Orme
    Pages 21-85
  4. John David Orme
    Pages 87-126
  5. John David Orme
    Pages 127-167
  6. John David Orme
    Pages 169-233
  7. John David Orme
    Pages 235-277
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 287-293

About this book


What are the causes of war? Wars are generally begun by a revisionist state seeking to take territory. The psychological root of revisionism is the yearning for glory, honor and power. Human nature is the primary cause of war, but political regimes can temper or intensify these passions. This book examines the effects of six types of regime on foreign policy: monarchy, republic and sultanistic, charismatic, and military and totalitarian dictatorship. Dictatorships encourage and unleash human ambition, and are thus the governments most likely to begin ill-considered wars. Classical realism, modified to incorporate the impact of regimes and beliefs, provides a more convincing explanation of war than neo-realism.

John David Orme is Professor of Politics at Oglethorpe University, USA, and author of The Paradox of Peace; Deterrence, Reputation and Cold-War Cycles; and Political Instability and American Foreign Policy.


Classical Realism Revisionism Power Honor Glory Regime Tyranny Authoritarianism Republics

Authors and affiliations

  • John DavidĀ Orme
    • 1
  1. 1.Oglethorpe UniversityBrookhavenUSA

Bibliographic information