War and Diplomacy

  • K. M. Fierke


The last chapter raised questions about the cause or constitution of war, against the background of two alternative claims: war is a reflection of the human condition vs. war is a social artifact. At stake is whether war is determined by human nature or is a social product. Other animals, and not only human beings, are violent. Some, such as packs of wolves, engage in group violence. These activities would undoubtedly look the same whether a particular pack of wolves was located in twelfth-century Europe or twentieth-century Asia, assuming we are dealing with the same species of animal. War between human beings involves many more levels of organization and convention than violence between animals. Its reasons go beyond the need for food or protection to a range of more complex motives, ranging from glory to justice to economic gain. While war requires some level of group identity and conflict, this can take many different forms with consequences for how violence is organized. Wars between monarchs in the eighteenth century clearly differ in structure, intent, and forms of weaponry than the “War on Terrorism” at the beginning of the twenty-first.


Nuclear Weapon Ethnic Conflict Guerrilla Warfare Nuclear Deterrence Social Artifact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© K. M. Fierke 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Fierke
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International StudiesQueen’s UniversityBelfastIreland

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