Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis

Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis

Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis

Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis

Synopsis

What are the causes of war? To answer this question, Professor Waltz examines the ideas of major thinkers throughout the history of Western civilization. He explores works both by classic political philosophers, such as St. Augustine, Hobbes, Kant, and Rousseau, and by modern psychologists and anthropologists to discover ideas intended to explain war among states and related prescriptions for peace.

Excerpt

Almost five decades have passed since I wrote a doctoral dissertation called β€œMan, the State, and die State System in Theories of die Causes of War.” After all diese years, it is pleasant to recall die origins and evolution of die manuscript.

In 1950, when my wife and I were graduate students at Columbia, I devoted the academic year to two demanding taskspreparing for the two-hour oral examinadon that determined one's academic fate and securing a long enough delay in my recall by the army to enable me to be around for the birth of our first child. By April of 1951,1 had finished preparing for my minor field, international relations, and planned to spend the few remaining weeks on a final review of my major field, political theory. At that moment I learned diat Professor Nadianiel Peffer, who was to be my principal examiner in internadonal relations, was in poor health and would not serve on committees for students minoring in the field. I thereupon asked Professor William T. R. Fox to replace Peffer and explained that, as was Professor Peffer's custom, we had agreed that I would concentrate on certain topics, such as imperialism and European diplomatic history, and leave largely aside such odier topics as international law and organization. After phoning the all-knowing departmental secretary, Edith Black, and finding that such arrangements were indeed often made, Professor Fox turned to me and in a kindly voice said, in effect: Nevertheless when you offer international relations as a field for examination, you cover die field rather dian breaking it into bits and concentrating on a few topics.

Under other circumstances, I might have postponed the examination till fall-a sensible plan since word was around that twothirds of graduate students flunked dieir orals. By fall, however, I would be in die army again. Graduate students called Professor Fox . . .

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