Arms Race Theory: Strategy and Structure of Behavior

By Craig Etcheson | Go to book overview

2 THEORIES OF INTERACTION IN ARMS ACCUMULATION

The problem of interaction in armaments accumulation has generated a continuous stream of scientific puzzles for students of the Richardson Tradition across most of the twentieth century. How have these scientific pioneers conceptualized the idea of interaction in armaments accumulation? What kinds of explanations have they adduced in attempts to satisfy their curiosity about this phenomenon? How have students of the Richardson Tradition attempted to incorporate ideas about strategy and bureaucracy into their models? This chapter explores these questions by means of a review of the literature on Richardson models of arms races.

The progress of the Ricardson Tradition over the past seventy years can be seen as a groping search to conceptualize clearly the empirical reality of armaments accumulation processes, a search that continues to expand into new spaces of knowledge. Pioneers of the Richardson Tradition extended scientific attention to arenas never before subjected to such analytical scrutiny. There is much uncharted territory ahead awaiting explorers of the Richardson Tradition. But for now we shall go back to the very beginning of the search.


2.1 If They Did Not Stop to Think . . .

The guns of August 1914 heralded the first great global conflict in the Age of Total War, and as the ways of war changed so did our ways of thinking about war change. Though all Europe seemed to rush gladly headlong into the coming madness, in fact there were many who moved to resist unleashing the dogs of war. One such was the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Joining with Norman Angell and others, Russell formed the Union of Democratic Control to agitate against the war policies of the British government. Among the polemical tracts published by the Union was one called War, the Offspring of Fear. He wrote,

In every war it appears to each side that it is fighting to resist unprovoked aggression. . . . Let us try for a moment to forget praise and blame . . . and to view the whole tragic irony from the standpoint of impartial compassion and understanding . . . each nation believes that it is defending a sacred cause . . . the one motive that makes populations acquiesce is Fear. . . . If civilization is to continue, Europe must find a cure for this universal reign of fear with its consequence of mutual butchery. 1

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Arms Race Theory: Strategy and Structure of Behavior
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • INTRODUCTION: STRATEGY AND THE STRUCTURE OF BEHAVIOR IN ARMS RACES 1
  • 1 - The Problem of Interaction in Arms Accumulation 3
  • Notes 17
  • 2 - Theories of Interaction in Arms Accumulation 25
  • Notes 57
  • 3 - Methods for Representing Interaction in Arms Accumulation 75
  • Notes 108
  • 4 - A Computational Model of Arms Accumulation 115
  • Notes 133
  • 5 - Strategies of Arms Accumulation Research 135
  • Notes 155
  • 6 - Summary and Conclusions on Arms Accumulation 159
  • Notes 166
  • APPENDICES 169
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 183
  • Index 239
  • About the Author 247
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