POLITICAL THEORY - Thomas Hobbes
Peace, war and international security: economic theories
Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict such as war and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. Throughout history leaders have used peacemaking and diplomacy to establish a certain type of behavioral restraint that has resulted in the establishment of regional peace or economic growth through various forms of agreements or peace treaties. Such behavioral restraint has often resulted in the reduction of conflicts, greater economic interactivity, and consequently substantial prosperity. The Anglo-French term Pes itself comes from the Latin pax , meaning "peace, compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of hostility, harmony.
Peace and conflict studies is a social science field that identifies and analyzes violent and nonviolent behaviours as well as the structural mechanisms attending conflicts including social conflicts , with a view towards understanding those processes which lead to a more desirable human condition. This is in contrast to military studies , which has as its aim on the efficient attainment of victory in conflicts, primarily by violent means to the satisfaction of one or more, but not all, parties involved. Disciplines involved may include philosophy , political science , geography , economics , psychology , sociology , international relations , history , anthropology , religious studies , and gender studies , as well as a variety of others. Relevant sub-disciplines of such fields, such as peace economics , may be regarded as belonging to peace and conflict studies also. Peace and conflict studies is both a pedagogical activity, in which teachers transmit knowledge to students; and a research activity, in which researchers create new knowledge about the sources of conflict. Peace and conflict studies entails understanding the concept of peace which is defined as political condition that ensures justice and social stability through formal and informal institutions, practices, and norms.
Drawing from theories that examine security-dilemma spiraling and the dynamics of relative decline, the chapter shows that established theories of major war can be made relevant to the nuclear age—once they have incorporated the importance of Cold War spiraling and inadvertent war. The chapter argues that any theory of international relations that seeks to explain changes in the likelihood of nuclear war must incorporate into its causal logic the willingness of states to take actions that risk an inadvertent slide into war. While it may not be rational to initiate a nuclear war against another great power, it may indeed be rational, under certain circumstances, for leaders to switch to hard-line actions that raise the probability of a war neither side would have actively desired prior to the onset of a crisis. Keywords: realism , deterrence , security dilemma , bargaining theory of war , inadvertent war. Dale C.
Peace, war and international security is an area in which economists are often conspicuous by their absence, to a degree that rivals the importance of economic issues to the problems at hand. It is not unusual to find studies of post-conflict reconstruction in which economics is surprisingly found to be important. In the case of the World Bank, it came as a great shock to the other social scientists when economists started to argue that economics might have a major role to play in understanding civil wars Collier et al. Economists do have the gift of overstatement and a tendency to state unpleasant truths in a clear and precise way that can disturb other social scientists, whose indignation and overreaction reflected this. Dunne, P.