- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reissue edition (October 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521170451
- ISBN-13: 978-0521170451
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Why Nations Fight: Past and Future Motives for War Paperback – October 11, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Richard Ned Lebow makes an extremely successful attempt at broaching lucidly the main theories of war, and offers a most fascinating and convincing way of bringing them up to date. He strongly renews a classical field of IR studies by considering the new conflicts in a very relevant manner."
Bertrand Badie, Professor, Sciences Po, Paris
"In Why Nations Fight, Richard Ned Lebow makes a welcome contribution to the study of war by bringing motives and reasons (rather than just goals and intentions) back in. Extending his theory of human motives, he develops a typology of wars and establishes a series of propositions about war-initiation which he evaluates on a new historical data set. Last, but not least, he speculates on the future of wars by extrapolating from historical shifts in both the salience of motives and the changing understanding actors have of them."
Stefano Guzzini, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies
"In Why Nations Fight Richard Ned Lebow continues the path-breaking attempt that he started in A Cultural Theory of International Relations to re-orient the way that we study international relations. In this new book he delivers on his promise to draw on systematic data to assess his theoretical analysis of war and, as a consequence, is able to reach some fascinating and broadly optimistic conclusions. Both his theory and evidence indicates that although one of the major reasons that states have gone to war in the past is to raise their international esteem, because of some complex social and cultural changes, war is now much less likely to achieve this goal. It follows that states are becoming much less motivated to go to war. This is a stimulating and challenging attack on orthodox thinking in the field."
Richard Little, University of Bristol
Richard Ned Lebow provides an analysis of the historical causes and consequences of war. He argues that war should become less frequent in the future because territorial conquest has become more difficult and costly, reducing the incentive to make war for material rewards.
Top customer reviews
The book is also misnamed, something I hate. It is not as claimed a study of nations but of great powers and the calculations that they make when they go to war.
The core of the study is a table starting from 1650 that breaks down the motives for going to war into four groups interest (gain), security, standing (honor) and others. I do not know much about some of these early wars, but I do find many in the last century questionable. For example, the Russo-Japanese war 1904, I would say Japan motives were interest much more then her standing or honor. Japan wanted to drive out Russia for her benefit. Russio-Polish war of 1919, Poland's motives were interest as Poland wanted to grab land from Russia. Manchurian 1931, the Japanese wanted to take control of a region in China so I would say interest. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese war(1937) was a grab for a large part of China by Japan so it would be interest. The Russo-Finnish war (1939-40), I would say was an attempt by Russia to take over Finland in other words, interest not security as the writer claims. When the German troops came to the region during WW2, they found that the Russian had not fortified the region. Stalin I doubt ever thought in 1939, that the Germans would get that far into Russia. WW2 Hitler's Lebensraum surely is interest. Japan in 1941 was a combination of standing and interest. Etc., etc.
The problem I now have with the study is because I feel much of the table is wrong. The conclusions become questionable.
The writer also gives a breakdown of whether these great powers won or lost. Overall I tend to agree with him on this breakdown, although some of these, I find strange, for example, Russo-Polish war. He feels that Poland lost. I think the conclusion would be better described as a draw. The Sino-Japanese war from 1937 to 1945, I feel would be better classed as a draw. I would say the Japanese were defeated in China by a new conflict with the Russians in 1945.