By Yih-Jye Hwang
What's the thought of peace? This textbook goals to provide a complete and updated creation to stories of peace and battle, from either theoretical and empirical views.
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Additional info for Global Challenges: Peace and War
Even if their intentions are peaceful, uncertainty about the future gives states the the causes of war 37 incentive to invest in their militaries for the purpose of defending themselves. In turn, this may alarm neighbouring states, which will increase their defence investment. Ultimately, this makes such investments selfdefeating, because the security of one state spells insecurity for another. The result is the security dilemma that regularly spurs arms races (Herz 1950). Whereas states can ally with others to balance strong adversaries, changes in the relative power between states (often as a consequence of economic and/or technological developments) lead to imbalances and uncertainty that sometimes result in war.
The neurophysiological processes involved are motor mimicry and emotional contagion, and some animals are definitely capable of these. For instance, contagiousness of yawning, self-scratching, and neonatal imitating of facial expressions all occur in monkeys. Emotional contagion between familiar individuals has been demonstrated in many mammals, such as mice. de Waal (2010) argues that these abilities probably evolved in connection with parental care in mammals: good care taking implies being able to sense pain, distress, and contentment in babies.
Finally, whereas the human toll of recent conflicts such as in Rwanda (1994) or Darfur (since 2003) may invite pessimism, it was the wars between the major powers, especially World War I and World War II that have been the most destructive in recent history. In this respect, we are relatively fortunate to witness an ‘era of leading power peace’ ( Jervis 2002). In contrast to widely held assumptions, wars have become less deadly in recent decades: ‘The average conflict in the new millennium kills ninety percent less people each year than did the average conflict in the 1950s’ (Human Security Report Project 2010: 8).