Confronting War

An Examination of Humanity’s Most Pressing Problem, 4th ed.


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About the Book

This immensely successful textbook is broken into four parts. Part One: Introduction to the War Problem discusses the nature of the war problem, the conceptual framework, and the historical framework. Part Two: Causes of War talks about the cause of war, group competition and group identification, other views about causes of war, and the value of war. In Part Three: The Contemporary Situation, the reader will learn about ideological aspects, national-historical aspects, military aspects, institutional aspects, and legal aspects of the contemporary situation. Part Four: Proposals for Solving the War Problem discusses reforming the attitudes of individuals, reforming the internal operation of national governments, reforming the policies of national governments, and reforming the international system. It also includes maps, tables and charts which will be especially helpful to the reader. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Ronald J. Glossop is professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he served as coordinator of the peace studies program for over 25 years. He is also the author of World Federation? (1993; “presents the case both for and against world government…excellent bibliography”—Choice).

Bibliographic Details

Ronald J. Glossop

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 334
Bibliographic Info: maps, tables, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1121-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5030-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations, Maps, and Charts      x
Preface      1

1. The Nature of the War Problem      3
The Importance of the War Problem      4
The Four Aspects of the War Problem      5
2. The Conceptual Framework      10
The Meaning of the Term “War”      10
An Alternative to War?      15
The Meaning of the Term “Peace”      18
The Meaning of the Term “Justice”      20
The “Just War” Concept      23
Further Reflections on Peace and Justice      26
3. The Historical Framework      30
The History of Warfare Between Sovereign States      30
Wars Since 1946      35
The Changing Nature of War      47
The Present Urgency of the War Problem      53

4. The Cause of War: General Considerations      57
Investigating the Cause of War      57
Individual Human Aggression      60
Individual Aggression and War      65
5. Group Competition and Group Identification      68
Arenas of Group Competition      68
Group Identification and Nationalism      75
Nationalism as a Cause of War      79
6. Other Views About Causes of War      84
Arms Races as a Cause of War      84
Military Planning as a Cause of War      86
Particular Villains as a Cause of War      87
War as an Effort to Suppress Internal Dissension      93
War as an Effort to Eliminate Injustice      94
The Absence of Peaceful Alternatives as a Cause of War      95
7. The Value of War      97
The Biological Value of War      97
The Technological Value of War      98
The Economic Value of War      99
The Psychological Value of War      101
The Social Value of War      102
The Moral Value of War      103
Will War Be Missed?      104

8. Ideological Aspects of the Contemporary Situation      106
Some Basic Distinctions      106
Capitalistic Democracy      112
Communism (Marx, Lenin, and Mao)      117
Fascism (National Socialism)      123
The “End of History” Thesis      125
Religion and War      126
9. National-Historical Aspects of the Contemporary Situation      129
The U.S. Perspective      129
The Russian Perspective      136
The Western European Perspective      144
The Japanese Perspective      147
The Chinese Perspective      150
The Less Developed Countries      155
10. Military Aspects of the Contemporary Situation      159
The Post-World War II Struggle for Power      159
Deterrence Theory      160
The Cuban Missile Crisis      161
Modern Nuclear Weaponry      162
Missile Defense Systems      165
Modern Non-Nuclear Weaponry      168
Weapons and War      170
11. Institutional Aspects of the Contemporary Situation      171
The Structure of the United Nations      171
U.N. Peacekeeping and Nation-Building      174
Dominant Influences in the United Nations      182
Accomplishments of the United Nations      186
Worldwide Functional Agencies      190
Regional Functional and Political Organizations      192
International Nongovernmental Organizations      195
12. Legal Aspects of the Contemporary Situation      198
The Nature of International Law      198
The Evolution of International Law      200
Laws of War      203
The Sources of International Law      204
Enforcing International Law      205

13. Reforming the Attitudes of Individuals      209
Interest in Social Issues Including International Affairs      210
Skepticism and Tolerance      211
Taking Personal Responsibility      212
Reluctance to Use Violence      212
Unselfishness      213
Globalism and Humatriotism      214
World Citizenship      217
Looking Forward Rather Than Back      218
Overcoming Defeatism and Apathy      218
14. Reforming the Internal Operation of National Governments      220
The Western Approach      220
The Marxist Approach      223
The Gandhi-King Approach      226
15. Reforming the Policies of National Governments      229
Peace Through Military Strength      229
Peace Through Alliances      232
Peace Through Neutrality and Economic Self-Sufficiency      234
Peace Through Strictly Defensive Strength      235
Peace Through Civilian Defense      237
Peace Through Arms Control      239
Peace Through Renunciation of War      241
Peace Through Conciliatory Moves and Confidence-Building Measures      242
Peace Through Good Relations, Morality, and Cooperation      244
Peace Through Third-Party Involvement      248
Peace Through International Conflict Management      251
Peace Through Peace Research and Peace Education      254
16. Reforming the International System      257
Limiting National Sovereignty in Specific Situations      259
Consolidating Nations into Larger Units      265
World Government Through Federation      269
World Government Through Functionalism      275
World Government Through Direct Citizen Action      279

A Note to the Reader      285
Chapter Notes      287
Selected Bibliography      309
Index      313

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “comprehensive…one must admire the scrupulous treatment”—Choice
  • “well-written”—International Journal on World Peace
  • “sound educational tool”—International Peace Studies Newsletter
  • “a thorough and painstaking study”—The Human Economy Newsletter
  • “useful…very readable…well written…a treasure house”—Peace Research
  • “worth reading…a masterful analysis of the war problem”—World Federalist
  • “recommended”—Transnational Perspectives
  • “excellent”—Science Books & Films