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.