As the twentieth century draws to a close, it is time to look back on an epoch of widespread turmoil, including two world wars, the end of the colonial era in world history, and a large number of international crises and conflicts. This book is designed to shed light on the causes and consequences of military-security crises since the end of World War I, in every region, across diverse economic and political regimes, and cultures. The primary aim of this volume is to uncover patterns of crises, conflicts and wars and thereby to contribute to the advancement of international peace and world order.
The culmination of more than twenty years of research by Michael Brecher and Jonathan Wilkenfeld, the book analyzes crucial themes about crisis, conflict, and war and presents systematic knowledge about more than 400 crises, thirty-one protracted conflicts and almost 900 state participants. The authors explore many aspects of conflict, including the ethnic dimension, the effect of different kinds of political regimes--notably the question whether democracies are more peaceful than authoritarian regimes, and the role of violence in crisis management. They employ both case studies and aggregate data analysis in a Unified Model of Crisis to focus on two levels of analysis--hostile interactions among states, and the behavior of decision-makers who must cope with the challenge posed by a threat to values, time pressure, and the increased likelihood that military hostilities will engulf them.
This book will appeal to scholars in history, political science, sociology, and economics as well as policy makers interested in the causes and effects of crises in international relations. The rich data sets will serve researchers for years to come as they probe additional aspects of crisis, conflict and war in international relations.
Michael Brecher is R. B. Angus Professor of Political Science, McGill University. Jonathan Wilkenfeld is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland. They are the coauthors of Crises in the Twentieth Century: A Handbook of International Crisis, among other books and articles.