So-called conflict theorists and the many scholars who have asked about the causes of war have seldom looked at war as a process. Instead they have generally accepted, implicitly or explicitly, a simple dichotomy between war and peace. One author, reviewing contributions to the Journal of Conflict Resolution during the years 1957–1968, has remarked: “I get the feeling that, for most JCR contributors, once a war happens, it ceases to be interesting” (Converse, 1968:476-477). Commenting on this, a historian has suggested that conflict theorists’ neglect of the dynamics of war may reflect a prevalent notion that “once a war breaks out, its end is inherent in its beginning—simply a mindless, inescapable playing-out of forces set in motion at the outset ...” (Carroll, 1970:15). Even with the kind of awareness of escalation that has been forced upon all of us by the recent example of the development of small wars into a larger one in Southeast Asia, the literature on escalation remains, as remarked by the editors of a book on Theory and Research on the Causes of War, “quite scanty” (Pruitt and Snyder, 1969:57).
KeywordsResponse Process Population Pressure Ecological Perspective Specific Observation Conflict Theorist
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