Why Belligerents Choose Conflict over Peace

  • Ian S. SpearsEmail author


This chapter argues that conflict resolution fails because belligerents prefer conflict over peace. I provide four explanations why belligerents choose violence. First, violence is itself attractive for individuals: in times of peace, violence serves emotional needs; in times of war, violence meets valuable tactical or material objectives. The second argument is that war and violence are regarded by belligerents as necessary for the realization of justice and progress. The third claim is that violence and war are regarded as a force for development and renewal. Finally, when it is allowed to run its course, war is (or is believed to be by disputants) the most reliable route to peace and stability.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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