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The Behavioral Origins of War

D. Scott Bennett and Allan C. Stam

Publication Year: 2004

In The Behavioral Origins of War, D. Scott Bennett and Allan C. Stam analyze systemic, binary, and individual factors in order to evaluate a wide variety of theories about the origins of war. Challenging the view that theories of war are nothing more than competing explanations for observed behavior, this expansive study incorporates variables from multiple theories and thus accounts for war's multiplicity of causes. While individual theories offer partial explanations for international conflict, only a valid set of theories can provide a complete explanation. Bennett and Stam's unconventional yet methodical approach opens the way for cumulative scientific progress in international relations. D. Scott Bennett is Professor of Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University. Allan C. Stam is Associate Professor in the Government Department at Dartmouth College.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii

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Preface & Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

The study of international conbict suffers from an oversupply of theories and a shortage of comprehensive comparative empirical tests. Theories in international relations are typically tested a few at a time, resulting in serious misspeciacation in analysis, a lack...

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pp. 1-14

Social science, like any science, achieves progress through the accumulation of systematic knowledge. To improve our collective understanding of international politics we need to regularly assess both the empirical regularities observed in the world around...

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2. Comparative Hypothesis Testing and Some Limits to Knowledge

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pp. 15-34

To model the changes in the risk of war associated with the various models and arguments in our analysis we employ a variant of the maximum likelihood model of inference described by King (1989). Following this approach, and using a series...

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3. Choosing and Testing the Arguments: The Practice and Pitfalls of Comparative Hypothesis Testing

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pp. 35-69

To test the validity and explanatory power of our hypotheses on conbict initiation and escalation we must complete two basic tasks. First, we must choose the hypotheses we wish to test. While there are many models of international conflict...

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4. Arguments and Operational Measures

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pp. 70-106

In the previous chapter, we laid out the epistemological issues surrounding our research design and many of the choices we made therein. Next, we discuss in detail the models, arguments, and conjectures that we will examine with our statistical tools. We group these by level of analysis, beginning with...

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5. Findings

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pp. 107-164

In this chapter, we test some hypotheses about the onset and escalation of interstate conflict. To do so, we look at the associations between the operational indicators of our various arguments and the dependent variable, the values of which...

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6. Assessing a Model's Reliability Across Space and Time

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pp. 165-199

When faced with an interstate crisis such as that leading up to the Falkland Islands War, did the decision makers in Buenos Aires make their choices in much the same way as did the decision makers in London? Did the leaders of the...

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7. Conclusion

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pp. 200-222

The analysis in the previous chapters ats into a research mosaic that has been developing over the past sixty years. The quantitative study of the origins and escalation of violent conflict between nations now has a history spanning nearly three-quarters...

Appendix A - Data Development and Cumulation for International Relations: EUGene

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pp. 223-231

Appendix B - Measuring Expected Utility

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pp. 232-248


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pp. 249-256


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pp. 257-276


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pp. 277-289

E-ISBN-13: 9780472022014
E-ISBN-10: 0472022016
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472068449
Print-ISBN-10: 047206844X

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 11 drawings, 22 tables
Publication Year: 2004