Stories of war origins: a narrativist theory of the causes of war

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All history is tendentious, and if it were not tendentious nobody would write it.

History is therefore never history, but history-for.

War is a multi-causal phenomenon, not only in the oft-noted sense that a variety of factors contribute to the making of a war, but also in the perhaps less obvious sense that there are multifarious casual paths to war. Some of the more idiographically minded are adamant, therefore, that 'the only investigation of the causes of war that is intellectually respectable is that of the unique origins ... of the particular past wars'. And even one of the more nomothetically minded has conceded, some dissentign voices notwithstanding, that 'the hope that there are a few necessary conditions that must always be present in order for war to occur is probably not going to be fulfilled'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-418
Number of pages18
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


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