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Journal Article

War, Peace, and the State of the State

K. J. Holsti
International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique
Vol. 16, No. 4, Dangers of Our Time. Les dangers de notre temps (Oct., 1995), pp. 319-339
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1601353
Page Count: 21
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War, Peace, and the State of the State
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Abstract

Against the tenets of realist literature, the article argues that the main source of war in the last half-century is internally-derived, and resides in the nature of post-1945 states. Regional and temporal variations in the topography of war make suspect realist claims of state similarity and systemic explanations of war. It is not the security dilemma nor the international system, but the composition of state legitimacy and the characteristic of weak, strong, and failed states which explain war today. Regions populated by strong states, defined in terms of legitimacy, are arenas of peace, and regions of weak and failed states are a prime location of war. /// Prenant à partie l'interprétation dite 'réaliste' des conflits armés, l'article montre que la cause principale des guerres de la deuxième moitié du XXe siècle tient à l'état des Etats créés après 1945. Ces Etats, faibles ou défaillants, manquent de légitimité. Les régions du globe composées d'Etats stables et légitimes offrent un cadre propice à la paix: celles qui, à l'inverse, sont composées d'Etats de type contraire favorisent la guerre civile.

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