Saturday, September 22, 2012

Polarity and War

Over at IntrotoIR, J raises some excellent questions about the work I discussed in my previous post, many of which have to do with the relationship between polarity and war onset.  I was going to respond to him in the comments on his blog, but I realized that I had a lot to say in response to his excellent questions, and readers of this blog might be interested in those comments.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Long Peace?

There has been a lot of discussion about "the long peace", the "retreat from doomsday", and even how we've discovered the better angels of our nature.  An impressive list of scholars has weighed in on whether this trend is likely to continue.

In this post, I'm going to argue that the trend is somewhat different than many of us realize before offering some thoughts on how to understand the frequency of warfare over time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's Wrong with Huntington's Clash of Civilizations?

A better question might be "What's not wrong with Huntington's Clash of Civilizations?", but I'll try not to be too pedantic. In light of recent events, interest in Huntington's thesis has been growing. Even the NYTimes is using language that is clearly influenced by Huntington's work, though they don't specifically mention it. So let's review the merits (such as they are) and demerits of this argument.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Follow-up on Measuring Military Capabilities

In a previous post, I introduced a new index of military capabilities, based on data that is already widely in use (see also this Duck of Minerva post). Based on the great feedback I've received, I decided it was time to revise the measure, and to see how well it does in accounting for war outcomes and the likelihood of conflict.