Causes of War – Literature review Example

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The paper "Causes of War" is a wonderful example of a literature review on the military. Human Nature is a common cause of war. According to Brown (2005 pg. 13), there are some aspects of human nature that lead to the occurrence of war. There are a number of human behaviours that may aggravate enmity and hence give rise to conflict and war. These include character traits such as greed and violence. Seemingly, man can be very violent in nature and will tend to inflict harm to fellow human beings especially when provoked.

Occasionally, two or more people may also develop an interest in the same thing and become rivals (Brown, 2005). The greedy individual with the desire to gain more will do anything within his limits to get that particular thing. As such, he may employ all possible methods including fighting, which may result in war. Another human characteristic that causes war is anger. Anger arises out of bitterness. The most probable cause of anger is when an individual is offended by the actions of the other (Benoist, 2007).

Anger will cause such a person to retaliate or revenge by fighting. This results in war and conflict. It may seem rather odd to list these as causes of war in regard to human behaviour. However, human beings are naturally triggered by such behaviours to start a war. Hate also causes war as hatred between individuals or societies leads to strained relationships that may easily lead to the eruption of war. War is also caused by the man’ s ego. Generally, men have the characteristic of egoism which is associated with pride (Benoist, 2007).

As such, they bear the natural tendencies of always wanting everything to happen according to their planned desires. If the other people do not act in accordance with their desires and philosophies, they are likely to cause chaos in an attempt of bringing these people under their rule. Thus man can wage war at any time to get the others do want they want them to do (Brown, 2005). The cause has however been criticised by various writers. First, it has been criticized that the nature of one individual cannot be attributed to a whole lot of people.

Waltz, (as cited in Brown, 2005) categorizes it as a “ reductionist” way of thinking that one cannot reduce the behaviour of a whole society to match with that of only one individual. One individual who is greedy does not mean that the whole population should be defined to be greedy as well (Waltz, 2000). Secondly, war can also be caused by the nature of societies, governments and their economies. This has been explained in different theories of war that have attempted to elaborate on the causes of war.

The first is the hegemonic theory that was put forward by Robert Gilpin (Levy & Thompson, 2010). In his theory, Gilpin argued that war is caused by major international powers in their strife for power and leadership. This gives rise to an international system known as the hegemonic wars. In this theory, every international system has that one state that will always dominate above the rest. This leadership is majorly attributed to military power and strength. It is then coupled by the economic strength of that state (Ray, 2000).

With such a setting in place, the dominant state achieves some powers over the rest of the states such as the international currency control and the overall leadership in the status quo. The interests of this state will then tend to be placed as of higher priority as compared to the others (Benoist, 2007).

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