Essay on Causes And Effect Of War On The Last 100 Years

1924 Words Dec 9th, 2016 8 Pages
What have been the main causes of peace in the last 100 years? At first glance, the question seems straightforward; however, the last 100 years have been the most violent and deadly in recorded human history. During this period, conflicts resulted in the death of approximately 180-230 million people (Leitenberg, 2006), and since 1946 there have been 259 conflicts in 159 locations around the world (Pettersson and Wallensteen, 2015). These figures suggest that the previous century was one of constant conflict. However, Gartzke noted that the stochastic occurrence of war hinged on uncertainty (1999), thereby suggesting that its outbreak occurred from an underlying condition of peace. Meirowitz and Sartori argued that for war to occur between rational actors, at least one of them must expect that gains from the conflict will outweigh the costs, so without this belief there might be lasting peace (2008). At least three factors during the past 100 years resulted in the majority of states determining that war was not worth the costs. Systemic polarity, institutional development, and shared ideas caused the conditions for peace, even if those conditions may not last another 100 years. Systemic change from multipolarity to bipolarity is the first cause of peace over the past century. Gulick described a doctrine of counterpoise designed to achieve balance an equilibrium of power within a multipolar international system to ensure the survival of individual states and to…

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