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Conflict, War, and Peace

Conflict, War, and Peace
An Introduction to Scientific Research

Edited by:

August 2013 | 440 pages | CQ Press
Introducing students to the scientific study of peace and war, this exciting new reader provides an overview of important and current scholarship in this dynamic area of study. Focusing on the factors that shape relationships between countries and that make war or peace more likely, this collection of articles by top scholars explores such key topics as dangerous dyads, alliances, territorial disputes, rivalry, arms races, democratic peace, trade, international organizations, territorial peace, and nuclear weapons. Each article is followed by the editors’ commentary: a “Major Contributions” section highlights the article’s theoretical advances and relates each study to the broader literature, while a “Methodological Notes” section carefully walks students through the techniques used in the analysis. Methodological topics include research design, percentages, probabilities, odds ratios, statistical significance, levels of analysis, selection bias, logit, duration models, and game theory models.

Part I: Overview
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell and John A. Vasquez
1. Introduction
Stuart A. Bremer
2. Dangerous Dyads: Conditions Affecting the Likelihood of Interstate War, 1816-1965
Major Contributions: Dangerous Dyads

Methodological Notes: Probabilities

Part II: Dangerous Dyads
Paul R. Hensel, Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Thomas E. Sowers II, and Clayton L. Thyne
3. Bones of Contention: Comparing Territorial, Maritime, and River Issues
Major Contributions: Territorial Conflict

Methodological Notes: Log Odds, Logit Model, and Substantive Significance

Brett Ashley Leeds
4. Alliances and the Expansion and Escalation of Militarized Interstate Disputes
Major Contributions: Alliances

Methodological Notes: Selection Bias

James P. Klein, Gary Goertz, and Paul F. Diehl
5. The New Rivalry Dataset: Procedures and Patterns
Major Contributions: Rivalry

Methodological Notes: Percentages, Reliability, and Validity

Susan G. Sample
6. The Outcomes of Military Buildups: Minor States vs. Major Powers
Major Contributions: Arms Races

Methodological Notes: Statistical Significance and Control Variables

Paul D. Senese and John A. Vasquez
7. Assessing the Steps to War
Major Contributions: The Steps to War

Methodological Notes: Research Design and Measurement

Sara McLaughlin Mitchell and Brandon C. Prins
8. Rivalry and Diversionary Uses of Force
Major Contributions: Diversionary Theory

Methodological Notes: Interaction Terms and the GEE Model

Part III: Peaceful Dyads
John R. Oneal and Bruce Russett
9. The Kantian Peace: The Pacific Benefits of Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885-1992
Major Contributions: Democratic Peace

Methodological Notes: Levels of Analysis

Katherine Barbieri
10. Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?
Major Contributions: Economic Interdependence

Methodological Notes: Missing Data

William Reed
11. A Unified Statistical Model of Conflict Onset and Escalation
Major Contributions: Power Preponderance

Methodological Notes: Selection (Censored Probit) Models

Douglas M. Gibler
12. Bordering on Peace: Democracy, Territorial Issues, and Conflict
Major Contributions: Territorial Peace

Methodological Notes: Spurious Relationships

Victor Asal and Kyle Beardsley
13. Proliferation and International Crisis Behavior
Major Contributions: Nuclear Weapons

Methodological Notes: Ordered Logit Models

Part IV: Outcomes & Consequences of War
Suzanne Werner
14. The Precarious Nature of Peace: Resolving the Issues, Enforcing the Settlement, and Renegotiating the Terms
Major Contributions: Enforcing Settlements

Methodological Notes: Duration (Weibull) Models

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Randolph M. Siverson
15. War and the Survival of Political Leaders: A Comparative Study of Regime Types and Political Accountability
Major Contributions: Leader Survival

Methodological Notes: Game Theory Models


The examined contributions by names such as Stuart Bremer, Paul F. Diehl, John A. Vasquez, Bruce Russet, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Randolph M. Siverson are followed by a methodological note that explains with clarity and precision the contribution to knowledge and the methods used. The originality consists in the process of breaking down what researchers take for granted and adapting it to the undergraduate level of understanding. Against this background, the book addresses a missing link in the module and course handbooks and takes the form of a curated set of lessons in research methods aimed to ‘highlight some of the key research studies on interstate conflict’.

Vladimir Rauta, University of Nottingham
Political Studies Review

This is a significant volume that adds to the extension of sphere of conflict analysis and includes the debates on conflict dyads and various pre-conflict factors and risk games .

Dr Natalia Piskunova
Comparative Politics, State Univ -Higher School of Economics
June 26, 2015

A great all round text, very detailed and ideal for students studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Miss Tracy Ramsey
Social Work Department, Liverpool Hope University
July 24, 2015

Excellent applied methodology text.

Examples pertinent and relevant.

Dr Garrett O'Boyle
Political Science , Trinity College Dublin
April 16, 2014
Key features


  • A focus on “dangerous dyads” helps students understand risk factors of war, such as relative power, alliances, arms races, territorial disputes, and poor economic conditions.
  • The second half of the book builds on the democratic peace literature by identifying factors that improve long term chances for peace, such as democracy, trade, international organizations, nuclear weapons, and the settlement of border disputes.
  • “Major Contributions” sections after each reading highlight the theoretical advances of each article and relate each study to the broader literature on the topic.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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