Why War

Why War?
Patricia Siekelova
Glion Institute of Higher Education
October 10, 2010

The word war has a negative connotation in every language. Images associated with this word are often death, nuclear bombs, world war and destruction. Since even the idea of war is so repelling, why war? What are the reasons that drive people into war even though they are aware of the death and suffer it brings?   According to the WordIQ website, there is great debate over why wars happen and what are the causes. Representatives of many different academic areas have tried to explain war unfortunately none have come up with a conclusive explanation. This only suggests that the issue is complicated and very hard to predict and generalize. In this paper we will be looking at seven different theories made by different experts about the causes of war.

Historical Theory
Historians are very reluctant to generalize wars and come up with a pattern that could be predictable and used to analyze the war patterns. A. J. P. Taylor has famously described wars as being like car accidents. There are some conditions and situations that make them more likely but do not make them inevitable or predictable. Many social scientist criticize this approach to generalize war because they argue that at the beginning of every war some leader makes a conscious decision and it cannot be purely accidental where war happens and where it doesn’t. (Wordiq.com)

Psychological Theory
Psychologists, on the other hand, have a different view on the generalization of war. Psychologists such as E.F.M. Durban and John Bowlby have argues that people, especially males, are naturally violent.   (wordiq.com) While this violence is repressed in normal society it needs the occasional outlet provided by war. When it is combined with other factors, such as displacement of emotions such as transfer of their grievances into bias or hatred against other ethnic groups, nations or ideologies. This theory explains why wars...