War and Politics: The Future of Strategy in the World

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Thomas Hobbes wrote in The Leviathan that man is naturally competitive....

Introduction

Thomas Hobbes wrote in The Leviathan that man is naturally competitive. This is one of the ‘principal causes of quarrel’[1]. Men compete for territory, resources and social reproductive needs to maintain the bests of the survival sources.[2] However, limited resources lead to great struggles between powers and it becomes a winning or losing game in the end. From this simple point of view, war can be seen as inevitable from antiquity because of reflections of human nature over why we make war.

According to Realism and Social Darwinism, war is not only a metaphor of the world, it is closely related to the state, nation, and even the international arena. For instance, Moltke, a mid-nineteenth century Realist, respected war as the ‘honour of a state’[3] in order to explain the continued existence of it in international sphere. Bernhardi, a Social Darwinist reduced it all to a struggle which ‘guides the external development of societies, nations, and races’[4]. In other words, political life and social life are both struggles and war is a struggle for survival.

In the modern period, nationalism has come into prominence under the influence of above mentioned ideologies. Thus, nations have become top political authorities which keep control of the monopoly of violence. In keeping control of the monopoly of violence, nation-states are still substantial actors in the international arena and state interest has been perceived in terms of the phenomenon of the war under the nation-state-centered perspective.

War has also been seen as the last resort when all diplomatic ways have failed in the international arena. In this sense, war is actually not independent and different from early or later political processes. War is the continuation of politics as a last political means of states. However, non-state actors have been becoming more visible and this visibility affects the nature and aim of warfare with the growing effects of globalization and technological development. So, the phenomenon of war has gone beyond the traditional understanding in today’s contemporary thinking.

Hayriye KORKMAZ

Lund University Department of Political Science

December 2012

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Africa 0 144
Asia 0 225
Europe 0 38
Latin America & Carribean 0 31
North America 0 7
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