Ten Points on War

in Social Analysis
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This article is a highly distilled summary of conclusions from three decades of research on war, involving examination of tribal societies, ancient states, recent civil wars, archaeology, biology and culture, and primatology. The key points are the following: (1) our species is not biologically destined for war; (2) war is not an inescapable part of social existence; (3) understanding war involves a nested hierarchy of constraints; (4) war expresses both pan-human practicalities and culturally specific values; (5) war shapes society to its own ends; (6) war exists in multiple contexts; (7) opponents are constructed in conflict; (8) war is a continuation of domestic politics by other means; (9) leaders favor war because war favors leaders; (10) peace is more than the absence of war. Each point is applied to the contemporary wars of the United States.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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