Exploring Causes of Conflict Decline: Conflict Studies Memo


In the article, the author raises fundamental issues dealing with policy, political decisions, and attitudes in interesting ways. For instance, according to the author’s explanation, the decline of war between states and intra-states is a phenomenon that has gained popularity as result of changes experienced in human interactions. This implies that the factors that often influence warfare has have lost prominence in the recent years. It means policies formulated by successive governments across the world have noted that internal and external conflicts as consequences of complex patterns notably violence as a center of contestation. Additionally, socio-economic and political decisions with far-reaching effect have been witnessed on that account that armed conflicts have lost their past allure among citizens. Consequently, elections are increasingly becoming the preferred political choice of civilians in charting their destinies instead of engaging in war. Interestingly, as postulated in the article “Study of Peace and War”, the writer believes that peace is the new alternative form of war in a new interstate system with delimitations as opposed to a global system. The new political phenomenon has the blessings of numerous world bodies such as the UN that has encouraged since it has minimal casualties (Wallensteen 2015, pp. 156). The independent variables in the argument hence are pegged on war as the constant that has significant impact on other dependent variables such as citizenship, good governance, and democratization space. Contrastingly, the evidence produced in favor of the explanation by the author is that of expansion of alliances and partnerships between political factions to further strengthen nationhood devoid of historical conflicts. Overall, the step of locating the designs of war through studies of repeated crises is what contributes to expanded dispensations. 

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However, there are significant weaknesses by the various authors in the arguments regarding both war and peace. For example, the idea of territorial explanation has fundamental flaws since it does not include the geopolitical disputes that often arise because of boundaries. It means the fight between neighbors is usually caused by territorial claims that are not an issue given critical examination by the different writers in their respective articles. Therefore, the social dynamics become the focal point of examining historical changes especially in cases where concentration of power is with a few political elites (Fortna 2008, pp. 234). Accordingly, the demographic changes in terms of world populations has not been tackled effectively since even information flows in the modern era have become instrumental in determining the decline of armed conflicts between states. Contrastingly, production as an economic venture within the global framework is a crucial component of interaction between peoples hence failing to highlight its essential function in unifying disparate forces was a weakness. 

These interactions are nowadays manifested in transportations realized through air transport and electric trains that establish interesting autonomies for nations that have chosen peace over war. On that account, the weaknesses are cross-cutting amongst all the authors with variations witnessed between major powers in their legislative decisions. Unfortunately, the recurrence of disputes between peoples of diverse cultures has not stopped because of increasing interaction between states occasioned by global trade (Goldstein 2011, pp. 289). Consequently, the assertion by the writers of the end of such wars lacks foundational context of war as a recurrent event. Failure to consider the impact of alliances is another area of contestation that if critical examined will help understand the dynamics of conflict. 

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  1. Wallensteen, P. (2015). Quality Peace: Peacebuilding, Victory, and World Order. New York: Springer. 
  2. Fortna, V. (2008). Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices After Civil War. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 
  3. Goldstein, J. (2011). Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide. New York: Dutton. 
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