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This book constructs a new scientific explanation of the causes of war. The author describes systematically those factors common to wars between equal states to see if there is a pattern that suggests why war occurs and delineates the typical path by which relatively equal states have become embroiled in wars with one another in the modern global system. The book differs from others in that it employs the large number of empirical findings generated in the past twenty-five years to solve the puzzle of war and peace.
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In constructing a new scientific explanation of the causes of war, this study examines its common factors to discover why it occurs and to delineate the typical path by which relatively equal states have become embroiled in wars within the modern global system.Review:
"Vasquez provides an answer to the question of international relations without pretension. This extraordinary book turns to, and employs past scholarship even as it exposes itself to crucial contemporary debates. The points raised here should be received as an indication of the stimulating nature of a work that should be read widely, both for its argument and its approach." The Review of Politics
"This is a book that L. F. Richardson would have read with scientific interest and admiration for the many accomplishments that have taken place in the half-century since his pathbreaking work. It provides a challenging standard for the growth of scientific understanding of war. Research funding agencies should also take note of the high return on their limited investment in this field, and the investigators should be proud. The war puzzle may not be entirely solved; but today we understand many more parts of it than Richardson did or, for that matter, than Thucydides ever dreamed imaginable. The War Puzzle bears wtness to this scientific progress." Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, American Political Science Review
"The War Puzzle issues a powerful indictment aganst political realism, both in theory and in practice, and the evidence it adduces makes at least a plausible case." William J. Dixon, Mershon International Studies Review
"Vasquez's synthesis makes considerable headway in our collective search for a better understanding of why states go to war...Whether one comes away from reading Vasquez's interpretation of one path to war as a fan or a critic, something will have been learned in the process." The International History Review
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