By Jack S. Levy
During this far-reaching exploration of the evolution of struggle in human historical past, Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson supply perception into the perennial questions of why and the way people struggle. starting with the origins of conflict between foraging teams, The Arc of conflict attracts on a wealth of empirical info to augment our realizing of ways battle begun and the way it has replaced over the years. The authors aspect to the advanced interplay of political economic climate, political and armed forces association, army know-how, and the chance environment—all of which create altering incentives for states and different actors. They finish that these actors that adapt continue to exist, and those who don't are eradicated. nowa days, war among significant powers has turn into exceptionally expensive and as a result fairly infrequent, whereas lesser powers are too vulnerable to struggle sustained and decisive wars or to avoid inner rebellions. Conceptually cutting edge and traditionally sweeping, The Arc of conflict represents an important contribution to the present literature on war.
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Extra info for The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation, and Transformation
The industrialization of warfare radically increased its costs and led to the phenomenon of total war. 17 Note that we say “reduce the probability of war,” not eliminate the possibility of war. That is far from the case. The escalation of war appears, however, to have diminished the probability of war on a very selective basis, that is, between industrialized states. 18 The first acceleration took place in southern Mesopotamia predominately in the late fourth and early third millennium BCE, as urbanization, population density, and agriculture created new possibilities of scale and kind for intercity warfare.
Other areas became more difficult to find and move to and were increasingly likely to already be populated. Groups became more segmented. Intergroup collisions thus became more probable. 23 Or, as Ronald Cohen (1984, 333) puts it pithily: “the greater the competition for scarce resources . . ” Mass burials found in the Nile Valley suggest that this transition was already underway there some 12,000 years ago. Many other parts of the world had caught up by some 10,000 years ago. Group segmentation is a first step toward the creation of larger groups that may find themselves faced with threats from other groups or opportunities to improve their welfare.
That changes with segmentation. Segmented groups also have nuclear families, but these families are linked through kinship ties to other nuclear families, thereby constituting clans. As D. J. Mattingly (1992, 32) notes: “Tribes are composed of a hierarchy of units: individual people make up households, several households form a kin group, several kin groups constitute a regional clan, a union of clans makes a small tribe, and these small tribes will on occasion . . ” For our purposes, what changes with segmentation is the cognition of group membership, a sense of group identity.
The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation, and Transformation by Jack S. Levy