Underlying causes of regional war examined

November 8, 2005

A recent study argues the underlying cause of many regional wars and the type of peace that follows results from a state-to-nation imbalance.

Associate Professor of International Relations Benjamin Miller of the University of Haifa examined the reasons why there are differences in the level of peace among different regions of the world.

Miller also examined why the transition of some regions from war to peace occurs much earlier than in other regions.

He concluded the underlying cause is the lack of compatibility or fit between the existing territorial division of a region into states and the national identification of the peoples living in that region. The greater the state-to-nation imbalance is, the greater the drive towards war.

"State-to-nation problems arouse strong emotions and passionate ideological commitments that make pragmatic compromise and bargaining more difficult," said Miller.

His research is detailed in the current issue of International Studies Review.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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