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University of Waterloo
International Studies
Brian Orend

INTST 101 Introduction to International Studies Brian Orend Unit 4 War and PeaceSection 1 Defining War War should be understood as an actual intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities Thus fisticuffs between individual persons do not count as a war nor does a gang fight nor does a feud on the order of the Hatfields versus the McCoys War is a phenomenon which occurs only between political communities defined as those entities which either are states or intend to become states in order to allow for civil war Classical war is international war a war between different states like the two World Wars But just as frequent is war within a state between rival groups or communities like the American Civil War Certain political pressure groups like terrorist organizations might many of them aspire to statehood or to influence the development of statehood in certain lands many things in common such as ethnicity language culture historical experience a set of ideals and values habitat cuisine fashion and so on The state by contrast refers much more narrowly to the machinery of government which organizes life in a given territory Thus we can distinguish between the American state and the American people or between the government 1INTST 101 Introduction to International Studies Brian Orend e relatively recent phenomenon wherein a nation wants its own state and moves to form one This started out as a very European trendan Italian state for the Italian nation a German state for the German people etc but it has spread throughout the world Note that in some countries such as America Australia and Canada the state actually presides over immigration are multinational Multinational countries are sometimes prone to civil wars between the different groups This has been especially true of central Africa in recent years as different peoples struggle over control of the one state or else move to separate themselves from the existing arrangement itself often having been put in place by distant imperial powers insensitive to local group and ethnic differencesAll these distinctions will come in handy as we proceed For now we note how central the issue of statehood is to the essence of warfare Indeed it seems that all warfare is precisely and ultimately about governance War is a violent way for determining who gets to say what goes on in a given territory for example regarding who gets power who gets wealth and resources whose ideals prevail who is a member and who is not which laws get made what gets taught in schools where the border rests how much tax is levied and so on War is the ultimate means for deciding these issues if a peacefulThe mere threat of war and the presence of mutual disdain between political communities do not suffice as indicators of war The conflict of arms must be actual and not merely latent for it to count as war Further the actual armed conflict must be both 2
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