Reading for Week 10. Book: Social Problems, Chapter: 10
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SP10: War and Terrorism
Politics, The State and Warfare
The kind of state plays a crucial role, a decentralized government (like Canada’s) is less likely to wage
war. Those that try to dominate civil society in everyday life, a very centralized government, are more
World System Theory; unequal relationships between countries of Core-Periphery. This can be due to
military, colonial imperialism; however nowadays also due to economic imperialism/dependence. This
also creates conflict, war.
The Nature of War and Terrorsim
War; collective violence; is a culturally influenced phenomenon rather than ‘human instinctual
Violent Political Protest; in modern industrialized societies, very incommon (i.e. FLQ). Does not want to
overthrow the government. This is not against the government.
Revolution; successful overthrow of the prevailing elite by new elite. Originate when states failed to meet
emerging challenges. Often in imperial states (Skocpol). The outcomes varies depending on what social
class overthrows the government.
Rebellion; Unsuccessful revolution. rebels may be seen as heroes/villains depending on the outcome of
War crimes; slaughtering soldiers OK, but slaughtering non-combatants is not OK.
International Criminal Court (ICC); pushed by Canada
Rape; prohibited after Geneva Convention. Buchanan: gendercide
Theoretical Perspectives on War/Terrorism
Structural Functionalism; conflicts occur because societies do not know how to solve conflict peacefully.
War and terrorism reinforce group identity (it brings a whole country together against a common enemy)
and increase social cohesion. Increased employment, economic benefit