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International Conflict

International Conflict
Logic and Evidence

Bring scientific research-based findings to the study of international conflict

August 2014 | 360 pages | CQ Press

International Conflict: Logic and Evidence is based on the premise that proper understanding of international conflict – a necessary prerequisite for achieving peace – can come only from logic and evidence, not from opinion and anecdote. This groundbreaking book introduces students to international conflict’s key theories and empirical research. Throughout the text, author Stephen L. Quackenbush gives examples that enable readers to see the theory in real-world events, and provides the data from the most recent research. Covering the entire process of interstate war, from causes of conflict to escalation, conduct, resolution, and recurrence, the book provides readers with a fascinating, thorough study that will help them understand how international conflict works.

Part I: Foundations
Chapter 1: The Scientific Study of War
What Is Science?

The Scientific and Classical Approaches

Levels of Analysis

Dangerous Dyads

A Process Model of War


Key Concepts

Chapter 2: Identifying Wars and Militarized Disputes
International Conflict in the Past Two Centuries

Defining War

Militarized Interstate Disputes

Other Measures of International Conflict


Key Concepts

Chapter 3: Rational Choice Theory

Expected Utility Theory

Game Theory

Bargaining Model of War


Key Concepts

Part II: Causes of War and Militarized Disputes
Chapter 4: Contiguity and Territory
Contiguity and International Conflict

Identifying Opportunity for Conflict

Territorial Issues and International Conflict


Key Concepts

Chapter 5: Power
Defining and Measuring Power

Polarity and Stability

Offense-Defense Balance

Power Transition Theory


Key Concepts

Chapter 6: Alliances
Types of Alliances

Why Do States Form Alliances?

Drawbacks of Alliances

Measuring Shared Interests

Alliances and Conflict


Key Concepts

Chapter 7: Democratic Peace
Empirical Findings Regarding the Democratic Peace

Explaining the Democratic Peace

The Kantian Triangle

Alternative Explanations


Key Concepts

Chapter 8: Deterrence
Types of Deterrence

Classical Deterrence Theory

Perfect Deterrence Theory


Key Concepts

Chapter 9: Escalation of Disputes to War
Patterns of Escalation

Contextual Factors Leading to Escalation

Strategy, Interaction, and Escalation


Key Concepts

Part III: The Conduct and Aftermath of War
Chapter 10: Military Doctrine and Strategy
The Study of Warfare

Military Strategy

Principles of War

Modeling Combat


Key Concepts

Chapter 11: Evolution of War
War Expansion

War Duration

War Outcomes


Key Concepts

Chapter 12: War Termination and Consequences
Bargaining and War Termination

Consequences of War


Key Concepts

Chapter 13: Recurrent Conflict and Rivalry
Recurrent Conflict

Settlements and Recurrent Conflict

International Rivalry


Key Concepts

Part IV: Conclusions
Chapter 14: What Have We Learned About War?
The Cumulation of Knowledge

The Importance of Theory

Key Concepts


International Conflict: Logic and Evidence is a superb introduction to the ideas and apparatus of the conflict processes field. The book covers the entire process of war in a succinct way. By the last page, students have a basic familiarity with offense and defensive realism, stability, and polarity, expected utility theory, and other major areas of the literature.” 

Patrick James
University of Southern California

“Quackenbush has written a highly readable and intellectually stimulating book. I have no doubt that students will find the content useful for advancing their understanding of warfare. Equally importantly, the book’s emphasis on explaining the scientific method and carefully delineating various approaches to scientific research make it especially useful. Indeed, the book helps readers understand how the social sciences ‘do’ science, which is one of its most unique and appealing features.”

Bruce W. Dayton
Syracuse University

International Conflict: Logic and Evidence is a textbook that could serve as both a text and also a great reference for original research. It collects and generalizes some of the most focused and important research topics in the scientific study of war over the past thirty years (at least).”

Brent Steele
University of Utah

Very good book for both business and history students. Would thoroughly recommend this text. Not currently in the library but will recommend it is.

Mr Matthew Hirst
Arts, Business and Social Science, University Campus Suffolk
November 24, 2014
Key features


  • Case in Point boxes expand on key points in the text with a brief study of a particular event or conflict.
  • Concept in Focus boxes delve further into concepts relevant to the field.
  • An Appendix of wars and major crises since 1815 provides a brief summary of each, along with a few recommended sources for research.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 7

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