A Theoretical Discourse on the Origin of War
Posted: 19 Jan 2014 Last revised: 4 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 16, 2014
The paper is an attempt to look at the origin of war from realism’s perspective. War is an important tool of statecraft. It is a means to an end and not the end in itself. War has played significant role in the formation of the modern international political system. It is one mechanism that the system has used to create some semblance of balance and peace in the international political environment. However, there is no single theory that has been able to capture the theoretical essence of war. This paper seeks to provide the answer. It argues that the power theory is at the root of every war. The paper explores the crucial links between power and war. In the process, the paper will establish that power has been the missing link in trying to create a universal theory for war. More importantly, the paper will show that the power theory explains the origins of the different typology of war. These include, among others, civil war, world war, colonial war and hegemonic war. In the final analysis, the paper will show that the power theory answers the important question of why nations go to war and why war has remained one of the most significant tools of statecraft.
Keywords: war, theory, statecraft, realism, origin, power theory
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation