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The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance combines the insights of two leading global business schools to examine the forces that are driving firms to globalize, the consequences - positive and negative - that accompany increasing globalization, and their managerial and political implications. Written by experts in diverse management disciplines - including leadership, finance, marketing, and operations management - the book is an important contribution to contemporary business strategy. In contrast to strident and often heavily rhetorical debates, this volume focuses on the managerial strategies involved in globalizing businesses, including leadership, market entry and managing risks. The non-partisan treatment of the issues will be of interest to managers wrestling with the many challenges of globalizing, to policy makers interested in whether and how to either slow or to accelerate the process, and to those in non-governmental organizations concerned with understanding global business challenges.
Are there really lessons of the past? The past is certainly a source of knowledge, our only source of knowledge given the flow of time, but, strictly speaking, it does not teach lessons. By lessons I mean maxims for attaining particular outcomes in the present or future: for example, Si vis pacem, para helium, or it is better for a prince to be feared than loved. Insofar as these maxims seem to offer guidance for policymakers, they are usually psychological, not historical. They supposedly summarize human traits that persist regardless of changing historical contexts. Other examples might include the notion that appeasement encourages aggression or that “military decision makers will tend to overestimate the feasibility of an operational plan if a realistic assessment would require forsaking fundamental beliefs or values.” Identification of such allegedly constant traits was the goal of philosophical history and may have seemed an appropriate program for historians during the Enlightenment and their policy-studies heirs. Subsequent historians, however, have usually sought to describe changing societal contexts or outcomes.
Among the major wars of modern European history, the Thirty Years' War stands out not only for its duration but also for its striking impact on the international system in which it took place. Before 1618, the Spanish Habsburgs were the central power in a Europe where religious differences were crucial. The war and its Franco-Spanish extension ended in 1659. By that time, France and other nations had increased their power, and religion played a much less important role in defining alliances. Moreover, Europe's center had moved east, as Russia, Prussia, and the Austrian Habsburgs became more powerful.
The war's origins are well known. Conflict in the Holy Roman Empire, especially in the Habsburg lands, over religion and over the power of the emperor provoked a civil war in Bohemia in 1618. The Bohemian war both resurrected and created a network of alliances which caused the conflict to continue into the 1620s. The opportunities offered by the disruption in Germany led the Danes to invade in 1625, and the Swedes and French to intervene in the 1630s, which continued the war by bringing in fresh combatants. The result was a conflict that could not be controlled by the Bohemians and the emperor, who had begun it. They were not allowed to extricate themselves until they had completely exhausted themselves and everyone else; as fitting compensation, the Bohemians and the emperor were important losers.
In the introduction to his history of the great war between the Spartans and the Athenians, Thucydides wrote that he was addressing “those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it… In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time.” Thucydides, assuming that the behavior and phenomena that he observed would repeat themselves throughout human history, intended to reveal the underlying and unalterable nature of what is today called international relations.
In the language of contemporary social science, Thucydides believed that he had uncovered the general law of the dynamics of international relations. Although differences exist between Thucydides' conceptions of scientific law and methodology and those of present-day students of international relations, it is significant that Thucydides was the first to set forth the idea that the dynamic of international relations is provided by the differential growth of power among states. This fundamental idea—that the uneven growth of power among states is the driving force of international relations can be identified as the theory of hegemonic war.
This essay argues that Thucydides' theory of hegemonic war constitutes one of the central organizing ideas for the study of international relations.
War has so many causes—in part because there are so many kinds of wars—and misperception has so many effects—again in part because there are so many kinds of misperceptions—that it is not possible to draw any definitive conclusions about the impact of misperception on war. But we can address some conceptual and methodological problems, note several patterns, and try to see how misperceptions might lead to World War III. In this article, I use the term misperception broadly, to include inaccurate inferences, miscalculations of consequences, and misjudgments about how others will react to one's policies.
Although war can occur even when both sides see each other accurately, misperception often plays a large role. Particularly interesting are judgments and misjudgments of another state's intentions. Both overestimates and underestimates of hostility have led to war in the past, and much of the current debate about policy toward the Soviet Union revolves around different judgments about how that country would respond to American policies that were either firm or conciliatory. Since statesmen know that a war between the United States and the Soviet Union would be incredibly destructive, however, it is hard to see how errors of judgment, even errors like those that have led to past wars, could have the same effect today. But perceptual dynamics could cause statesmen to see policies as safe when they actually were very dangerous or, in the final stages of deep conflict, to see war as inevitable and therefore to see striking first as the only way to limit destruction.
It is difficult to read both the theoretical literature in political science on the causes of war and historians' case studies of the origins of particular wars without being struck by the difference in their respective evaluations of the importance of domestic political factors. Whereas historians devote considerable attention to these variables, most political scientists minimize their importance. Domestic political variables are not included in any of the leading theories of the causes of war; instead, they appear only in a number of isolated hypotheses and in some empirical studies that are generally atheoretical and noncumulative. This gap is troubling and suggests that political scientists and historians who study war have learned little from each other. A greater recognition of the role of domestic factors by political scientists would increase the explanatory power of their theories and provide more useful conceptual frameworks for the historical analysis of individual wars.
This study takes a first step toward bridging this gap by examining some of the disparate theoretical literature on domestic politics and war. It examines the relationship between national attributes and war behavior, the relative likelihood of democratic and non-democratic regimes going to war, Marxist and liberal theories regarding the impact of economic structure, the influence of nationalism and public opinion, and the scapegoat hypothesis. First, however, this article takes a closer look at the different treatment of domestic sources of war by political scientists and historians.
Since the development of the modern state system in Europe four centuries ago, there have been ten general wars involving a majority of the major powers and a high level of casualties. Another major war is difficult to conceive of, since it would presumably be the last such conflict, and yet it is not an impossibility. In this volume a distinguished group of political scientists and historians examine the origins of major wars and discuss the problems in preventing a nuclear war.