chapter  11
20 Pages

The changing probability of interstate war, 1816–1992


In recent years, there has been much attention focused on the possible waning of interstate war.1 Much of this theorizing has resulted from the absence of a direct war among the major states, specifically the United States and the Soviet Union, during the Cold War.2 While some have criticized the idea that the Cold War was a long peace, generally most scholars have accepted the absence of a war between the superpowers as an important indicator of peace at some level.3 Instead, theoretical disagreement has turned on why such a long peace might have occurred. John Lewis Gaddis led the way in terms of outlining some possible answers.4