30 Pages

Introduction: contending views


In public discussion, the claim that the major interstate war is waning as an international institution is heard more and more often. One thinks of the statement of retired Marine General, Charles Krulak, in the Congressional testimony that ‘the days of armed conflict between nation-states are ending.’1 The mostly peaceful end of the Cold War generated a public expectation that the Damocles sword of international war would finally be lifted from humankind. The breakdown of bipolarity and the growing integration of the major powers in the world economy are ushering in a new historical period of stable peace or, at a minimum, of non-war.