That war makes states has become part of International Relations (and political science) folklore. There are good reasons for this. The idea can be evoked with reference to venerable classical masters of our trade, including Weber, Hintze and Elias, or more recent ones such as Finer or Tilly. Moreover, the argument dovetails beautifully with the anti-liberalism underlying much realist thinking in International Relations. It stresses the violent foundations of power and states, as opposed to liberal stress on the role of power growing out of legitimacy and common action. Finally, the argument is useful from two perspectives. Analytically, it enables observers to make positive sense of the messy reality of war in large parts of the world: it is just an inevitable step on the way to state formation (Cohen et al. 1981). And politically it provides a welcome excuse for not getting too closely involved with that messy reality. If wars make states, well then the best thing is to allow them to be fought out (Herbst 1996-7).