Conflict and Peace in the Modern International System: A by Evan Luard

By Evan Luard

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Extra resources for Conflict and Peace in the Modern International System: A Study of the Principles of International Order

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Last, it is striking that action of this kind over the past century has occurred primarily in areas where sovereignty was for some reason tenuous or ambiguous. This was true of many of the colonial conflicts of the first two periods which occurred in areas where there were no recognised frontiers and where no sovereignty in the full sense was recognised by the European powers. In the late nineteenth century it was true of the semisovereign "autonomous" units - such as the Principalities, Bulgaria, BosniaHerzegovina, Crete, Tibet and others - which, though mainly created to ease the decolonisation of Turkey, in effect served, through their ambivalent status, to promote subsequent conflict, as over Vilna, Memel, Manchuria, Danzig, Austria, even, in a sense, the Sudetenland and Slovakia (in both of which Czech sovereignty was under challenge).

Finally, though ideological conflict may contribute to the intensity of international hostility, there is little evidence that in itself it leads to external war (this does not, of course, apply to civil wars). The obvious exceptions, those of Korea, Vietnam, East Europe, and Central America and the Caribbean, can be better be regarded as being caused by urges for national reunification and strategic interest. Last, it is striking that action of this kind over the past century has occurred primarily in areas where sovereignty was for some reason tenuous or ambiguous.

In the international society too there may exist practices, in this case collective practices: agreed forms of interaction between two or more communities to serve their mutual interests, as similar practices serve the mutual interests of individuals in smaller societies. In the relations of states, as in those of individuals, there is often a need for standardised forms, set procedures on which each party is able to rely. A common interest in these may be recognised where little else is held in common.

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