Psychological dimensions of war

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Betty Glad
Sage Publications, Oct 1, 1990 - History - 384 pages
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Traditionally scholars of the international political system have assumed that wars serve national interests and that such decisions are based on rational means/ends calculations. Yet even political realists such as Hans J. Morgenthau have admitted that psychological analysis might shed further light on how nations behave. Psychological Dimensions of War analyzes how psychological factors influence the origins, processes, and consequences of conventional, and possibly nuclear, war. This original and thought-provoking volume brings together leading scholars, including Anatol Rapoport and George Quester, who analyze the psychology of both motivated and unmotivated biases of war behavior. With depth and insight, the contributors explore the interaction between political and psychological factors of war and use psychological variables to explain how emotions may have constructive as well as destructive results. In Part I the contributors analyze the biological, psychological, and ideological factors that are predispositions to war and in Part II they analyze the problems that governmental leaders encounter when managing contemporary, limited warfare. In Part III the contributors explore the factors that are most likely to lead to a nuclear conflict. An innovative contribution to the literature, Psychological Dimensions of War will interest professionals and advanced students in international relations, political science, peace studies, and psychology. "Over the past thirty years, such analyses [of foreign policy decisions which lead to war or peace] have emphasized, among other things, situational variables (e.g., crises), contextual variables (e.g., the organizational setting), perceptions of various sorts, and basic personality characteristics. This interesting book covers all these approaches to understanding the impact of psychological factors in war/peace decisions and ranges considerably beyond." --Perspectives on Political Science "Glad is to be congratulated for putting together a stimulating and enlightening collection of papers. . . .She (has) done a skillful job of editing, providing useful commentary on the various sections."

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About the author (1990)

Glad is the Olin D. Johnston Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina.

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