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Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace Hardcover – 21 april 2022
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An acclaimed expert on violence and seasoned peacebuilder explains the five reasons why conflict (rarely) blooms into war, and how to interrupt that deadly process.
'Nothing could be more relevant today than war and peace. Why We Fight by Christopher Blattman is an outstanding and original book on this topic' Martin Wolf, Financial Times
It's easy to overlook the underlying strategic forces of war, to see it solely as a series of errors, accidents, and emotions gone awry. It's also easy to forget that war shouldn't happen-and most of the time it doesn't. Around the world there are millions of hostile rivalries, yet only a tiny fraction erupt into violence. Too many accounts of conflict forget this.
With a counterintuitive approach, Blattman reminds us that most rivals loathe one another in peace. That's because war is too costly to fight. Enemies almost always find it better to split the pie than spoil it or struggle over thin slices. So, in those rare instances when fighting ensues, we should ask: what kept rivals from compromise?
Why We Fight draws on decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to lay out the root causes and remedies for war, showing that violence is not the norm; that there are only five reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers turn the tides through tinkering, not transformation.
From warring states to street gangs, ethnic groups and religious sects to political factions, there are common dynamics to heed and lessons to learn. Along the way, we meet vainglorious European monarchs, African dictators, Indian mobs, Nazi pilots, British football hooligans, ancient Greeks, and fanatical Americans.
What of remedies that shift incentives away from violence and get parties back to deal-making? Societies are surprisingly good at interrupting and ending violence when they want to-even the gangs of Medellín, Columbia do it. Realistic and optimistic, this is book that lends new meaning to the old adage, "Give peace a chance."
Wise, intriguing, imaginative -- Rory Stewart, author of The Places In Between
A great storyteller with important insights for us all -- Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge
Captivating and intelligent -- Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist
Avoiding the useless dichotomies that either claim violence is an inseparable part of human nature or declare that humanity has all but conquered its proclivity to war, Blattman explains how human communities make use of many different strategies to resolve conflicts, and why these efforts sometimes stumble -- Daron Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail
If you've been a foreign correspondent for any length of time you end up wondering what has pushed so many of the societies you cover into conflict and what can be done to prevent a repeat. Why We Fight answers many of those questions . . . Contrary to expectations, it's an optimistic book . . . outbreaks of violence are the aberration, not the norm, and small, incremental measures can have a disproportionate impact when it comes to avoiding strife. Tinkering trumps transformation -- Michela Wrong ― Spectator Books of the Year
Important, readable, radical -- David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
Essential for understanding the world we live in today -- James A. Robinson, co-author of Why Nations Fail
Brings together the passion of the activist and the cool head of the economist to offer practical solutions to one of humanity's most intractable problems -- Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules – for Now
Timely, powerful, hopeful -- Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion
- Uitgever : Viking; 1e editie (21 april 2022)
- Taal : Engels
- Hardcover : 400 pagina's
- ISBN-10 : 0241444500
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241444504
- Afmetingen : 14.4 x 3.5 x 22.2 cm
- Plaats in bestsellerlijst: #55,492 in Boeken (Top 100 in Boeken bekijken)
- #64 in Geweld in de samenleving
- #786 in Wereldgeschiedenis
- #1,310 in Politiek en overheid
Beste recensies uit andere landen
All of us try to leverage whatever (even minimal) assets we have to achieve maximum results. In this case, the author has strung together a number of superficial (and prolix) anecdotes about Ugandans, gangs, Spartans, Germans, etc., and purports to extract important (? profound) principles. Much is written using the first person, suggesting that the author's impressions are dispositive. I found them superficial and unpersuasive. The 35 pages of small-print bibliography is completely over-the-top, designed one suspects only to add gravitas to a very thin effort. (Which of us have not mendaciously padded a bibliography?) The most valuable of the citations is that to Daniel Kahneman, who seems to have the only substance to contribute.
Remind me NOT to take Tyler Cowen's recommendations in the future.