Catalogue


The remnants of war [electronic resource] /
John Mueller.
imprint
Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 2004.
description
258 p. : ill.
ISBN
0801442397, 9780801442391
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 2004.
isbn
0801442397
9780801442391
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8845961
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-08-01:
War is hell regardless of how its cost is measured: in human lives, suffering, destruction, or financial cost. Mueller (Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Policy, Ohio State Univ.; Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery) argues that war is similar to slavery, as both an institution and a belief. As such, major war, like slavery, has been condemned by developed nations and certainly after the Cold War has been used rarely. Mueller contends that, as major war declines, we are left with primarily civil wars and terrorism waged by criminals and thugs. Well researched and well organized, with clear, original arguments supported by notes and bibliography, this thought-provoking piece will have tremendous policy implications as nations, especially the United States, structure their militaries to deal with these smaller policing actions. Highly recommended for academic and military libraries. Lt. Col. Charles M. Minyard (Ret.), U.S. Army, Blountstown, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2005-02-01:
Claiming that war is "... merely an idea, an institution, like dueling or slavery," Mueller (Ohio State Univ.) asserts that war is diminishing in scope and intensity. Drawing on examples such as Kosovo and Liberia, he further postulates that war "has been substantially reduced to its remnants ... and thugs are the residual combatants." He sees "capable domestic policing" and the building of competent governments as effective ways to eliminate what remains of warfare. For those interested in history, there are useful chapters on WW I, WW II and the Cold War as well as on civil war, terrorism, and "ordering the new world." This hopeful, stimulating, ultimately unconvincing book fails to deal adequately with the intrinsic staying power of war qua war, and especially the continuing appeal of international war to those such as the Salafists, who reject the very basis of the nation-state system, which has held increasing sway since 1648. For the foreseeable future, the appeal of war as a way to achieve one's political and religious goals seems alive and very well, even flourishing, and Mars remains a jealous god indeed. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. C. Potholm II Bowdoin College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A brilliantly original and urgent book."-Gregg Easterbrook, The New Republic
"A brilliantly original and urgent book."-Gregg Easterbrook, The New Republic, May 30, 2005
"In this book John Mueller charts the continuing decline of one of the oldest and most important of all human practices. The Remnants of War is a powerful and provocative account of the fate of war in our time."-Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and author of The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets in the Twenty-First Century
"It is refreshing to read a book about war that is optimistic and hopeful. John Mueller's The Remnants of War is both of these things. His thesis is that the idea of war is going the same way as the idea of slavery-it is becoming obsolete. . . . He argues that there is evidence that good governance is spreading, and that policing wars are increasingly unattractive."-Claire Thomas, Journal of Peace Research (November 2005)
"It is refreshing to read a book about war that is optimistic and hopeful. John Mueller's The Remnants of War is both of these things. His thesis is that the idea of war is going the same way as the idea of slavery-it is becoming obsolete. . . . He argues that there is evidence that good governance is spreading, and that policing wars are increasingly unattractive."-Claire Thomas, Journal of Peace Research, November 2005
"John Mueller has written another extremely stimulating and suitably cantankerous book."-Richard Rosecrance, University of California, Los Angeles
"Mueller argues that war is similar to slavery, as both an institution and a belief. As such, major war, like slavery, has been condemned by developed nations and certainly after the Cold War has been used rarely. . . . Well researched and well organized, with clear, original arguments . . . , this thought-provoking piece will have tremendous policy implications as nations, especially the United States, structure their militaries to deal with these smaller policing actions."-Library Journal (August 2004)
"Mueller argues that war is similar to slavery, as both an institution and a belief. As such, major war, like slavery, has been condemned by developed nations and certainly after the Cold War has been used rarely. . . . Well researched and well organized, with clear, original arguments . . . , this thought-provoking piece will have tremendous policy implications as nations, especially the United States, structure their militaries to deal with these smaller policing actions."-Library Journal, August 2004
"Mueller's book is smart and provocative, and it should inspire a wider examination of how warfare has changed, as a whole, over the last century."-Jeremy Suri, Political Science Quarterly (Summer 2005)
"Mueller's book is smnart and provocative, and it should inspire a wider examination of how warfare has changed, as a whole, over the last century."-Jeremy Suri, Political Science Quarterly, Summer 2005)
"Mueller's is a sweeping, multifaceted, and complex argument that speaks to multiple research programs in political science, generates several policy recommendations, and addresses central issues of our time. I found the parts on the decline of major war, in particular, to be absolutely fascinating, and the effort to conceptualize violent conflict on a continuum going from small crime to terrorism to be very stimulating. In short, this is a nice example of a rich and erudite book that speaks to a larger public without sacrificing scholarly thoroughness."-Stathis N. Kalyvas, Perspectives on Politics
"Since around 1700, humanity has increasingly opposed violence of all kinds, Ohio State policy analyst Mueller argues. For him, war is an idea, like dueling or slavery, that over time became embedded in human behavior, and whose appeal and legitimacy are now in profound decline. Better quality of life, the expansion of democracy, the development of international norms and institutions, and increasingly destructive war-making technologies are major factors. Yet if war is declining, warfare persists in the form of domestic conflicts that Mueller regards as a consequence of inadequate governments. Mueller's solution proposes to improve states' policing efficiency and effectiveness, making them better able to deal with what he calls 'residual warfare' within their borders."-Publishers Weekly (July 2004)
"Since around 1700, humanity has increasingly opposed violence of all kinds, Ohio State policy analyst Mueller argues. For him, war is an idea, like dueling or slavery, that over time became embedded in human behavior, and whose appeal and legitimacy are now in profound decline. Better quality of life, the expansion of democracy, the development of international norms and institutions, and increasingly destructive war-making technologies are major factors. Yet if war is declining, warfare persists in the form of domestic conflicts that Mueller regards as a consequence of inadequate governments. Mueller's solution proposes to improve states' policing efficiency and effectiveness, making them better able to deal with what he calls 'residual warfare' within their borders."-Publishers Weekly, July 2004
This item was reviewed in:
PW Annex Reviews, July 2004
Library Journal, August 2004
Choice, February 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Remnants of War' reinvigorates our sense of the moral responsibility bound up in peacekeeping. In Mueller's view, capable domestic policing and military forces can be effective in re-establishing civic order, and the building of competent governments will eliminate most of what remains of warfare.
Main Description
"War . . . is merely an idea, an institution, like dueling or slavery, that has been grafted onto human existence. It is not a trick of fate, a thunderbolt from hell, a natural calamity, or a desperate plot contrivance dreamed up by some sadistic puppeteer on high. And it seems to me that the institution is in pronounced decline, abandoned as attitudes toward it have changed, roughly following the pattern by which the ancient and formidable institution of slavery became discredited and then mostly obsolete."-from the Introduction War is one of the great themes of human history and now, John Mueller believes, it is clearly declining. Developed nations have generally abandoned it as a way for conducting their relations with other countries, and most current warfare (though not all) is opportunistic predation waged by packs-often remarkably small ones-of criminals and bullies. Thus, argues Mueller, war has been substantially reduced to its remnants-or dregs-and thugs are the residual combatants. Mueller is sensitive to the policy implications of this view. When developed states commit disciplined troops to peacekeeping, the result is usually a rapid cessation of murderous disorder. The Remnants of War thus reinvigorates our sense of the moral responsibility bound up in peacekeeping. In Mueller's view, capable domestic policing and military forces can also be effective in reestablishing civic order, and the building of competent governments is key to eliminating most of what remains of warfare.
Main Description
War . . . is merely an idea, an institution, like dueling or slavery, that has been grafted onto human existence. It is not a trick of fate, a thunderbolt from hell, a natural calamity, or a desperate plot contrivance dreamed up by some sadistic puppeteer on high. And it seems to me that the institution is in pronounced decline, abandoned as attitudes toward it have changed, roughly following the pattern by which the ancient and formidable institution of slavery became discredited and then mostly obsolete.-from the Introduction War is one of the great themes of human history and now, John Mueller believes, it is clearly declining. Developed nations have generally abandoned it as a way for conducting their relations with other countries, and most current warfare (though not all) is opportunistic predation waged by packs-often remarkably small ones-of criminals and bullies. Thus, argues Mueller, war has been substantially reduced to its remnants-or dregs-and thugs are the residual combatants. Mueller is sensitive to the policy implications of this view. When developed states commit disciplined troops to peacekeeping, the result is usually a rapid cessation of murderous disorder. The Remnants of War thus reinvigorates our sense of the moral responsibility bound up in peacekeeping. In Mueller's view, capable domestic policing and military forces can also be effective in reestablishing civic order, and the building of competent governments is key to eliminating most of what remains of warfare.
Unpaid Annotation
War, one of the great themes of human history, is declining as developed nations have generally abandoned it as a way for conducting their relations with other countries, according to the author. He further asserts that capable domestic policing and military forces can also be effective in reestablishing civic order and that the building of competent governments is key to eliminating most of what remains of warfare.
Table of Contents
Introduction : the decline of war, the persistence of warfarep. 1
Criminal and disciplined warfarep. 8
The control of war and the rise of war aversionp. 24
World War I as a watershed eventp. 39
World War II as a reinforcing eventp. 50
War and conflict during the Cold Warp. 66
Civil War and terrorism after the Cold Warp. 85
Ordering the new worldp. 117
The prospects for policing warsp. 141
The decline of war : explanations and extrapolationsp. 161
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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