For Better and Worse: Border Fixity, State Capacity, and the Geography of War
51 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Recent scholarship suggests interstate war is on the decline. In fact, some scholars claim that war is nearly obsolete. But is this decline universal? Using newly coded data, we show that the general decline in the phenomenon of interstate war is not evenly distributed across regions of the world. We argue that this geographic shift of warfare is impacted by the interaction of the international norm of border fixity, a proscription of the forceful conquest and annexation of homeland territory, and state capacity. We examine current scholarship on the issue and explore cases that demonstrate several mechanisms that link our explanation to the shifting geography of war.
Keywords: Interstate War, Borders, State Capacity
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