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Rethinking International Relations

Bertrand Badie

In this thought-provoking book, Bertrand Badie argues that the traditional paradigms of international relations are no longer sustainable, and that ignorance of these shifting systems and of alternative models is a major source of contemporary international conflict and disorder. Through a clear examination of the political, historical and social context, Badie illuminates the challenges and possibilities of an ‘intersocial’ and multilateral approach to international relations.
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Chapter 7: New wars, new peace

Bertrand Badie


The traditional – and old-fashioned – vision of war (from Clausewitz to Morgenthau) is deeply questioned by the “new international conflicts” (NICs). Beyond this revisited conception of war, this chapter takes into account, more broadly, the new international violence, its social nature and its social roots, as well as what is commonly called “terrorism” that here is investigated though the concept of “violence entrepreneur.” The discussion shows that war is no longer a competition of power, but a “competition of weakness,” as its main factors have to be found in the weakness of the states, of the nations and of the social bonds inside the societies which are involved in the new conflicts. In a dangerous way, these new wars are also creating new kinds of integration, resulting in sustainable “war societies.” Obviously, they strongly challenge the traditional ways of conflict-solving.

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