The State, War and the State of War has been published in 1996. Its author, Kalevi J. Holsti is a professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. This book is based on his previous study: Peace and War: armed conflicts and International Order 1648-1989. The work was published just after the end of the war in Bosnia and the conclusion of Dayton Agreements. To some extent, it reflects the issues the world was dealing with at that time: the difficult construction of a new international order after the collapse of the Soviet Union and a new proliferation of states since the end of de-colonization.
[...] Moreover, classical interstate wars have declined and have also quasi deserted two continents (Europe, North America). (p.25) Holsti distinguishes 3 criteria to show the transformation: the purpose of war, the role of civilians during wartime, and the institutions of war. (p.27). He thus distinguishes three forms of War since the creation of the Nation-State: - Institutionalised Wars: “deliberate efforts to impose strict codes of conducts, clear separation between soldiers and civilians and diplomatic goals” (p.29) - Total Wars: They date from 1792 and the French levée en masse. [...]
[...] "The State, War, and the State of War" by Kalevi J. Holsti The State, War and the State of War has been published in 1996. Its author, Kalevi J. Holsti is professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. This book seems to be the following of his previous study: Peace and War: armed conflicts and International Order 1648- 1989. The work has been published just after the end of the war in Bosnia and the conclusion of Dayton Agreements. [...]
[...] They concentrated on fighting the oppressions of colonialism. Finally the United Nations “granted them membership to the organization and provided the new states with a variety of life-support assistance” (p.73), without inquiring on whether they owned the four traditional elements of statehood: defined territory, a permanent population, an effective government, a capacity to enter into treaty relations with other states.” (p.77) According to Holsti, it produced a single format which led to the “universalization of the Western territorial State,” (p.79) and finally created artificial states which lacked legitimacy. [...]
[...] The question is thus to know if the international system can do anything about that weakness Can the international system manage wars of the third kind and the weakness of States? Holsti believes that only two ways of management is possible: Either weak States are helped to become stronger, or alternative to the state has to be developed.” ( p.183) Here are the solutions that the International System tried to put into practice: - The standard post-1989 solution: “democratisation.” (p.183). Problem: equal opportunity for access to decisions and allocations are sometimes impossible (minorities in Sudan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka). - Devolution: that is to say federalism. [...]
[...] It derives from the fixation and the delimitation of territorial boundaries, as well as the right to tax its people within those boundaries, the increase of the centralization process or the institutions of justice, security and order. (p.43) Holsti especially emphasised the term “community”. To create a State, there must be a community. It can be a community of citizens like in France, or a community of Nationals like in Germany, which share language and culture. The problem of weak states comes, for the author, from the recognition of the right of self-determination by Woodrow Wilson in 1919. [...]
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