The state-to-nation balance and war

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


How can we best explain the high war-propensity of certain states, especially if it persists over long periods of time, beyond the tenure of specific leaders? A related question is why is the danger of war concentrated in some specific locales such as China-Taiwan, Korea (and earlier also in Vietnam), Kashmir, the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Turkey-Greece-Cyprus, Israel-Palestine-Lebanon-Syria, Iran-Bahrain/Iraq-Kuwait, the Balkans, and the Caucusus - while the danger of war almost doesn't exist in other places? Is it because of factors related to the global or regional balance of capabilities, the type of domestic regimes, or are there perhaps alternative causal factors? I argue that the key for explaining variations in the war-propensity of states is their state-to-nation balance. This balance is composed of three major components: (1) The extent of success in state building, that is, state capacity or the level of stateness; (2) The level of internal national congruence; (3) The extent of external national congruence. Two key factors - demography and history - influence the likelihood that the national incongruence will be translated to nationalist challenges to the status quo.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNationalism and War
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781139540964
ISBN (Print)9781107034754
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2013.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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