Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In its origins war is about a miserable condition and that is how it is still commonly and understandably viewed. But it is a condition which is often knowingly entered because not doing so carries its own miseries and dangers. The alternative to war is normally described as ‘peace’, with positive connotations of harmony and tranquillity. But peace can also involve oppression and subjugation, an incessant fear of attack, inadequate resources for survival, or a lingering sense of dishonour. This goes to the heart of the issue of war. On the one hand it is about a purposive activity, geared to the demands of personal, group, and national security. On the other it is about the grim consequences of conflict. War is a bad thing to happen but, at least on occasion, a good thing to do. States continue to prepare for war while professing to wish to legislate it out of existence, promising only to fight for the most righteous of reasons, as a last resort, and in the most civilized manner.

Keywords: war, miseries, oppression, fear of attack, national security, conflict

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.