A Study of Crisis

Michael Brecher and Jonathan Wilkenfeld
A comprehensive study of the causes and consequences of war in the twentieth century


The culmination of more than twenty years of research by Michael Brecher and Jonathan Wilkenfeld, this work analyzes crucial themes about crisis, conflict, and war and presents systematic knowledge about more than 400 crises, thirty-one protracted conflicts, and almost 900 state participants. The authors explore many aspects of conflict, including the ethnic dimension, the effect of different kinds of political regimes—notably the question whether democracies are more peaceful than authoritarian regimes—and the role of violence in crisis management.

This masterful work is now being published in a new edition that offers the original analysis in a paperback edition and the Master Table, case studies, and the data set on a convenient and versatile CD-ROM. The paper-back includes the discussion of the conceptual foundation and the authors' findings found in parts I and IV of the cloth edition. The CD-ROM includes the Master Table, which presents all interstate conflicts since the end of the first World War, organized by date and evaluated in terms of a number of variables including crisis management technique, level of violence, outcome, and the involvement of international organizations. The Master Table is linked to the case studies, which are also presented in the CD-ROM. Researchers can identify cases by the name of the parties or by the applicable variables, creating new groupings by variable. Finally, the CD-ROM also includes the original data set, enabling researchers to work with the data to perform their own analyses.

This book will appeal to scholars in history, political science, sociology, and economics as well as policy makers interested in the causes and effects of crises in international relations. The rich data sets will serve researchers for years to come as they probe additional aspects of crisis, conflict, and war in international relations.

Minimum Requirements for the CD-ROM

Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98
- an Intel-compatible 486/33 or faster computer with at least 8 MB of RAM
- a hard disk
- a monitor capable of supporting 800 x 600 screen resolution

Mac OS
- any Macintosh, Power Macintosh, or compatible computer running System 7.1 or later
- 4 MB of RAM
- a hard disk
- a monitor capable of supporting 800 x 600 screen resolution


Michael Brecher is R. B. Angus Professor of Political Science, McGill University. Jonathan Wilkenfeld is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland.

Praise / Awards

  • "The material in this massive work is worthy of several hosannas, not only for the authors and their student assistants but also for the University of Michigan Press for publishing the more than 1,000 pages."
    American Political Science Review, Volume, 93, No. 3, September 1999
  • ". . . the many scholars with a taste for large studies seeking major relationships through standard forms of analysis will find the book a godsend. . . . This volume is the most comprehensive survey we have of international crises."
    Canadian Journal of Political Science, December 1998
  • ". . . a superb sourcebook and a prod to further research."
    Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • "With their data, the authors test a number of hypotheses involving the following seven attributes of the international system and its member states: polarity, geography, ethnicity, democracy, protracted conflict, violence, and third-party intervention. In short, this is an outstanding quantitative, empirical study of a key aspect of international conflict."
    —J. M. Scolnick, Jr., University of Virginia's College at Wise, Choice, May 2001
  • "The extraordinary breadth and detail of the information in this massive volume is impressive and the effort no less than heroic."
    International Journal, Autumn 1998
  • ". . . an exemplar for current and future data collectors on how to present their data. . . . The book is a milestone in crisis research that other projects should strive to equal."
    —John Vasquez, Vanderbilt University, International Studies Review, Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 1999

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Product Details

  • 6 1/8 x 9 1/4.
  • 344pp.
  • tables and figures.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10806-0

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  • $144.95 U.S.

  • Paper plus CD Rom
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08707-5

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  • $62.50 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2022
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-90312-2

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