War and Peace in International Rivalry

Paul F. Diehl and Gary Goertz
How do enduring rivalries between states affect international relations?


This book provides the first detailed analysis of international rivalries, the long-standing and often violent confrontations between the same pairs of states. The book addresses conceptual components of rivalries and explores the origins, dynamics, and termination of the most dangerous form of rivalry—enduring rivalry—since 1816.

Paul Diehl and Gary Goertz identify 1166 rivalries since 1816. They label sixty-three of those as enduring rivalries. These include the competitions between the United States and Soviet Union, India and Pakistan, and Israel and her Arab neighbors. The authors explain how rivalries form, evolve, and end.

The first part of the book deals with how to conceptualize and measure rivalries and presents empirical patterns among rivalries in the period 1816-1992. The concepts derived from the study of rivalries are then used to reexamine two central pieces of international relations research, namely deterrence and "democratic peace" studies. The second half of the book builds an explanation of enduring rivalries based on a theory adapted from evolutionary biology, "punctuated equilibrium."

The study of international rivalries has become one of the centerpieces of behavioral research on international conflict. This book, by two of the scholars who pioneered such studies, is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject. It will become the standard reference for all future studies of rivalries.

Paul F. Diehl is Professor of Political Science and University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar, University of Illinois. He is the coeditor of Reconstructing Realpolitik and coauthor of Measuring the Correlates of War.

Gary Goertz is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Arizona, and is the coauthor with Paul Diehl of Territorial Change and International Conflict.

Praise / Awards

  • "When the intellectual history of international relations inquiry is written for our time, War and Peace in International Rivalry may very well be seen as a seminal book. Along with Frank Wayman, Diehl and Goertz have been at the forefront of a major conceptual breakthrough in the way peace and war are studied. This book is their major statement of the subject and presents their most important findings. . . . The focus on interstate rivalry has the potential to change and radically improve our understanding of why war occurs and how we approach the study of world politics. For Diehl and Goertz, one of the most theoretically significant events in history is the rise and fall of interstate rivalries. Why they occur, intensify, and end are key questions we need to answer if we are to understand the fundamental forces underlying world politics and history, including the outbreak of war. Diehl and Goertz not only have brought these questions center stage but also have gone a long way toward providing answers based on replicable evidence. No serious scholar or student of conflict can afford to ignore this book."
    —John Vasquez, Vanderbilt University, American Political Science Review, June 2001
  • "Diehl and Goertz have been innovating pioneers in systematizing the study of rivalries, and their book captures well where this research program has been and where it might be heading."
    Journal of Peace Research, March 2001
  • "Perhaps the ultimate test of a book's relevance to the scholarly literature, and the development of science more generally, is its ability to make the reader think, rather than simply nod in agreement. Thus, by stimulating the reader to think about how a field of study develops knowledge, as well as the impact of status quo methods on the accumulation of knowledge, a book pushes the process of observation, contemplation, and conjecture forward. By this litmus, War and Peace in International Rivalry is a success."
    —Andrew J. Enterline, University of North Texas, Journal of Politics, May 2003

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 336pp.
  • 12 charts and tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08848-5

Add to Cart
  • $36.95 U.S.

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