Causes and Prevention of War

Two gray-haired gentleman, one wearing a suit, the other wearing a brown jacket and a long scarf, shake hands while a younger man stands between them.

Accompanied by President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat shake hands at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on September 13, 1993. (Image by Vince Musi of the White House. Source: Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain.)


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As Taught In

Spring 2018



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines the causes of war, with a focus on practical measures to prevent and control war. Topics include causes and consequences of misperception by nations; military strategy and policy as cause of war; religion and war; U.S. foreign policy as a cause of war and peace; and the likelihood and possible nature of great wars in the future.

The historical cases covered include World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Seven Years' War, the Arab-Israel conflict, other recent Mideast wars, and the Peloponnesian War.

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Related Content

Stephen Van Evera. 17.42 Causes and Prevention of War. Spring 2018. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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