Richard Ned Lebow


On his book Why Nations Fight: Past and Future Motives for War

Cover Interview of October 03, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“The struggle for standing is the major cause of war.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“The two world wars of the twentieth century were a product of the dislocations brought about of modernization in an environment where great power competition and the drive for hegemony were conducted primarily by violent means.  Now that this era has passed in Europe and is receding in much of the Pacific rim, and hegemony achieved by force is no longer considered a legitimate ambition, the security requirements and fears of great powers should decline.”

On the second:

“In real worlds, multiple motives mix rather than blend, giving rise to a range of behaviors that often appear contradictory.”