1. Perspective And Summary
15A. Phasing Propositions and Their Evidence on International Conflict
Democratic Peace page
...the Balance of Power is a system of political dynamics that comes into play whenever a society articulates itself into a number of mutually independent local states.|
---- Toynbee, A Study of History, III
International Conflict Behavior is not a spasmodic, aimless, reactive flailing of hostile leaders, bent on simply hurting or destroying each other. Violence is not necessarily stupid or irrational. War is not necessarily insane.
Conflict Behavior is usually calculated to coerce, persuade, or bargain with the other's party's will. Or to overcome it through force.
Conflict Behavior is aimed toward the gratification or protection of some interests in opposition to those of others. Such behavior manifests a balancing of powers with distinct subphases and a determinate outcome--the balance of powers.
In Conflict Behavior we should find, therefore, patterns--regularities--that mirror the underlying process. And we do, indeed.
The evidence presented in Appendix 15A confirms that Conflict Behavior manifests:
Empirically, Conflict Behavior consists of a number of separate and distinct components--patterns underlying the phases and process of balancing. Table 15.1 summarized the patterns found by a large number of studies and indicates the typical behaviors involved in each.
The relationship of these behavioral patterns to the underlying process of conflict is shown in Figure 15.1. The solid bars in the Figure outline the theoretical process of conflict. Moving from left to right, the latent situation of conflict is triggered into a situation of uncertainty involving preparations. This phase is transformed into the manifest balancing of powers, beginning with status quo testing. Two paths lead from this subphase, as shown by the horizontal division in the Figure. One path involves coercion, the other noncoercion. Coercion is divided into nonmilitary and military coercion, as shown. Force is a subsequent subphase, with accommodations as the final subphase in the balancing of powers. As discussed in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13, a conflict may not traverse each subphase, and may actually return to a previous subphase (see Figure 12.1 and Figure 13.6). However, for simplicity, the subphases are simply shown as sequential in Figure 15.1.
The bars in the Figure are open at each end because only part of the conflict process (that involving the situation, initiation, and balancing of powers) is shown.
Between double lines, on each side of the theoretical process, are shown the empirical components--patterns
The first component pattern is antiforeign behavior, the unofficial actions of individuals or groups against another state, its nationals or its property. Such reflects the hostility engendered by a conflict,
The second component is preparations, involving mobilizing the public for possible confrontations, strengthening forces, alerts, troop movements, and the like. Such are usually concentrated during the preparations phase, but may also occur during subsequent subphases as a party prepares to escalate the conflict.
An aspect of this pattern is warning actions,
The next component is negative communications, an aspect of which involves the verbal or written threats and warnings that usually occur during the coercive subphase of a conflict. A fourth component pattern is negative actions/sanctions, which comprises retaliatory acts, physical expressions of displeasure, retortions, and so on.
Military violence consists of two components, one being low-level military violence. This may involve either the use of military means to probe the other's interests and will (e.g., an apparently spontaneous, but secretly planned border clash), or the use of military coercion. Both possibilities are shown by inner boxes in Figure 15.1. Military action, however, may neither be a test nor coercive, but simply an expression of the conflict. Thus, an aircraft of one party straying over the territory of the other may be shot down, or a surveillance ship may be boarded or sunk.
The second military component is that of intense, high-level, military violence. A war. As shown in Figure 15.1, such high-level violence may constitute either military coercion (as in the Vietnam war) or force (as in World War II).
Moving now to the cooperation components there are three.
A second cooperative component involves persuasion: intellectual power, with authoritative and altruistic powers mixed in. Each party may clarify its position and demands, justify its case, argue that justice and the good of humanity is on its side, apply logic, cite precedent, appeal to international law, and so on.
And finally, the last component is negotiation, the actual formal or informal attempt to resolve the conflict through mutual accommodations.
Nine empirical components--empirical patterns--reflect underlying international conflict. As components, they delineate a Conflict Behavior space-time within which states can be located in terms of their relative conflict and conflict dynamics. This is a subspace of international behavior.
In summary, the process of conflict may move through phases, paths, and subphases. These usually involve the confrontation of different forms of power in the process of establishing a balance of powers, a structure of expectations.
This process is latent; it is what gives meaning and understanding to Conflict Behavior. Reflecting this process, Conflict Behavior separates into nine space-time components. These are patterns of intercorrelated behavior defining the hostility generated by a conflict, preparations for confrontation or escalation, negative communication, negative actions and sanctions, low-level military violence, intense violence, bargaining, persuasion, and negotiations.
* Scanned from Chapter 15 in R.J. Rummel, War, Power, Peace, 1979. For full reference to the book and the list of its contents in hypertext, click book. Typographical errors have been corrected, clarifications added, and style updated.
1. Not all studies would agree on these components, but they represent the central tendency of those listed in Table 15A.2 of Appendix 15A. Most studies have focused on the antagonistic conflict components (Cl-CS). Where conflict and cooperative data have been analyzed together they have consistently divided into separate components. Those studies including appropriate variables often find the three cooperative patterns merged into one (e.g., McClelland and Hoggard, 1969). In some a pure negotiations pattern has emerged (e.g., Kegley, et at, 1974).
2. These are components in the sense of latent-functions, as I have developed the concept in previous volumes. Pattern also is used here because each component (as a simple structure, rotated dimension of component or common factor analysis--on these technical terms, see "Understanding Factor Analysis") defines a separate and clear cluster of interrelated space-time behavior, as confirmed in Appendix 15A.
3. Contrary to popular belief, conflict usually does not develop out of public hostility. Rather it is the other way around. For example, see Buchanan and Cantril (1953).
4. Thus, empirical studies have usually labeled the pattern "Warning and defensive acts." See, for example, Hall and Rummel (1970).
5. Again, a warning. The empirical reliability of these three patterns are much less established than for the antagonistic ones, because relatively few studies have employed the proper variables.