July 11, 2010



John Mueller

Published in May 2011 by Routledge.

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Preface: Marketing mousetraps


 I.  War, ideas, and peace




“The Obsolescence of Major War,” 21 Bulletin of Peace Proposals 321-28 (September 1990) A summary of the argument in Retreat from Doomsday

Reflections: Hitler as a necessary cause of the Second World War

                    The irrelevance of nuclear weapons

                    The waning of major war


“Policing the Remnants of War,” 40 Journal of Peace Research 507-18 (September 2003) A summary of the argument in The Remnants of War

Reflections: War, love, and the combat high

                    Developing armies: recruiting criminals and ordinary men

                    Crime, terrorism, and war


"War Has Almost Ceased to Exist: An Assessment," 124 Political Science Quarterly 297-321 (Summer 2009) Evaluates trends in warfare and discusses what this suggests about the theories and explanations about  the causes of war (most have been wrong)

Reflections:   Is civil war going out of style?

                      The Rambo phenomenon

                      Another data set


“Why Isn't There More Violence?" 13 Security Studies 191-203 (Spring 2004)Looks broadly at the incidence of domestic and international violence, concluding that it has been far less common than usually assumed with implications about the “state of nature” and about the condition of “international anarchy”

Reflections:   The decline in violence

                      Possible aberrations in the trend



II.  Threat perception, ideas, and foreign policy




"What Was the Cold War About? Evidence from Its Ending," 119 Political Science Quarterly 609-31 (Winter 2004-05) Argues that the Cold War was entirely about a clash of ideas or ideologies, not about weapons, power, the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, or Communism per se

Reflections:   Massive extrapolation

              The enemy within


"Simplicity and Spook: Terrorism and the Dynamics of Threat Exaggeration," 6 International Studies Perspectives 155-73 (May 2005) Considers a variety of perceived national security threats since World War II and concludes they have been consistently and often destructively inflated

Reflections:   Sales resistance to the Hitler threat

              The Cold War as farce

              Domestic Communism, domestic terrorism, and the self-licking ice cream cone

              The cost-effectiveness of counterterrorism


"Faulty Correlation, Foolish Consistency, and Fatal Consequence: Democracy, Peace, and Theory in the Middle East," in Steven W. Hook (ed.), Democratic Peace in Theory and Practice (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2010) Assesses democratic peace theory and its questionable validity and its even more questionable application to policy in the Mideast and Iraq War

Reflections:   Democracy, capitalism, and peace: interrelationships and causal connections

              Democracy without prerequisites


III.  Public opinion, foreign policy, and war




"American Foreign Policy and Public Opinion in a New Era: Eleven Propositions," in Barbara Norrander and Clyde Wilcox (eds.), Understanding Public Opinion, 2nd edition (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2002), pp. 149-72 Investigates the relevance of, and the ups and downs of,  foreign policy ideas and concerns that have captured the American public’s attention  since 1945

Reflections:   Reason and caprice

              The most important problem since 2001

              Comparing dates of infamy

"The Iraq War and the Management of American Public Opinion," in James Pfiffner and Mark Phythian (eds.), Intelligence and National Security Policy Making in Iraq: British and American Perspectives (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2008), pp. 126-48 Evaluates the American public’s opinion on  the Iraq War and compares the patterns to earlier ones, particularly for the Korean and Vietnam Wars

Reflections:   The president’s ability to go to war

              Casualty phobia, defeat phobia, proximate casualties

              A change in casualty tolerance?

              The anti-war movement during the Iraq War

              Reason and caprice (continued)

              Comparative syndromes


Publications by John Mueller referred to in the introductions and notes