In this major study of the causes of war, David Welch argues that, contrary to the received wisdom in academic and policy circles, states are often motivated by sincere concern for the perceived demands of justice, not merely by self interest. By examining the outbreak of five Great Power wars (the Crimean War, the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, World War II, and the Falklands War), Welch demonstrates the importance of the justice motive in state behavior, using both historical and philosophical analysis to shed new light on an old problem.
Introduction; 1. The justice motive and war; 2. The Crimean war; 3. The Franco-Prussian war; 4. World War I; 5. World War II; 6. The Falklands/Malvinas war; 7. Justice and injustice in a global context.
Edgar S. Furniss, Jr. National Security Book Award
"Welch makes a welcome contribution to the study of war... ...[the book] raises important questions about the relationship between justice and order in a global context marked with cultural/moral diversity." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Rich in historical detail, this book argues that the tendency of social scientists to avoid or downplay moral or normative arguments detracts from their ability to understand the world accurately, since political actors are themselves suffused with views about right and wrong." Foreign Affairs
"The book is clearly written, soundly organized, and judiciously argued." David Dessler, American Political Science Review
"...an important contribution to the literatures on realism, the causes of war, and international ethics. Not only are its findings impressive in their own right, but the concept of justice motive suggests a possible synthesis of other important threads of research on the causes of collective violence....Justice and the Genesis of War is likely to be widely read and frequently cited, because it should be." Patrick Callahan, Mershon International Studies Review
"...decidedly stimulating." Ann Pottinger Saab, International History Review
"...an important contribution to the literature on international conflict by examining the relative importance of perceptions of justice and injustice in the processes leading to war....a new, important, thought-provoking, and relatively well-developed contribution to a subject that is of enormous theoretical importance and policy revelance but that has been neglected by past scholarship. Welch's study will help stimulate further work on this old but timely question, and I strongly recommend it to political scientists, historians, and citizens interested in questions of war and morality in international politics." Jack S. Levy, Political Psychology