War's Influencers

Are there particular issues which influence and direct people towards armed conflict? What objections to armed force are there; what moves towards more peaceful resolution of conflict?

What, for example, is the influence of the "State Management of Risk"? How do states set their defence policies? What influence does this have on the arms trade? Or is the relationship between states and the arms trade interdependent? (See abstract from a recent article in the Guardian.)

How might some states react to population pressures and competition for resources (which some might argue will pose an ever-greater risk with the changes likely to flow from climate change)?

What is meant by "militarisation of society"? Where might the effects be felt and what impact might these effects have on conflict resolution?

We have seen elsewhere some of the experiences of conscientious objectors in the Great War. Are there still people who count themselves as objectors? If so, how have conditions changed over the intervening years? How are they treated now by society both in this country and abroad?

> The Arms Trade

One of the major contributors to modern warfare is the continued (and ever-expanding) arms trade. It is intimately linked to states' understanding of the meaning of "defence". Major arms manufacturers will therefore attempt to influence that understanding to promote further spending.

> Militarisation of Society

"If militarisation is ‘the process by which a society organises itself for military conflict and violence’, militarism is the ideology underpinning it. Never entirely absent, from time to time it re-emerges into prominence with increased vigour and purpose. Why should that be the case now? And why target schools?"

This essay, by Alan Penn, explores a topical issue.


Coming soon:

> State Management of Risk; Setting Defence Policies

> Population pressures and competition for resources

> Conscience and Objection - World War Two to the present day