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War in Social ThoughtHobbes to the Present$
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Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150840.001.0001

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(p.252) 8 Conclusion
War in Social Thought

Hans Joas

Wolfgang Knöbl

, Alex Skinner
Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter considers a convincing conception of enduring peace and the need to move beyond monothematic diagnoses of the contemporary world and of social change. It argues that none of the debates on peace-engendering structures and processes that have taken place since the 1980s in social theory have produced convincing results. The thesis of the “democratic peace” has proved essentially unviable, at least with respect to the so-called Kantians' initial claim of global validity for their statements. The discussion of “failed states” and “new wars” has focused largely on processes of state decline or marketization but has done little to place these processes within a broader theoretical framework. Finally, the arguments put forward by theorists of an American imperium, which entail antithetical positions, have failed to show that this attempt to spread American power throughout the world will in fact succeed and bring about peace.

Keywords:   peace, social change, social theory, democratic peace, failed states, new wars, state decline, marketization, war

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