War, Armed Force, and the People

State Formation and Transformation in Historical Perspective

By (author) Walter C. Opello Jr.

Publication date:

24 October 2016

Length of book:

324 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442268791

Throughout history, innovations in military technology have transformed warfare, which, in turn, affected state formation. This interplay between warfare, military technology, and state formation is the focus of this text. Theoretically grounded in the bellicist approach to the study of war and state, which posits that war is a normal part of human experience, the book argues that the threat of war by powerful, predatory neighbors has been, until relatively recently, the prime mover of state formation. Using a historical approach, it explains how advances in military technology have transformed war, and how new modes of war in turn have transformed forms of politico-military rule, especially with regard to the relationship between the state, armed force, and the people.
A ubiquitous bumper sticker claims that war is not the answer. But, for better or worse, war has provided the most definitive answers to such questions as what states will exist, what territories they will control and how they will treat their citizens. As Walter Opello shows in this excellent and timely book, war is not an aberration but, ‘lurks at the heart of all modern states.’