Explaining War and Peace: Case Studies and Necessary Condition Counterfactuals

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $142.87
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 22%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (4) from $142.87   
  • New (2) from $142.87   
  • Used (2) from $177.59   


This edited volume focuses on a common form of causal explanation of historical events, the use of "necessary condition counterfactuals", which is neglected in the growing literature on the methodology of qualitative analysis and case studies. The volume analyzes the causal logics of necessary and sufficient conditions, demonstrates the variety of different ways in which necessary condition counterfactuals are used to explain the causes of individual events, and identifies errors commonly made in applying this form of causal logic to individual events. It includes discussions of causal chains, contingency, critical junctures and "powder keg" explanations, and the role of necessary conditions in each. The volume focuses in particular on the applications of these concepts in a variety of competing explanations for two of the defining events of the 20th century: the origins of World War I and the end of the Cold War. This book will be of great interest to students of qualitative analysis, World War I, the Cold War, international history and IR theory in general.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Giovanni Sartori Award for the Best Book Published in 2007 Developing or Applying Qualitative Methods - Honorable Mention

'...an impressive collection of essays that survey the ways in which necessary conditions counterfactuals are used in the logics of causal explanation, particularly in explanations of international conflict. The work represents an important contribution to the study of methods in general and usefully develops some central concepts in qualitative research. The substantive focus also helps to elucidate the more abstract theoretical discussions.'
Newsletter of the American Political Science Association

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415422321
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Series: Contemporary Security Studies Series
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack S. Levy is Board of Governors' Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, President of the International Studies Association (2007-2008), and author of War in the Modern Great Power System 1495-1975. He has also written numerous articles on the causes of war and on decision-making.

Gary Goertz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Arizona. He is the author or co-author of five books and over 25 articles on issues of methodology, international institutions, and conflict studies, including "Necessary Conditions: Theory, Methodology, and Applications," (2003 Rowman & Littlefield) and "Social Science Concepts: A User's Guide" (2006 Princeton University Press).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Causal Explanation, Necessary Conditions, and Case Studies 3. The Role of Necessary Conditions in the Outbreak of World War I 4. Contingency, Catalysts and Non-Linear Change: The Origins of World War I 5. Powder Kegs, Sparks and World War I 6. Necessary Conditions and World War I as an Unavoidable War 7. Power, Globalization, and the End of the Cold War: Reevaluating a Landmark Case for Ideas 8. Perestroika without Politics: How Realism Misunderstands the Cold War’s End 9. New versus Old Thinking in Qualitative Research 10. Conclusions

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)