Reanalysing International Conflicts: Proposals from the Sociology of Power

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Abstract

This article opens a dialogue between different notions of conflict and the sociology of power and suggests a new theoretical framework for the analysis of international conflicts. Refusing to consider abstract entities as actors, it helps us better determine who the relevant actors are in each international conflict and gives special attention to the existing power relations between them. Accordingly, it is considered that a large social system is made up of numerous actors with multiple conflicts between them. Thus, in the case of international conflicts, we do not face one single conflict, but a conflictual complex involving a multitude of actors with their different power resources, who weave a network of conflicts and power relations between them, and at its top a dominant conflict, the conflict around which the other conflicts evolve. Acknowledging the complexity of international conflicts, this new theoretical approach should better explain both the behaviour of the actors and the evolution of the conflictual complex itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255
Number of pages271
JournalInternational Studies
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • War studies
  • Sociology of Power
  • Conflict resolution
  • Theory
  • International relations

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