Structure and Hostility in International Systems

Robert G. Muncaster, Dina A. Zinnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a comprehensive theoretical classification of the patterns of hostile behaviour of an international system based upon a mathematical model of conflict processes. The model provides for multifaceted behaviour, including combinations of progress to war, protracted conflict and conflict resolution. It is postulated that the hostile behaviour among nation-states is determined by a system of social forces that captures effects of grievance, friendship, fear, aggression, deterrence and a pull to war. The possible relationship between social force configurations and conventional structure variables, such as alliances, polarity and power distribution, is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-58
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


  • hostile behaviour
  • international system
  • mathematical model
  • system structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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