The causes of the second world war in Europe: A new scientific explanation

John A. Vasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Few political scientists have attempted to apply general theories of war to explain specific cases. This analysis takes a new and non-realist explanation of war derived from a review of quantitative peace research conducted in the last thirty years to identify the general causes of the Second World War in Europe. Two causal paths to war are theoretically delineated as typical of a pattern associated with the onset of world war: one that centers around the use of power politics to resolve territorial disputes, and a second that makes the initial interstate war expand to include more and more actors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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