It may be argued that it is perverse to treat war as an institution of the society of states, but in the sense that it is a settled pattern of behaviour, shaped towards the promotion of common goals, there cannot be any doubt that it has been in the past such an institution, and remains one. In this chapter I propose to consider: (i)What is war?(ii)What functions has it fulfilled in relation to international order in the historical modern states system?(iii)What, if any, are the functions of war in international politics at the present time?
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