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The Next Great War?The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict$
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Richard N. Rosecrance and Steven E. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028998

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028998.001.0001

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Inevitability and War

Inevitability and War

(p.179) 12 Inevitability and War
The Next Great War?

Joseph S. Nye

The MIT Press

War was not inevitable in 1914 nor is it today. In 1914, however, peace was threatened by the inflexibility of alliances, the rise of nationalism, and Social Darwinism. Counterfactually in 1914, however, Britain might have stayed out or come in later, Franz Ferdinand might not have been killed, the war might have been local, rather than continental or worldwide. Germany might have avoided unlimited submarine warfare which brought the United States in. Any of these would have had profound effects, shortening or obviating the war or changing its outcome. Fortunately because of its dependence on world markets, China cannot afford a policy like the Kaisers’ Germany.

Keywords:   Counterfactual, Funnel of choices, Fischer thesis, Levels of analysis

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