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Logics of WarExplanations for Limited and Unlimited Conflicts$
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Alex Weisiger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451867

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.001.0001

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Research Strategy and Statistical Tests

Research Strategy and Statistical Tests

Chapter:
(p.54) [2] Research Strategy and Statistical Tests
Source:
Logics of War
Author(s):

Alex Weisiger

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.003.0003

This chapter examines the predictions shown in Chapter 1 quantitatively, focusing first on general predictions about the sources of unusually destructive wars and then turning to specific hypotheses drawn from the three causal mechanisms that are critical in bringing about violent conflict. It presents statistical tests by examining variations in war destructiveness, measured in three different ways—duration, battle deaths, and total spending—and then turns to tests that examine the speed of settlement or conquest, the choice of military strategy, and the nature of war termination. It is shown that larger prewar shifts in relative capabilities, which are proxies for anticipated future shifts, are associated with unusually destructive wars, in particular because these wars are unusually difficult to settle. Noncommitment problem wars will tend to be either intense or long, but not both.

Keywords:   destructive wars, war destructiveness, battle deaths, total spending, settlement, conquest, noncommitment problem wars

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