Why War? This lecture seeks to explain why war is so resilient and why we are unlikely to witness the end of it any time soon. Whether we are discussing the prospect of another Great Power conflict, or war between medium powers or even civil war this human behavioural pattern can be easily explained. Using a model for human behaviour first proposed in 1963 by the ethologist Niklaas Tinbergen the lecture will look at war in terms of 4 aspects: its origins/the cultural mechanisms that fuel it/ its ontogeny or evolution over time/ and its function – the way in which it fuels itself.
Professor Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on strategic aspects of international relations and the changing character of warfare, among other interests.