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Explaining Variations in Post-Cold War War and Peace

12/09/2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This is a hybrid event. In-person registration is CUID-only. To register for the public zoom link, CLICK HERE.

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents:

Optimists, Pessimists or Skeptics: Explaining Variations in Post-Cold War War and Peace

Benny Miller, Professor of International Relations, School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa

Moderated by Jack Snyder, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Political Science Department, Columbia University


Friday, December 9, 2022
1302 International Affairs

CUID only, advance registration required.



Following the end of the Cold War, analysts advanced competing expectations about the likely character of the new era. Many expected a transformation in the fundamental character of world politics. Some of these predictions were quite optimistic (especially Liberals and Constructivists)— believing the changes will lead to more peace and cooperation; some were pessimists—predicting the emergence of new types of conflicts, while others (the realists) remained skeptical regarding the possible transformation in the character of international politics. While none of these perspectives accurately predicted the nature of the international system, there is a differential application of the predictions of the competing approaches to different regions. Some regions fit the optimistic expectations (Europe, South America), others fit the pessimists’ predictions (South Asia, Africa, Middle East), while still others might accord with realist expectations (East Asia; the post-Soviet). Some other regions went through a transition from fitting the pessimist line to resemble more closely the optimist approach (the Balkans). How could we explain the variations in the level of peace in the various regions? Miller argues that the combined effect of two factors—state strength and national congruence– is the most important, although great-power intervention can mitigate or aggravate their effects.

Event Contact Information:
Patrycja Bazylczyk


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


1302 International Affairs Building
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027 United States
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(212) 854-5460