Article Review “The Decline of War and Conceptions of Human Nature”

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Article Review: The Decline of War
The debate on the “decline of war” thesis over the recent past by scholars for and against it has only served to fuel the debate among other scholars and non-scholars alike in various forums across the globe. Proponents and opponents of the thesis base their arguments around several issues of contention such as; data used by the researcher, the type of violence considered, and the use of relative rather than the absolute numbers. This review paper analyses arguments of Steven Pinker’s advancement of the thesis on his article “The Decline of War and Conceptions of Human Nature”
Pinker argues in his article that indeed the thesis that war appears to be on a decline is true with statistical evidence of how the number of conflicts and casualties killed has significantly reduced. According to his arguments, the world’s most powerful countries have hardly found themselves in direct confrontation in the battlefield since the end of WW2 and the number of casualties has also dropped from 300 deaths per 100,000 people to less than 1. In my opinion, the author’s decision to base his arguments only on the conflicts involving the world’s most powerful nations is naïve. My question is, are the wars happening in less powerful countries not considered just because they happen far away from the population of world’s major capitals? Wars in Syria, Sudan, Iraq and DR Congo have killed millions of people and displaced even a larger number of people just as the conflicts during and before the world wars did.

In the article, the author also attributes the perceptual decline in wars to changes in human nature over the years. In his opinion, environmental and other factors have played a role in changing human intuition towards acting violently towards other human beings. Again, this is a very simplistic approach of drawing conclusions. This begs the question on why a section of some members of the society still resort to violent means of retaliation even when their issues can be addressed through the legal system. For instance, the resent violence directed towards the police in Dallas wouldn’t be happening since the legal system is now fairer to the people of color than it has ever been.

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Article Review “The Decline of War and Conceptions of Human Nature”. (2022, Feb 26). Retrieved from

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