The preventive motive for war is a prominent part of many world politics arguments. However, there are no general statistical investigations of either its prevalence or bellicosity. Consequently, no general conclusions about it can be drawn. In this article I operationally define the preventive motive, determine how often it is observed when wars are fought, and estimate its statistical impact on the probability of war. I find the preventive motive is frequently present in both types of dyads, but has no consistent statistical impact on the probability of war.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations