"New wars" and rumors of "new wars"

Errol A. Henderson, J. David Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Recently, there has been a growing tendency to suggest "new" classes of wars that are presumably different from all wars we have known and studied. In this article, we discuss the extent to which the landscape of armed conflict has changed so dramatically that it has necessitated a revision of the prevalent typology of war, a reconsideration of the correlates of war, and a reconceptualization of the theoretical assumptions regarding the etiology of war. While it is clear that patterns of warfare shift across time and space, it is not clear that war itself has changed "fundamentally" and has become inexplicable in light of theoretical arguments in world politics as many "new war" theorists suggest. Our analysis demonstrates that many of the "new wars" are simply amalgamations of various interstate, extrastate, and intrastate wars - i.e., the "old wars" - that have been lumped into a single category. The result is a hodgepodge of armed conflicts whose different correlates derive from their diverse morphologies rather than their novelty as wars unlike any we have experienced previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-190
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of '"New wars" and rumors of "new wars"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this