"A Farewell to Wars: The Growing Restraints on the Interstate Use of Force"

Dr. Hans Blix (photo courtesy of the IAEA)

By Dr. Hans Blix
Published by Cambridge University Press
November 2023


Description: Since World War II, there has been a trend towards fewer wars, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine standing as a major 'aberration'. With decades of experience as an international lawyer, diplomat and head of UN Iraq inspections, Hans Blix examines conflicts and other developments after World War II. He finds that new restraints on uses of force have emerged from fears about nuclear war, economic interdependence and UN Charter rules. With less interest in the conquest of land, states increasingly use economic or cyber means to battle their adversaries. Such a turn is not free from perils but should perhaps be welcomed as an alternative to previous methods of war. By analysing these new restraints, Blix rejects the fatalistic assumption that there will always be war. He submits that today leading powers are saying farewell to previous patterns of war, instead choosing to continue their competition for power and influence on the battlefields of economy and information.

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Dr. Hans Blix, former Swedish diplomat, is Director-General Emeritus of the IAEA and previously served as Chair of The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, Head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and is one of The Simons Foundation's Peace Leaders.