Theoretically Deducing Wordl War I: The Great War

3342 WordsJan 25, 201813 Pages
World War I was a conflict that claimed over 10 million peoples’ lives, ravaged all of Europe and engineered modern warfare, as it is know today. The Great War has been scrutinized and examined through many complex theories in order to understand how such a conflict escalated to one of the most epic wars in history. This essay, like many works before it, looks to examine WWI and determine its causes through two distinct levels of analysis, individual and systemic. The individual level of analysis focuses on the characteristics of human decision-making in order to locate the cause of conflicts attributed to individual leaders of particular countries. The systemic level of analysis explains the causation of a conflict from a system wide level that includes all states, taking in to account the distribution of power and the interaction of states in the international system. I am looking to examine WWI from each level of analysis theories to explain actors’ decision-making. I argue that through the individual level of analysis WWI was caused primarily through psychological explanations. Decision making actors from key states made errors when processing information and events, this invited leaders to develop biases and beliefs pushing their actions towards war. While, through the systemic level of analysis WWI was caused by the cult of the offensive. Each state believed that their offensive advantages were so great that a defending force would have no hope of repelling an

    More about Theoretically Deducing Wordl War I: The Great War

      Open Document