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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 21, 2014

Peace Science: A Multiple Attribute Approach

  • Sheldon G. Levy EMAIL logo


The major dependent variable in peace science research has appropriately been death from inter-group conflict with war the major focus. However, a tenable hypothesis is that the same or similar motivations result in other risks to life. For example, the number of human deaths each year from preventable nonmilitary sources is approximately 20,000,000. Most major sources that assess the loss of life from military and related conflicts identify, over a long period of time, not more than 2,000,000/year. This dependent variable may also be extended to the non-military category. For example, evidence has emerged that approximately twenty-percent of the active duty female members of the US military are sexually assaulted by other members of the military during their period of service (Dick 2012). Thus, it seems reasonable to address a variety of phenomena that may be represented by a common set of attributes. These variables should include degree of physical injury, size of acting units, and public vs. private agents. Preventable non-military death is similar to the classification for death from war except that the agents are frequently private, such as corporations. This analysis is intended to contribute to a continuing discussion of the boundaries of the peace science domain. One function of the discussion is to foster the examination of a range of behaviors that may derive from a set of basic motives and goals. The discussion section concludes with reference to the problem of understanding a central factor in inter-group conflict – identification with the group.

Corresponding author: Sheldon G. Levy, Wayne State University, E-mail:

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Published Online: 2014-6-21
Published in Print: 2014-8-1

© 2014 by De Gruyter

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