Outlawing war? It actually worked

Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro New York Times Sept. 2, 2017

If you were to ask historians to name the most foolish treaty ever signed, odds are good that they would name the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The pact, which was joined by 63 nations, outlawed war. Ending war is an absurdly ambitious goal. To think it could be done by treaty? Not just absurd but dangerously naïve. And the critics would seem to be right. Just over a decade later, every nation that had joined the pact, with the exception of Ireland, was at war. ..But the critics are wrong. Though the pact may not have ended all war, it was highly effective in ending the main reason countries had gone to war: conquest. This claim is supported by an empirical analysis we recently conducted of all the known cases of territorial acquisition during military conflict from 1816 to the present. See full article.

Photo caption: Briand-Kellogg Treaty, with signatures of Gustav Stresemann, Paul Kellogg, Paul Hymans, Aristide Briand, Lord Cushendun, William Lyon Mackenzie King, John McLachlan, Sir Christopher James Parr, Jacobus Stephanus Smit, William Thomas Cosgrave, Count Gaetano Manzoni, Count Uchida, A. Zaleski, Eduard Benes. Credit: Unknown photographer possibly Erich Salomon – GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL)

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