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Trustees of Princeton University and Cambridge University Pressare collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve andextend access toWorld Politics.Trustees of Princeton UniversityReview: International Conflict: Three Levels of AnalysisAuthor(s): J. David SingerReview by: J. David SingerSource:World Politics,Vol. 12, No. 3 (Apr., 1960), pp. 453-461Published by:Cambridge University PressStable URL:Accessed: 08-03-2016 16:31 UTCYour use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available atinfo/about/policies/terms.jspJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of contentin a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]This content downloaded from 164.41.102.240 on Tue, 08 Mar 2016 16:31:35 UTCAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
Review QArticlesINTERNATIONAL CONFLICTThree Levels of AnalysisBy J. DAVID SINGERKenneth N. Waltz, Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis, NewYork, Columbia University Press, I959, 263 pp. $5.50.O NE of the major prerequisites of any systematic progress in afield of inquiry is the self-conscious articulation of assumptions,and it may well be that the archaic state of the study of internationalpolitics is due in part to our failure to engage in such articulation withadequate frequency and vigor. The treatise under review is a commend-able exception to our tendency to "bootleg" assumptions, consciouslyor otherwise, into our research and teaching; as such it is a welcomeand valuable addition to the literature of what many of us view as anascent discipline. But Professor Waltz's book is more than that; it is,in effect, an examination of these assumptions, which find their wayinevitably into every piece of description, analysis, or prescription ininternational political relations. These assumptions lead into, and flowfrom, the level of social organization which the observer selects as hispoint of entry into any study of the subject. For Waltz, there are threesuch levels of analysis: the individual, the state, and the state system.While some may complain that he omits such relevant social formsas the pressure group, socioeconomic class, or political party, this re-viewer cannot bemoan this omission. After all, the state is still thedominant-if not the sole-actor in world politics, and while othergroups, classes, or levels of human organization may influence thecourse of events, they can do so only by acting upon and influencingthe state itself.What the author attempts here is an examination of the assumptionswhich lead an observer to select one of these three levels of analysis,and the theoretical and conceptual results which eventuate from sucha selection. His major concern is that of ascertaining which level offers

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