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Books in brief: Civil Wars by David Armitage

"Civil wars cost an estimated $123bn a year, last four times longer than conventional wars and are more likely to recur"

By Saul David   May 2017

Civil Wars: A History in Ideas by David Armitage (Yale, £18.99)

We live in an era of civil war, or conflict within states. “Since 1989,” writes David Armitage, “an average of 20 intrastate wars have been in progress at any one moment—about 10 times the national average globally between 1816 and 1989.” Prior to 1945, the vast majority of wars were interstate; now the opposite is true.

This matters because civil wars cost an estimated $123bn a year, last four times longer than conventional wars and are more likely to recur. They also…

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