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Do ideas make people kill?

A former British army officer is sceptical

By Richard English   May 2018
Why do we fight? An Israeli soldier in Nablus

Why do we fight? An Israeli soldier in Nablus

This fascinating, accessible book by a former British Army officer aims to explain why people fight, with a particular eye to individual-level experience and to recent research in the cognitive sciences. Central to the book is the claim that “Humans fight to achieve status and belonging,” and a scepticism about the notion that ideology causes violence.

But some readers will consider that any proper understanding of, for example, nationalist ideology has to…

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