Young men fight wars, and they do it for the tribe

Dan P. McAdams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the current issue, Apter and Desselles show that the 8 primary states delineated in reversal theory capture many, if not most, of the different justifications that human beings might offer for engaging in combat. As a general motivational theory, however, reversal theory tends to downplay the group processes that have been invoked throughout history to compel young men to fight wars. Moreover, the fact that it is almost exclusively young men who do the fighting calls for a more thoroughgoing developmental perspective for understanding motivations for war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-350
Number of pages2
JournalPeace and Conflict
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Combat
  • Identity
  • Motivation
  • Reversal theory
  • Warfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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