Is War Good for Us?

RSA Event


RSA House, London

  • Global

Has killing made the world safer? As the world marks the WWI centenary, acclaimed academic and author Ian Morris, argues a bold thesis: that paradoxically, war has actually made the world a more secure and comfortable place. Chaired by Anthony Beevor, acclaimed historian and prize-winning author.


2014 is WW1 centenary year, and thousands of column inches have been devoted to the folly and waste of war throughout history. War is widely regarded as one of the greatest human evils – it has provoked unspeakable atrocities and left countless millions dead. It has caused economic chaos and deprivation, and the devastation it causes has poisoned foreign policy for future generations. But is there another, uncomfortable aspect of the picture? Have the huge nation-states that wars helped forge, actually kept us relatively safe from random acts of violence? Having rethought the role of war in human history, acclaimed academic and author Ian Morris visits the RSA to argue the bold and controversial thesis: that overall - war has been a force for good.

Speaker: Ian Morris is Willard Professor of Classics, Professor of History and a fellow of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University.

Chair: Antony Beevor, acclaimed historian and prize-winning author of Stalingrad, D-Day – The Battle for Normandy, and most recently The Second World War.

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