• Ehsan Mehmood Khan


alliances, balance of power, asymmetric war, just war, power transition, hegemonic stability



Theoretical analysis of the war of ancient eras is as important as that of the modern and postmodern eras. Analysis of the primal, primitive, primordial and prehistoric wars shows that, by and large, they were driven by the same motives. The wars of the Hellenistic and the Greek era, too, have been as comparable. The Peloponnesian war fought from 431 BC to 404 BC between two main alliances of the Greek era the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta, and the Delian League, led by Athens provides a lot for great analysis. It gives insight not only into the political affairs of the Greek era, but also an invaluable case study for the policymakers and theoreticians for drawing pertinent lessons for today’s international, regional and national environments. Theoretical analysis of the Peloponnesian War provides for study of the war in the light of a host of theories. However, as Thucydides upholds, the war in question was a mirror image of honour, interest and fear as a motive, and thus was fought in the theoretical folds of Realism. However, Balance of Power Theory, Just War Theory, Asymmetric War Theory, Hegemonic Stability Theory, Power Transition Theory, The Rubicon Theory and certain other theories can be found at its analytical foundations.

Author Biography

Ehsan Mehmood Khan

 Ehsan Mehmood Khan is a PhD (Peace and Conflict Studies) scholar at NDU Islamabad. He is author of Human Security in Pakistan (published in 2013) and co-author of Kashmir: Looking Beyond the Peril (published in 2014). 1 Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. and intro. Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), 63.




How to Cite

Khan, Ehsan Mehmood. 2014. “THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR: A THEORETICAL ANALYSIS”. Journal of Contemporary Studies 3 (1):38-50.