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The first half of the century, the age of the World Wars and the start of the Cold Warwas dominated by the rivalries of those powers. The second half saw the replacement, largely through the agency of those wars, of the European state system by a world system with many centres of both power and discord.
This article provides a single integrated narrative of the changing context of world politics, from the outbreak of World War I to the s.
The roots of World War I— Forty-three years of peace among the great powers of Europe came to an end inwhen an act of political terrorism provoked two great alliance systems into mortal combat. The South Slav campaign against Austrian rule in Bosnia, culminating in the assassination of the Habsburg heir apparent at Sarajevowas the spark.
This local crisis rapidly engulfed all the powers of Europe through the mechanisms of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, diplomatic arrangements meant precisely to enhance the security of their members and to deter potential aggressors.
The long-term causes of the war can therefore be traced to the forces that impelled the formation of those alliances, increased tensions among the great powers, and made at least some European leaders desperate enough to seek their objectives even at the risk of a general war.
These forces included militarism and mass mobilization, instability in domestic and international politics occasioned An analysis of the topic of el salvador incident rapid industrial growth, global imperialism, popular nationalismand the rise of a social Darwinist worldview.
But the question of why World War I broke out should be considered together with the questions of why peace ended and why in rather than before or after. The Bismarckian system, —90 The era of the great powers The European map and world politics were less confused in the decades after than at any time before or since.
The unifications of Italy and Germany removed the congeries of central European principalities that dated back to the Holy Roman Empirewhile the breakup of eastern and southeastern Europe into small and quarreling states a process that would yield the term balkanization was not far advanced.
The lesser powers of Europe, including some that once had been great, like the NetherlandsSwedenand Spainplayed little or no role in the affairs of the great powers unless their own interests were directly involved.
Both physical size and the economies of scale important in an industrial age rendered smaller and less developed countries impotent, while the residual habits of diplomacy dating from the Congress of Vienna of made the great powers the sole arbiters of European politics.
In the wider world, a diplomatic system of the European variety existed nowhere else. The outcome of the U. Civil War and Anglo-American settlement of the Canadian border ensured that North America would not develop a multilateral balance-of-power system.
South and Central America had splintered into 17 independent republics following the final retreat of Spanish rule inbut the new Latin American states were inward-looking, their centres of population and resources isolated by mountains, jungle, and sheer distance, and disputes among them were of mostly local interest.
When the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian tsar and Canada acquired dominion status, both inEuropean possessions on the American mainland were reduced to three small Guianan colonies in South America and British Honduras Belize. North Africa east of Algeria was still nominally under the aegis of the Ottoman sultan, while sub-Saharan Africaapart from a few European ports on the coast, was terra incognita.
The British had regularized their hold on the Indian subcontinent after putting down the Indian Mutiny of —58, while the Chinese and Japanese empires remained xenophobic and isolationist. Thus, the cabinets of the European great powers were at the zenith of their influence.
Europe itself, byseemed to be entering an age of political and social progress. International peace also seemed assured once Otto von Bismarck declared the new German Empire a satisfied power and placed his considerable talents at the service of stability.
The chancellor knew Germany to be a military match for any rival but feared the possibility of a coalition.
Since France would never be reconciled to her reduced status and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine imposed by the treaty ending the Franco-German WarBismarck strove to keep France isolated.
Such a combination was always vulnerable to Austro-Russian rivalry over the Eastern Question —the problem of how to organize the feuding Balkan nationalities gradually freeing themselves from the decrepit Ottoman Empire.
After the Slavic provinces of Bosnia and Hercegovina rebelled against Ottoman rule in and Russia made war on the Ottoman Empire two years later, the Dreikaiserbund collapsed.
Bismarck achieved a compromise at the Congress of Berlinbut Austro-Russian amity was not restored. Intherefore, Bismarck concluded a permanent peacetime military alliance with Austria, whereupon the tsarist government, to court German favour, agreed to a renewal of the Dreikaiserbund in Italy, seeking aid for her Mediterranean ambitions, joined Germany and Austria-Hungary to form the Triple Alliance in The next Balkan crisis, which erupted in Bulgaria inagain tempted Russia to expand its influence to the gates of Constantinople.A report by BAE Systems and SWIFT shows that financial market areas such as equities trading, bonds, and derivatives face more threats than banking, forex, and trade finance.
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Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos. Gmail is email that's intuitive, efficient, and useful. 15 GB of storage, less spam, and mobile access. Possible Seminar Paper Topics. research and analysis and to apply the knowledge and insights they have gained in the seminar to specific problem areas.
Thus, a natural paper topic might be a “case study” of any significant “aggression” or “intervention” in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, etc. In late the.