Tension and Conflict Theories between Countries: Review, Critique and Presenting a Theoretical Model

Document Type : Original Article


1 - Full Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 - PhD Student of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 - Associate Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 - Full Professor of Political Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Tension and conflict between political-spatial units in different local, regional, national, and global aspects have been a part of the human beings history on this planet. The nation-state countries as the most basic political units of sovereignty and authority in the territorial space, which is under their own control, have experienced relations based on tension and conflict with their neighbors due to their quest for national survival and expansion of their sphere of and to achieve national interests. In many cases, governments, because of their perspectives toward geographical and geopolitical factors and values both within and outside their territory, have hold inharmonious views with neighbors or regional and global powers and in such a case tension and conflict occurs. Considering the importance of factors causing tension and conflict in countries relations, different and various perspectives from different scholars and experts from various disciplines such as geography, political science, sociology, management, international relations, geopolitics as well as different schools of thought in this area have been presented. The research hypothesis is that most of the theories presented by professionals and scholars relating to the sources of tension and conflict between countries have uni-factor or multifactor essence and none of them have succeeded in providing a comprehensive theoretical model. Accordingly, this paper by using descriptive-analytic approaches and using library resources attempts to assess and evaluate theories related to the origins of conflict and tension between countries and by the means of criticism and analysis of theories provides a new theory in the field of factors causing conflict in countries relations.


Volume 9, Issue 32
December 2015
Pages 1-35
  • Receive Date: 18 March 2013
  • Revise Date: 23 May 2013
  • Accept Date: 10 September 2013
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2013