War remains a central feature of global politics and has been a core focus for politics and international relations, history, economics, sociology as well as other cognate disciplines. The analysis of the effects of war has, however, tended to be compartmentalised by sub-disciplines. This article proposes a heuristic framework to map the effects of war in terms of ripple and backwash across a range of interconnected layers of societies. Through this framework, the article then introduces a set of empirically rich and theoretically informed studies from across multiple disciplines which examine the first consequences of the war in Ukraine. Taken together, these studies show that the war has had deep and complex effects affecting human life; human development; economies; values and attitudes; policy and governance; and power distribution and relations around the world. Although broader international public interest in the war may have waned within weeks of the invasion, the effects of the conflict have been deep and continued in many areas, but also differentiated across space and time. Traditional public policy concepts used to frame the effects of “external shocks” such as punctuated equilibrium and critical junctures may overlook such deep-seated and diverse effects, warranting the multidisciplinary lenses used in this volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-281
Number of pages21
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2024


  • conflict
  • international relations
  • policy change
  • policy continuity
  • political science
  • Ukraine
  • War

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