Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy
War has a particular connotation in political science and theory which is violence between two more or less highly centralized political communities, i.e. states, though I believe tribal societies engage in what can be called war. Later on in the conversation Brian recognizes the difficulty of applying that particular conceptualization to hunter-gatherer societies, or pre-tribal or band units. IMHO, I think the term 'war' should be restricted to organized violence (gang bangin' has a certain organization to it) between certain kinds of political entities.
On your reference of political science, I wonder if this isn't a jargon problem, i.e. that different disciplines might use the same words but in specialized contexts. It might be useful to draw the distinction in political science, but get in the way of understanding the behavior to do the same in anthropology.