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Power transitions—when a rising state overtakes a dominant but declining one—are dangerous moments in international relations. Ambition, fear, and risk taking tend to intensify, often leading to war.
The rise of China will be as disruptive to the U.S.-led international order as the rise of Germany after 1870 was to the British-led order of that era.
Afghanistan is not a failed or failing state but rather a “vertically integrated criminal syndicate” that operates according to its own perverse political logic. Its objective is to enrich the ruling elite.
Posen has written the most challenging critique yet of the United States’ post–Cold War grand strategy of global engagement.
Zeihan argues that geography remains a central factor in international politics, shaping the power of states by facilitating or impeding their economic growth—and no country has benefited more from its geographic features than the United States.
Chernoff discovers that even in the relatively small and tightly integrated field of security studies, scholars have widely different views about what constitutes evidence and how to draw conclusions.
Ohlin sharply critiques the “new realist” school of legal thinking, which questions the basic normative and legal foundations of modern international law and urges the United States to be skeptical of international legal obligations.
This sweeping panorama captures the dramatic shifts in how people lived and understood life during the nineteenth century, emphasizing the almost infinite complexity of the material and ideological forces that were at work.
Drawing on psychological and organizational theory, this masterful study shows that policymakers and intelligence analysts tend to emphasize different kinds of information in making their assessments.
Hunt argues that the social and cultural theories that have dominated the field of national histories since the 1950s have grown stale. She therefore sees the recent turn toward “global history” as a promising trend.
Has human rights law and activism actually improved people’s lives? In this sharply argued book, Posner answers no.
Acharya argues that rising non-Western states, such as China and India, hold different values from Western states and do not agree among themselves about what a post-American order should look like. He foresees the emergence of a “multiplex” world, in which countries and regions will all (metaphorically) go to the same movie theater but end up watching different films.
Commentators on international affairs often assume that authoritarian states tend to pursue unpredictable and aggressive foreign policies. Weeks demonstrates that this simplistic view misses important variations in how autocrats make decisions about the use of force—a process that often involves a surprising amount of domestic accountability.
In this second volume of his masterful study of political development, Fukuyama explores how different states have found various ways to combine the three key components of political order: state institutions, democratic accountability, and the rule of law. He pays the most attention to the United States, which represented the vanguard of political development throughout the twentieth century but is now beset by “political decay.”
The idea of civilization is often seen as old-fashioned, invoked by Europeans in the nineteenth century. But Bowden argues that the idea of civilization still lurks in the interventionist worldviews of many Western thinkers and leaders.
In this illuminating study, MacDonald argues that the success of imperial conquest during the colonial era hinged less on brute power than on the ability of European states to build and exploit social ties with elites among the colonized.
Fawcett traces the liberal tradition from its origins in nineteenth-century Europe, to its historic union with democracy early in the twentieth century, to its near-fatal collapse after World War I and the Great Depression, and culminating in its triumph and spread in the decades after World War II.
The contributors to this volume affirm the importance of promoting the rule of law in troubled and transitional societies, using tools such as foreign aid and technical assistance.
In this landmark study, Tooze offers an elegant account of the reordering of great-power relations that took place after World War I, at the dawn of “the American century.”
These two recent books offer competing but complementary visions of the past, present, and future of government.
The effort to project Western liberal ideas onto the international system has been marked by tensions, dilemmas, tradeoffs, and contradictions.
As the idea of global governance takes root, governments increasingly take pains to be seen as following the law -- a development that has greatly increased the power of international courts and judges.
Reich and Lebow have joined a long list of writers who have announced the end of U.S. hegemony and the coming of the next world order.
Glanville shows that the idea that sovereign states should enjoy the absolute right of autonomous self-government and nonintervention was not present at the creation of the Westphalian system.
In this lively little book, Kenny argues that the United States should embrace, not resist, a world in which “the rest” catch up with the West.
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