Controlling The Sword: The Democratic Governance Of National Security

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Controlling The Sword: The Democratic Governance Of National Security

By Bruce Russett
Harvard University Press, 1990
201 pp. $22.50
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The revolutions of 1989 finished off a proposition that had been losing favor since the 1960s: that autocracy protects national security better than democracy. Yet a number of myths remain dear to the hearts of those who fear the public's intrusion in weighty matters of foreign affairs-that public attitudes are fickle or naïve about complicated issues, for instance. Russett debunks many of those myths. Not all his news is good-upcoming elections do seem to encourage presidents to talk simple and act tough, though the effect is short-lived. But the reminder that foreign policy is of a piece with domestic politics is more necessary than ever, now that the template of the Cold War is less imprinting.

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