Dynamics of Regional Politics: Four Systems on the Indian Ocean Rim

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Dynamics of Regional Politics: Four Systems on the Indian Ocean Rim

By W. Howard Wriggins
Columbia University Press, 1992
338 pp. $40.00
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This study of the political and security dynamics in four regions--the Persian Gulf, South Asia, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia--is innovative and will serve as a model of comparative regional analysis. Editor and contributor Howard Wriggins and his colleagues carefully craft questions regarding the interactive processes within regional systems, the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy behavior and the role of major outside powers. The excellent chapters on each of the regions are detailed and sophisticated in their analysis. The resulting conclusions stress the embedded cleavages within each region and the deep contrasts among the systems while identifying some common characteristics. In many ways, the end of the constraints imposed by the Cold War is uncovering the underlying historical and cultural differences among these regions. The combination of speculative hypotheses and realism to be found in this knowledgeable work enhances its credibility and should give it long-term value.