In This Review

Crucibles of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars
Crucibles of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars
By Dan Reiter
Cornell University Press, 1996, 232 pp

This book chips away further at the edifice of realism in international relations theory, arguing that small states' choices of alliances are not determined by considerations of power and security, as the realists would have it, but rather by their acquired experiences in war. Historical learning thus explains why Norway joined NATO after World War II and Sweden did not. The author deploys a rather formidable methodology to prove what would appear to be an obvious point, but such is the nature of the social sciences today.