In This Review

Renegade Regimes: Confronting Deviant Behavior in World Politics
Renegade Regimes: Confronting Deviant Behavior in World Politics
By Miroslav Nincic
Columbia University Press, 2005, 232 pp

If the old fault lines of global conflict were between great powers, the new fault lines appear to be between the international community and an assortment of "rogue" or "outlaw" states. This illuminating book explores the origins and politics of these new problem states and the policy choices available to the rest of the world for dealing with them. Nincic's most important claim is that this new axis of conflict is not simply driven by geopolitical disputes between the United States and specific hostile regimes in the Middle East and eastern Asia; it reflects, he argues, the rise of a general, if loose, agreement within the international community about the standards by which regimes are considered acceptable and legitimate. This slowly emerging agreement on the terms of international deviance -- combined with more immediate security worries -- places these "renegade regimes" at the center of world politics. Nincic also examines the way in which the international community has registered complaints and taken action against countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria. His policy advice is sensible if not surprising: military action to remove the regimes of those countries should not be ruled out, but "smart sanctions" often work better -- and whatever action is taken, it would be best done through the collective efforts of the international community.