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Afterglow or Adjustment
     

Afterglow or Adjustment

by Mark R. Brawley
 

With the end of the Cold War, politicians and pundits spoke of a peace dividend as well as a glorious new world order. But now, the United States seems entangled in more international obligations than ever before. Does the U.S. have the resources to maintain its numerous and growing commitments? Or is it bound to suffer from "overstretch"? What choices does a

Overview

With the end of the Cold War, politicians and pundits spoke of a peace dividend as well as a glorious new world order. But now, the United States seems entangled in more international obligations than ever before. Does the U.S. have the resources to maintain its numerous and growing commitments? Or is it bound to suffer from "overstretch"? What choices does a nation burdened with international responsibilities have to avoid becoming over-extended?

Mark R. Brawley argues—against the orthodox view—that the problem is not that policymakers fail to recognize overstretch, but that they fail to adjust to it. He details how hegemonic powers respond to overcommitment with "afterglows," maintaining leadership obligations long after such policies have ceased to be rational from a national, or domestic, perspective. Afterglow or Adjustment examines differing responses to overstretch in modern history, focusing mostly on military and economic policies in the U.S. and Britain over the past century.

Editorial Reviews

William Roberts Clark
Brawley injects a healthy dose of human agency into the often mechanistic study of hegemonic decline. Afterglow or Adjustment should be read carefully by anyone interested in understanding why powerful states are often slow to adjust to changing international circumstances.
Booknews
Examines states' responses to overstretch, an overextension of one country's efforts to organize and lead global political and economic affairs, in an attempt to discover how states can successfully extricate themselves from overextension. Shows that decision makers usually recognize the problem, and explains variations in responses to overstretch, looking especially at maintenance of international obligations associated with leadership long after such policies no longer appear to be rational from a national perspective. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231113274
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
04/29/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Mark R. Brawley is associate professor of political science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and is author of Turning Points: Decisions Shaping the Evolution of the International Political Economyand Liberal Leadership: Great Powers and Their Challengers in Peace and War.

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