Coping with Complexity in the International System

Overview

Prevailing theories of the international system reflect the bygone era of the bipolar Cold War stalemate. Understanding the complex new multipolar era requires a fresh approach. In this volume, Jack Snyder and Robert Jervis show why ultraparsimonious systems theories that focus on the balance of power among a few large states fail to capture the dynamics of today's highly interdependent, multipolar system. Taking issue with the accepted wisdom of the international studies field, Snyder argues that systems ...
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Overview

Prevailing theories of the international system reflect the bygone era of the bipolar Cold War stalemate. Understanding the complex new multipolar era requires a fresh approach. In this volume, Jack Snyder and Robert Jervis show why ultraparsimonious systems theories that focus on the balance of power among a few large states fail to capture the dynamics of today's highly interdependent, multipolar system. Taking issue with the accepted wisdom of the international studies field, Snyder argues that systems theories must address the interactions between international and domestic systems, and between military and economic systems. Using Robert Jervis's seminal essay on unintended consequences in complex systems as their point of departure, the contributing authors explore case studies of past and present multipolar systems to present analyses that challenge current thinking in international security and economics. Historical chapters show how understanding the workings of complex systems allowed statesmen to devise the Concert of Europe and how the collapse of the Concert in the Crimean War was triggered by the tsar's failure to comprehend the indirect impact his strategies would have on British public opinion. Another chapter highlights the feedback processes between domestic politics and the international monetary system that led to the rise and fall of the gold standard and to the creation of the European monetary system. The diplomacy of the Moroccan crisis of 1905 is used to show that conventional wisdom places unwarranted weight on a state's reputation for standing firm in the interconnected international system. The discussions also explore the systemic causes of World War II: Contributors examine how the international financial system unwittingly helped destroy Weimar democracy and offer a challenging reinterpretation of the workings of the balance of power in the 1930s. Qualifying the view that interdependence promotes peace, we see how German and Japane
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Barry Eichengreen is John L. Simpson Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Jeffry Frieden is professor of government at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: New Thinking About the New International System 1
2 Systems and Interaction Effects 25
3 The Transformation of Political Thinking, 1787-1848 47
4 System Management and the Endurance of the Concert of Europe 71
5 The Domestic Politics of Crisis Bargaining and the Origins of the Crimean War 107
6 The Dynamics of International Monetary Systems: International and Domestic Factors in the Rise, Reign, and Demise of the Classical Gold Standard 137
7 Independence or Interdependence: Testing Resolve Reputation 163
8 Weimar Germany and Systemic Transformation in International Economic Relations 191
9 Hitler's Tripolar Strategy for World Conquest 207
10 Interdependence and Instability 243
11 Systems of Peace as Causes of War? Collective Security, Arms Control, and the New Europe 265
12 Common Markets, Uncommon Currencies: Systems Effects and the European Community 303
13 Conclusion: System Stability and the Security of the Most Vulnerable Significant Actor 329
About the Book and Editors 357
Index 359
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