Pivotal Deterrence: Third-Party Statecraft and the Pursuit of Peace

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Overview

As the preponderant world power, the United States is a potential arbiter of war and peace between such feuding rivals as India and Pakistan, Turkey and Greece, China and Taiwan. How can it deter them from going to war and impel them to accept compromise without firmly choosing sides? This age-old strategic dilemma, which Timothy W. Crawford calls "pivotal deterrence," has become a central challenge of international security in today's unipolar world.Crawford explains the political dynamics of pivotal deterrence and the conditions under which it is likely to succeed, while examining some of its most impressive feats and failures. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's agile approach to the 1870s Eastern Crisis, which prevented war between Russia and Austria-Hungary, is contrasted with Britain's ambiguous and ill-fated maneuvers to deter Germany and France in July 1914. Shifting to the 1960s Cold War, Crawford explores the successes and setbacks in U.S. efforts to prevent NATO allies Greece and Turkey from fighting over Cyprus and to defuse the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan. Capping the analysis is a rich look at similar U.S. efforts in the 1990s in South Asia, the Aegean, the Balkans, and East Asia. Crawford concludes with an assessment of the prospects for American pivotal deterrence in the years ahead and its implications for international relations theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Timothy Crawford has written a well-supported, theoretically intriguing book that has significant relevance to American foreign policy. The primary question that Crawford asks is, How can a state prevent a dispute between two states from erupting into armed conflict? . . . A major contribution to the literature on deterrence."—Spencer D. Bakich, Virginia Quarterly Review, April 2004

"Timothy Crawford's book is an important and, in several ways, original statement on a topic unduly ignored in past studies. . . . Crawford provides an interesting angle and novel use of an old problem concerning the interplay between the balance of power and interests. . . . The case selections are guided by a concise and excellent treatment of relevant methodological points, and the empirical analysis is expertly done. Crawford shows a mastery of the methods of causal analysis in historical case studies, making this a primer in qualitative research design. . . . Pivotal Deterrence is a fascinating read, profuse with engaging arguments, sure-handed historical research and elegant narratives, and ingenuities in drawing policy implications for current U.S. foreign policy. Crawford makes an important contribution to diverse areas of conflict research, including deterrence, alignments, defensive realism, mediation as coercive diplomacy, and overall war prevention. His book should undoubtedly have strong appeal for both international relations scholars and policy practitioners."—Vesna Danilovic, Perspectives on Politics 2004

"Pivotal deterrence is, according to Crawford, a long-standing strategic dilemma, in which the challenge to deter two rivals from escalating their existing dispute to war and encourage them to accept a peaceful compromise, while avoiding commitment to either rival. Crawford's book is a superb study of this question, which, despite its prevalence and importance, has not been systematically addressed in the literature. . . . Crawford's contribution to the international relations theory bookshelf is invaluable. It is an exemplary study in social science. . . . Moreover, its concluding chapter, applying the theoretical framework to U.S. foreign policy, is extremely relevant to current policy debates."—Carmela Lutmar, Journal of Peace Research, May 2005

"Pivotal Deterrence is a welcome extension of deterrence analysis in a direction that is relatively unexplored but highly relevant to contemporary international politics. Impressive in its scholarship and analysis, the book is tightly and effectively written in a clear and lively fashion. . . . Pivotal Deterrence is definitely worth reading. Analytically it heightens our understanding of the use of coercion in security management. Specialists in all facets of coercive diplomacy will profit from this book, as will those interested, for academic or policy reasons, in broader regional and global security management. The analysis has much bearing on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy today."—Patrick M. Morgan, International Studies Review, 15 February 2005

"In this pathbreaking book, Timothy W. Crawford substantially advances our understanding of the role that third parties can play in averting war between rivals. Pivotal Deterrence is elegant in theoretical construction, rich in empirical narrative, and wise in guidance to the policy community."—Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations, author of The End of the American Era

"Even the well-informed professional reader will be surprised at the originality of Pivotal Deterrence. It is one of those rare books about which one wonders why it hasn't been written before. This is, in short, a major theoretical step forward, with case studies well chosen to test the theory and analyzed with a nice blend of methodological rigor and narrative storytelling."—Glenn Snyder, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"In Pivotal Deterrence, Timothy W. Crawford argues that a major power can influence to a significant degree the likelihood that two other states will go to war. Crawford sheds light on a remarkably wide range of international crises from the 1870s to the present, including an especially fascinating discussion of the failure of Britain to prevent the outbreak of war in 1914. Pivotal Deterrence offers the reader a superb combination of rigorous analytical reasoning and careful historical research and will be of interest to anyone who is concerned about the problem of the prevention of war in the twenty-first century."—Joseph M. Grieco, Duke University

"In Pivotal Deterrence, Timothy Crawford summons strong evidence and compelling logic to develop a new theory that explains what is necessary for a major power without choosing sides to deter two rivals from fighting. With the United States as the principal pivot in today's unipolar world, the book is a timely contribution to the debate about how the world's sole superpower should conduct important aspects of its foreign policy."—Robert A. Pape, University of Chicago

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801440977
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2003
  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Problem and Theory of Pivotal Deterrence 5
2 Power, Interests, and Alignment Options: Framing the Inquiry 25
3 Pivotal Deterrence in the Eastern Crisis, 1875-78: Why Bismarck Had It Easy 46
4 Pivotal Deterrence and the Chain Gang: Sir Edward Grey's Ambiguous Policy and the July Crisis, 1914 75
5 Hurting the One Who Loves You Most: The United States and the Cyprus Crises, 1963-67 100
6 Playing the Pivot in a Crowded Market: The United States and the Kashmir Conflict, 1962-65 135
7 U.S. Pivotal Deterrence in the Unipolar Era, 1990-2002 169
Conclusion: The Prospects for Pivotal Deterrence in U.S. Foreign Policy 202
List of Abbreviations 219
Notes 221
Index 269
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    A Great, New Perspective on Deterrence!

    <p>Timothy Crawford's unique perspective on deterrence theory has bridged a long-neglected gap in the literature. <p> Skillfully illustrating the weaknesses of traditional extended deterrence, 'Pivotal Deterrence' takes the lead in explaining his theory in the context of several key factors in international security, including strategic ambiguity, alignments, threats, alliances, and revisionism, to name but a few. <p> To demonstrate one his assertions on allignment options, the book illustrates several excellent cases: Germany v. Russia and Austria-Hungary, Britain v. France and Germany, United States v. Turkey and Greece, and United States v. India and Pakistan. These cases clearly show the impact of his theory, providing food for thought on other crises; past, future, and present.<p> Also touching on the issues of India-Pakistan and China-Taiwan, this is an excellent read that would be extremely valuable to anyone in the field of international relations or political science who wants to understand the complexities and nuances of deterrence in the modern world.

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