Understanding International Conflicts: An Introduction to Theory and History / Edition 2

Understanding International Conflicts: An Introduction to Theory and History / Edition 2

by Joseph S. Nye

ISBN-10: 0321011015

ISBN-13: 9780321011015

Pub. Date: 04/28/1997

Publisher: Addison-Wesley


In revising classic works in political science, Longman celebrates the contributions its authors and their research have made to the discipline. The Longman Classics in Political Science series honors these authors and their work. Providing students with an updated context, each title in the series includes a new foreword



In revising classic works in political science, Longman celebrates the contributions its authors and their research have made to the discipline. The Longman Classics in Political Science series honors these authors and their work. Providing students with an updated context, each title in the series includes a new foreword, written by one of today’s top scholars, offering a fresh, in-depth analysis of the book and its enduring contributions.

UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS An Introduction to Theory and History Seventh Edition

Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

“Sometimes original scholars sound pedantic when addressing central issues of world politics; often policymakers speak in code or platitudes. Not so Professor Nye. As any reader will see, the work in your hands is lucid, direct, and concise. Reading Nye’s writing on world politics is like watching Joe DiMaggio play center field or Yo-Yo Ma play the cello: he makes the difficult look easy.”

–from Robert Keohane’s Foreword

Written by renowned scholar and former policymaker Joseph Nye, this text is a brief and penetrating introduction to the study of world politics. It deftly applies a combination of history and theory to evaluate conflict and cooperation among international actors, thus providing students a framework for understanding contemporary issues. From World War I to modern terrorism and information revolutions to global governance, Understanding International Conflicts is a highly readable survey that answers as well as raises compelling questions about the future of international relations.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also served as a Deputy to the Undersecretary of State in the Carter Administration, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and Chair of the National Intelligence Council.

The new MyPoliSciKit for Understanding International Conflicts is a premium online learning resource that features multimedia activities to help students connect concepts to current events, including book-specific assessment, video case studies, role-playing simulations, mapping exercises, Financial Times newsfeeds, and politics blog. Log on to www.mypoliscikit.com to see a demo, purchase a subscription, or use your access code to get started.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 9.19(h) x 0.39(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword     xi
Preface     xiii
Resources     xvii
Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?     1
What is International Politics?     2
Differing Views of Anarchic Politics     4
Building Blocks     9
The Peloponnesian War     13
A Short Version of a Long Story     13
Causes and Theories     16
Inevitability and the Shadow of the Future     18
Ethical Questions and International Politics     21
Limits on Ethics in International Relations     22
Three Views of the Role of Morality     23
Chronology: Peloponnesian Wars     29
Study Questions     30
Selected Readings     30
Further Readings     30
Notes     32
Origins of the Great Twentieth-Century Conflicts     34
International Systems and Levels of Causation     34
Levels of Analysis     36
Systems: Structure and Process     38
Revolutionary and Moderate Goals and Instruments     39
The Structure and Process of the Nineteenth-Century System     41
A Modern Sequel     43
Domestic Politics and ForeignPolicy     44
Liberalism Revived     46
Liberal Democracy and War     48
Defining National Interests     50
Variations in Foreign Policies     51
Counterfactuals     52
Plausibility     53
Proximity in Time     53
Relation to Theory     54
Facts     54
Chronologies: Europe     55
Study Questions     57
Selected Readings     57
Further Readings     58
Notes     59
Balance of Power and World War I     60
Balance of Power     60
Power     61
Balances as Distributions of Power     65
Balance of Power as Policy     66
Balance of Power as Multipolar Systems     68
Alliances     70
The Origins of World War I     71
Three Levels of Analysis     71
Was War Inevitable?     77
What Kind of War?     80
The Funnel of Choices     82
Lessons of History Again     83
Chronology: The Road to World War I     84
Study Questions     85
Selected Readings     85
Further Readings     85
Notes     87
The Failure of Collective Security and World War II     88
The Rise and Fall of Collective Security     88
The League of Nations     89
The United States and the League of Nations     91
The Early Days of the League     92
The Manchurian Failure     95
The Ethiopian Debacle     96
The Origins of World War II     97
Hitler's War?     97
Hitler's Strategy     99
The Role of the Individual     103
Systemic and Domestic Causes     104
Was War Inevitable?     105
The Pacific War     107
Appeasement and Two Types of War     111
Chronology: Between the World Wars     112
Study Questions     113
Selected Readings     114
Further Readings     114
Notes     115
The Cold War     116
Deterrence and Containment     117
Three Approaches to the Cold War     118
Roosevelt's Policies     120
Stalin's Policies     121
Phases of the Conflict     122
Inevitability?     128
Levels of Analysis     129
U.S. and Soviet Goals in the Cold War     131
Containment     132
The Vietnam War     133
Motives, Means, and Consequences     134
Chronology: American Involvement in Vietnam (1954-1975)     135
The Rest of the Cold War     138
The End of the Cold War     140
The Role of Nuclear Weapons     145
Physics and Politics     145
Balance of Terror     148
Problems of Nuclear Deterrence     149
The Cuban Missile Crisis     151
Moral Issues     153
Chronology: The Cold War Years     156
Study Questions     160
Selected Readings     161
Further Readings     161
Notes     162
Conflicts after the Cold War - Interventions and Institutions     163
Ethnic Conflicts     164
Intervention and Sovereignty     166
Defining Intervention     166
Sovereignty     168
Judging Intervention     169
Exceptions to the Rule     170
Problems of Self-Determination     171
International Law and Organization     173
Domestic Analogies      173
Predictability and Legitimacy     175
United Nations: Collective Security and Peacekeeping     176
Conflicts in the Middle East     182
The Questions of Nationalism     183
The Arab-Israeli Conflicts     185
The Conflicts in the Persian Gulf of 1991 and 2003     192
Chronology: The Arab-Israeli Conflict     196
Study Questions     199
Selected Readings     199
Further Readings     200
Notes     201
Globalization and Interdependence     202
The Dimensions of Globalization     203
What's New about Twenty-First-Century Globalization?     205
Political Reactions to Globalization     207
Power and Interdependence     208
The Concept of Interdependence     208
Sources of Interdependence     209
Benefits of Interdependence     210
Costs of Interdependence     211
Symmetry of Interdependence     213
Leadership and Institutions in the World Economy     216
Realism and Complex Interdependence     220
The Politics of Oil     221
Oil as a Power Resource     225
Study Questions      226
Selected Readings     227
Further Readings     227
Notes     229
Information Revolution and Transnational Actors     231
Power and the Information Revolution     231
Lessons from the Past     231
A New World Politics?     235
Sovereignty and Control     239
Transnational Actors     242
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)     245
The Information Revolution and Complex Interdependence     248
Conclusions     251
Study Questions     252
Selected Readings     252
Further Readings     253
Notes     254
A New World Order?     256
Alternative Designs for the Future     256
The End of History or the Clash of Civilizations?     261
Technology and the Diffusion of Power     263
Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction     265
Transnational Challenges to Security     267
A New World Order?     276
Future Configurations of Power     277
The Prison of Old Concepts     280
The Evolution of a Hybrid World Order     282
Thinking About the Future      284
Study Questions     285
Selected Readings     286
Further Readings     286
Notes     288
Glossary     289
Credits     293
Index     295

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