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International Security Readers

"International Security Readers compile the best articles from International Security into volumes organized around a specific theme.

These anthologies make classic IS articles conveniently available for classroom use. They have been assigned in numerous university courses. The books are also popular with readers who may not have access to back issues of the journal. Many of the volumes also feature annotated bibliographies.

The editorial headquarters for the International Security Readers series is the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University."

An International Security Reader

In recent years, a new wave of scholarship has argued that democracies have unique advantages that enable them to compete vigorously in international politics. Challenging long-held beliefs--some of which go back to Thucydides’ account of the clash between democratic Athens and authoritarian Sparta--that democracy is a liability in the harsh world of international affairs, many scholars now claim that democracies win most of their wars.

Roots, Strategies, and Responses

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless.

Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

American Power and International Stability

The unprecedented military, economic, and political power of the United States has led some observers to declare that we live in a unipolar world in which America enjoys primacy or even hegemony. At the same time public opinion polls abroad reveal high levels of anti-Americanism, and many foreign governments criticize U.S. policies. Primacy and Its Discontents explores the sources of American primacy, including the uses of U.S. military power, and the likely duration of unipolarity.

Offense-defense theory argues that the relative ease of offense and defense varies in international politics. When the offense has the advantage, military conquest becomes easier and war is more likely; the opposite is true when the defense has the advantage. The balance between offense and defense depends on geography, technology, and other factors. This theory, and the body of related theories, has generated much debate and research over the past twenty-five years.

Changing Dimensions of International Security

Despite growing concerns after September 11, 2001, over the global terrorist threat and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international security no longer hinges only on arms control and the prevention of war. Nonmilitary concerns, including emerging infectious diseases, environmental degradation, demographic trends, and humanitarian catastrophes, also represent significant threats to global stability. In this book, leading analysts offer an overview of critical security dangers facing the world today.

Most recent wars have been complex and bloody internal conflicts driven to a significant degree by nationalism and ethnic animosity. Since the end of the Cold War, dozens of wars—in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere—have killed or displaced millions of people. Understanding and controlling these wars has become one of the most important and frustrating tasks for scholars and political leaders.

China's relentless economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s heralded its emergence as a great power in world politics. As its economy expanded, China seemed poised to become the second-largest economy in the world. At the same time, it modernized its military and adopted a more assertive diplomatic posture. Many observers have begun to debate the international implications of China's rise. Some analysts argue that China will inevitably pose a threat to peace and security in East Asia. A few even predict a new cold war between Beijing and Washington.

Stephen Walt and His Critics

Formal theories and rational choice methods have become increasingly prominent in most social sciences in the past few decades. Proponents of formal theoretical approaches argue that these methods are more scientific and sophisticated than other approaches, and that formal methods have already generated significant theoretical progress. As more and more social scientists adopt formal theoretical approaches, critics have argued that these methods are flawed and that they should not become dominant in most social-science disciplines.

More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War, but the United States has yet to reach a consensus on a coherent approach to the international use of American power. The essays in this volume present contending perspectives on the future of U.S. grand strategy. U.S. policy options include primacy, cooperative security, selective engagement, and retrenchment. This revised edition includes additional and more recent analysis and advocacy of these options.

What causes war? How can wars be prevented? Scholars and policymakers have sought the answers to these questions for centuries. Although wars continue to occur, recent scholarship has made progress toward developing more sophisticated and perhaps more useful theories on the causes and prevention of war. This volume includes essays by leading scholars on contemporary approaches to understanding war and peace.

The future of East Asian security has become a critically important topic in the post-Cold War world. Virtually all of the Asia-Pacific countries are enjoying rapid economic growth, but many remain wary of their neighbors. Unlike every other region of the world, East Asia's military spending continues to accelerate. East Asian Security addresses some of the most important strategic questions about the future of the region.

Are democracies less likely to go to war than other kinds of states? This question is of tremendous importance in both academic and policy-making circles and one that has been debated by political scientists for years. The Clinton administration, in particular, has argued that the United States should endeavor to promote democracy around the world.

Contemporary Realism and International Security

Current debates about the nature of international politics have centered on the clash between supporters and critics of realism. The Perils of Anarchy brings together a number of recent essays written in the realist tradition. It includes realist interpretations of the collapse of the Cold War order and of the emerging order that has replaced it, the sources of alignment and aggression, and the causes of peace. A final section provides a counterpoint by raising criticisms of and alternatives to the realist approach.

Changing Dimensions of International Security

The essays collected in Global Dangers provide both conceptual analysis and empirical assessment of the environment, migration, and nationalism as sources of conflict. The East-West confrontation that dominated the international security agenda during the Cold War has largely receded from view. Revealed in its wake is a different set of dangers, not really new but previously overshadowed by Cold War preoccupations.

At a time when events are overtaking many publications, these articles selected from International Security provide up-to-date and comprehensive analyses of American national security strategy in the post-Cold War world.

Addressing future U.S. relations with its Cold War allies as well as with its former foes, contributions take up such major issues as overall strategic options, security in the new Europe, relations with the former Soviet Union, U.S.-Japan relations, and threats in the Third World, particularly proliferation.

These essays from the journal International Security examine the effects of the nuclear revolution on the international system and the role nuclear threats have played in international crises. The authors offer important new interpretations of the role of nuclear weapons in preventing a third world war, of the uses of atomic superiority, and of the effectiveness of nuclear threats.

Contributors: John Mueller, Robert Jervis, Richard K. Betts, Marc Trachtenberg, Roger Digman, Scott D. Sagan, Gordon Chang, H. W. Brands, Jr. Barry Blechman, and Douglas Hart.

An International Security Reader

Soviet military policy has been one of the most important and perplexing issues confronting the United States since 1945. Mikhail Gorbachev's foreign policy innovations have focused renewed attention on these vital questions. In this timely reader, ten experts on the Soviet Union offer their perspectives on Soviet military strategy and defense policy, covering the foreign policy context, nuclear weapons, conventional forces, and force and Soviet diplomacy.