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International Relations and Security Studies

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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.

The New Middle East

The Epicenter of Crisis argues that six contiguous states epitomize the security challenges of a post-9/11, globalized world: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Characterized by a dramatically transforming Islam, ethnic conflict, civil war, failed states, and terrorism, this "new Middle East" is the epicenter of what some call an arc of crisis, stretching from the Balkans into Southeast Asia.

Cooperative Nonmilitary Responses to the Global Terrorist Threat

As terrorist attacks continue around the world, from London and Madrid to Afghanistan and Iraq, questions multiply about the effectiveness of current antiterrorist strategies. America's reliance on military approaches and the Bush administration's avowal of a constant state of war have overshadowed nonmilitary, multilateral efforts, and there has been an analogous neglect of these alternative strategies in the literature on terrorism.

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.

Preemption, Regime Change, and US Policy toward Iran, Iraq, and North Korea

In January 2002, President George W. Bush declared Iran, Iraq, and North Korea constituents of an "axis of evil." US strategy toward each of these countries has clearly varied since, yet similar issues and policy options have emerged for US relations with all three. Reshaping Rogue States seeks to improve our understanding of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as well as of current and future policy options to combat the threats these nations pose.

Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks

Although military operations have dominated media coverage of the war on terrorism, a much broader array of policy options may hold the key to reducing the appeal of global terrorist networks, particularly in economically destitute areas. These strategies involve the use of "soft power," a term first used by political scientist Joseph Nye in a 1990 article in Foreign Policy to describe nonmilitary strategies to shape international relations and behavior.

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