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Chapter

This chapter focuses on the emergence of the United States as a ‘superpower’ in 1945. It begins with a discussion of how America rose from being a group of British colonies to a continental empire containing human slavery during the period 1776–1865. It then examines how the reunification of the country after the Civil War, and the industrial revolution which followed, turned America into the world’s leading economic power by the early twentieth century. It also considers Woodrow Wilson’s empire of ideology and how the United States got involved in World War I, how the American economic system sank into depression between 1929 and 1933, and US role in the Cold War between 1933 and 1945.

Chapter

This chapter examines how the United States evolved as a world power during the period 1776–1945. It first considers how Americans set out after the War of Independence to establish a continental empire. Thomas Jefferson called this an ‘empire for liberty’, but by the early nineteenth century the United States had become part of an empire containing human slavery. Abraham Lincoln determined to stop the territorial expansion of this slavery and thus helped bring about the Civil War. The reunification of the country after the Civil War, and the industrial revolution which followed, turned the United States into the world’s leading economic power by the early twentieth century. The chapter also discusses Woodrow Wilson’s empire of ideology and concludes with an analysis of U.S. economic depression and the onset of the Cold War.

Chapter

John Garnett and John Baylis

This chapter examines theories that explain the causes of war. It considers ideas advanced by political scientists, sociologists, biologists and philosophers, showing that different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. After highlighting the difficulties in studying war, the chapter discusses human nature explanations of war, citing such factors as frustration, misperception, misunderstanding, miscalculation, and errors of judgement as well as the role of human collectives including factions, tribes, nations and states. It then describes the bargaining model of war before turning to inter-state wars, intra-state conflicts, and ethnic conflicts. It also explores the debate over whether ‘greed’ or ‘grievance’ are the main causes of civil wars. The chapter concludes that identifying a single cause appropriate to all wars is an exercise in futility and that a worldwide ‘just’ peace is unattainable.

Chapter

Stefanie Ortmann and Nick Whittaker

This chapter discusses the concept of geopolitics and its role in formulating and implementing a grand strategy. It first provides an overview of the relationship between grand strategy and geography before explaining how the meanings of grand strategy and geopolitics evolved in response to changing world historical contexts. It then considers the reasons why geopolitics and grand strategy are linked to the politics of great powers and why these concepts are currently making a comeback. In particular, it examines the revival of geopolitical thinking after the Second World War and how geopolitical reasoning informed containment as a grand strategy during the cold war. It also takes a look at the pitfalls and problems associated with formulating a grand strategy, especially in today's complex international environment. Finally, it argues that there is a need to rethink geopolitics with the ultimate goal of balancing ends and means.

Chapter

Richard Shapcott

This chapter examines how we should think about ethics, starting with three framing questions: Do states and their citizens have significant moral duties to the members of other countries? Should states and their militaries be morally constrained in the conduct of war? Who is morally responsible for the alleviation of global poverty? The chapter proceeds by defining ethics and considering three significant and difficult ethical issues entailed by globalization: cosmopolitanism, statism, and realist ethics. It concludes by examining the ethical dimensions of global poverty and just war. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the ethics of migration and the other with the ethics of just war. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that debates who bears most responsibility for addressing global warming.

Chapter

Jean Bethke Elshtain

This chapter examines Augustine of Hippo's political thought. After providing a brief biography of St Augustine, it considers the fate of his texts within the world of academic political theory and the general suspicion of ‘religious’ thinkers within that world. It then analyses Augustine's understanding of the human person as a bundle of complex desires and emotions as well as the implications of his claim that human sociality is a given and goes all the way down. It also explores Augustine's arguments regarding the interplay of caritas and cupiditas in the moral orientations of persons and of cultures. Finally, it describes Augustine's reflections on the themes of war and peace, locating him as the father of the tradition of ‘just war’ theory.

Chapter

Helen Frowe

This chapter assesses war and intervention. Just war theorists share two beliefs: that wars can, at least in theory, sometimes be just, and that the fighting of war is governed by moral rules. Just war theory is usually divided into jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and jus post bellum. Jus ad bellum (justice prior to war) sets the conditions under which it is just to declare war. Jus in bello (justice during the war) sets the ‘rules of engagement’, governing the conduct of combatants during a conflict. Jus post bellum (justice after war) deals with topics like war reparations and punishment of aggression and had, until recently, received comparatively little attention in the just war literature. Meanwhile, pacifism and realism offer alternative approaches to the ethics of war.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the history of the practice of strategy from Antiquity to the First World War. After introducing the reader to the various definitions of strategy, the chapter considers sources of Antiquity about warfare, from ancient Greece and Rome to the time of Rome's Constantinopolitan (Byzantine) successors. Justinian I and Heraclius. It then examines episodes of European history since antiquity for which historians claim to have found evidence of the practice of strategy. In particular, it looks at the West European Middle Ages, which saw the rise of complex decision-making involving multiple tools — strategy. It also analyses the transformation of warfare and of strategy in early modern Europe, covering case studies that span the wars involving Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV of France, and Frederick II of Prussia, as well as the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars.

Chapter

Tim Allen and Tom Kirk

This chapter illustrates the nature of current wars and armed conflicts and explores contemporary responses to them. Whatever criteria are used for war or armed conflict, it is clear that large numbers of people are impoverished by them, and globally the numbers of those affected is not declining. There are characteristics of contemporary wars and armed conflicts that make non-combatants especially vulnerable. Since the end of the Cold War, there have been important initiatives aimed at controlling wars, and at alleviating their effects, but the effects have been limited, and controversial. Particularly since 2001, there are has been a marked tendency for high levels of insecurity to spread across borders and take on global dynamics. In large parts of the world, enhancing security remains a key challenge in alleviating poverty and is a prerequisite for achieving development goals.

Chapter

This chapter offers a theoretically informed overview of American foreign policy during the Cold War. It covers the main historical developments in U.S. policy: from the breakdown of the wartime alliance with the USSR and the emergence of the US–Soviet diplomatic hostility and geopolitical confrontation,to U.S. military interventions in the third world and the U.S. role in the ending of the Cold War. The chapter begins with a discussion of three main theoretical approaches to American foreign policy during the Cold War: realism, ideational approaches, and socio-economic approaches. It then considers the origins of the Cold War and containment of the Soviet Union, focusing on the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. It also examines the militarization of U.S. foreign policy with reference to the Korean War, Cold War in the third world, and the role of American foreign policy in the ending of the Cold War.

Chapter

This chapter examines important developments in Europe and the former Soviet Union. The collapse of communism paved the way for the greatest changes in Europe since 1919, with the political disintegration of three Eurasian countries: the then USSR, with localized outbreaks of violence; Yugoslavia, with several years of bloody civil war; and Czechoslovakia, where the Czechs and Slovaks peacefully agreed to go their own way as of January 1993, in the so-called ‘velvet divorce’. Communism’s demise also brought reunification to a divided nation: Germany. The chapter first considers the German reunification, before discussing the break-up of the USSR and the Wars of Succession, Yugoslavia’s break-up and the Bosnian War, NATO and European security, and the emergence of the European Union, which replaced the European Community.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the ‘war on terror’ of the US and its involvement in the war in Afghanistan. In the later years of the twentieth century, Middle Eastern groups launched terrorist acts against Western targets. The advent of suicide bombers and groups like al-Qaeda changed the relationships between means and ends in the use of terror. The end of the Cold War severely undermined the effectiveness of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in gathering intelligence on terrorists. The chapter first provides an overview of terrorism prior to 9/11, before discussing George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’, the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan during the period 2001–3 and its revival, and the problem of Pakistan. It concludes with an assessment of Barack Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan.

Chapter

This chapter examines US–Soviet relations during the Cold War as well as the question of the genuineness of efforts by the United States and the Soviet Union to achieve disarmament and resolve troublesome disputes. It begins with a discussion of the German question, noting that Germany’s future position was vital to the future of Europe and a particular concern of the Soviets. It then considers the progress of arms control and peace efforts by the United States and the Soviet Union, before concluding with an analysis of the relationship of arms control to the use of armaments in hot war and to some aspects of fighting the Cold War.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the so-called ‘second’ Cold War spanning the years 1981–5. Ronald Reagan came to power on the back of a general rightwards shift in the political mood. He concentrated on a presentational role in government and pursued a simple foreign policy. He dismissed détente as a communist trick, was initially determined to resist the spread of the Soviet Union’s influence wherever it threatened and, going beyond that, wanted to carry the new Cold War into the Soviet camp. The chapter first considers US–Soviet relations during the new Cold War, paying attention to ‘Reaganomics’, before discussing the crisis in Poland in 1980–2. It then explores the issue of nuclear weapons control and the ‘Year of the Missile’ and concludes with an assessment of the war in Afghanistan up to 1985.

Chapter

Paul Kirby

This chapter examines the power of gender in global politics. It considers the different ways in which gender shapes world politics today, whether men dominate global politics at the expense of women, whether international—and globalized—gender norms should be radically changed, and if so, how. The chapter also discusses sex and gender in international perspective, along with global gender relations and the gendering of global politics, global security, and the global economy. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the participation of female guerrillas in El Salvador's civil war, and the other with neo-slavery and care labour in Asia. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether war is inherently masculine.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on some of the principal developments in world politics from 1900 to 1999: the development of total war, the advent of nuclear weapons, the onset of cold war, and the end of European imperialism. It shows how the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union became the key dynamic in world affairs, replacing the dominance of—and conflict among—European states in the first half of the twentieth century. It also examines the ways that the cold war promoted or prevented global conflict, how decolonization became entangled with East–West conflicts, and how dangerous the nuclear confrontation between East and West was. Finally, the chapter considers the role of nuclear weapons in specific phases of the cold war, notably in détente, and then with the deterioration of Soviet–American relations in the 1980s.

Chapter

Thomas G. Mahnken

This chapter examines strategic theory and how it provides a conceptual understanding of the nature of war. It begins with a discussion of the logic of strategy and how it applies not only in wartime, but also in peace. It then considers some of the most valuable concepts in strategic theory as articulated by Carl von Clausewitz in On War and compares them with Sun Tzu's ideas found in Art of War as well as in the military writings of Mao Tse-tung and jihadist writers. Clausewitz's views on war as a ‘paradoxical trinity’ — composed of violence, hatred, and enmity — and his understanding of the nature of a war, limited versus unlimited warfare, the rational calculus of war, and friction are explored. The chapter concludes with a commentary on the debate over whether classical strategic theory is obsolete.

Chapter

Astri Suhrke, Torunn Wimpelmann, and Ingrid Samset

This chapter analyses patterns of violent conflict in the developing world since the onset of decolonization. It examines shifts in how scholars and policymakers have understood such conflicts, and how these understandings have informed dynamics of foreign interventions and the international peace-building regime that developed in the 1990s. After providing an overview of decolonization and its aftermath, the chapter considers conflicts over social order during the Cold War as well as the nature of conflicts in the post-Cold-War period. It also discusses new forces that shaped conflict during the first decades of the twenty-first century, focusing on militant Islam and the ‘war on terror’, ‘people power’ and its aftermath, and the link between peace-building and military intervention in a multipolar world.

Chapter

This chapter examines US foreign policy during the Cold War, beginning with an overview of the main historical developments in US policy. It first considers the origins of the Cold War and containment, focusing on the breakdown of the wartime alliance between the United States and the USSR, the emergence of US–Soviet diplomatic hostility and geopolitical confrontation, and how the Cold War spread beyond Europe. It then explains how the communist revolution in China in 1949 and the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 propelled the US towards a much bolder and more ambitious containment policy. It also looks at US military interventions in the third world, the US role in the ending of the Cold War, and the geopolitical, ideational, and/or socio-economic factors that influenced American foreign policy during the Cold War. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the dual concerns of US foreign policy.

Chapter

Robert G. Patman

This chapter examines US foreign policy in Africa. It first considers the United States’ historical engagement with Africa, particularly during the Cold War era that saw the intensification of US–Soviet Union superpower rivalry, before discussing the rise of a New World Order in the immediate post–Cold War period that held out the possibility of positive US involvement in Africa. It then explores the United States’ adoption of a more realist approach after Somalia, as well as its renewal of limited engagement between 1996 and 2001. It also analyzes US policy towards Africa after 9/11, with emphasis on President George W. Bush’s efforts to incorporate Africa into Washington’s global strategic network as part of the new war on terror, as compared to the approach of the Obama administration calling for political transformation in Africa.