Interpretations of war as driven by politics and state rationale, formulated most importantly by the 19th century practitioner Carl von Clausewitz, have received strong criticism. Political explanations have been said to fall short in explaining conflicts in the Balkans, Africa, Asia and the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States.
This book re-evaluates these criticisms not only by scrutinising Clausewitz's arguments and their applicability, but also by a careful reading of the criticism itself. In doing so, it presents empirical evidence on the basis of several case studies, addressing various aspects of modern war, such as the actors, conduct and purposes of war.
Surprisingly, the settlement that emerged provided a peace lasting almost a hundred years, realized without a major war or permanent revolution. That Europe by 1822 rescued stability from seeming chaos was primarily the result of the work of two great diplomats: Viscount Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, and Prince von Metternich, Austria’s foreign minister. Henry Kissinger explains how the turbulent relationship between these two men, the differing concerns of their respective countries, and the changing nature of diplomacy influenced the final shape of the new international order. Part political biography, part diplomatic history,A World Restored analyses the alliances formed and treaties signed by the world's leaders during the years 1812 to 1822, the conference system and congresses that gave rise to the European order that would last until the outbreak of World War I, and the tactics and philosophies behind the negotiation of peace. Kissinger’s first book is a powerfully argued manifesto on the nature of statesmanship.