The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics

Princeton University Press
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The Diffusion of Military Power examines how the financial and organizational challenges of adopting new methods of fighting wars can influence the international balance of power. Michael Horowitz argues that a state or actor wishing to adopt a military innovation must possess both the financial resources to buy or build the technology and the internal organizational capacity to accommodate any necessary changes in recruiting, training, or operations. How countries react to new innovations--and to other actors that do or don't adopt them--has profound implications for the global order and the likelihood of war.

Horowitz looks at some of the most important military innovations throughout history, including the advent of the all-big-gun steel battleship, the development of aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons, and the use of suicide terror by nonstate actors. He shows how expensive innovations can favor wealthier, more powerful countries, but also how those same states often stumble when facing organizationally complicated innovations. Innovations requiring major upheavals in doctrine and organization can disadvantage the wealthiest states due to their bureaucratic inflexibility and weight the balance of power toward smaller and more nimble actors, making conflict more likely. This book provides vital insights into military innovations and their impact on U.S. foreign policy, warfare, and the distribution of power in the international system.

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About the author

Michael C. Horowitz is assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 1, 2010
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781400835102
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Strategy
Political Science / International Relations / General
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Art of War is a classic of military strategy. It is ascribed to Sun Tzu, also called Sunzi or Sun Wu, a quasi-legendary figure. The work has been dated from between the 6th to the 3rd century BCE. It is known worldwide and is considered required reading for students of political and military science.

As with other classics, many of its themes are timeless. Quotations from the work can be meaningful apart from the thousands of years which separate us from the time and place of its creation.

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Much of what is added to these editions is only interesting to academics or students of the minutiae of history. At the same time, the intentions of readers tends to be to find out what it is that makes this work such a classic, not learn about the history of its commentaries.

This new edition meant to address the needs of the modern reader. By honing the language down to clear formulations, The Art of War can be more readily understood, more enjoyable to read, and more relevant to today.

The English is based on the original translation by Lionel Giles. The 1910 English prose of Giles is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.

The new modern edition of The Art of War is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose. This version is an abridgement, a shortened form of a work which nevertheless retains the same meaning and upholds the unity of the original.

Abridgement is foremost a cutting away of the inessential parts, which ends up in condensing the work. The key to abridging is to ensure the prose is extremely clear and transparent in meaning, requiring little additional guidance or interpretation to reach understanding.
"A teacher is never a giver of truth—he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst."—Bruce Lee

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