When social-psychological propositions regarding dehumanization and the acceptance of killing in war are introduced to Van Belle's model, shared press freedom is shown to provide a mechanism that prevents lethal conflicts. The effects of press freedom on international conflict, particularly on hypotheses related to escalating conflicts beyond the threshold of casualties, are quite robust. However, Van Belle indicates there is no evidence of a complimentary effect on cooperation. The combination of findings from the empirical analyses suggest that the key to the effects of press freedom center on the creation of images, such as the dehumanized image of an enemy. A thoughtful analysis that scholars and researchers of foreign policy and international relations as well as journalism and mass communication will find particularly useful.
In All International Politics Is Local, Gleditsch clarifies that isolating the domestic processes within countries cannot account for the observed variation in distribution of political democracy over time and space, and that the likelihood of transitions is strongly related to changes in neighboring countries and the prior history of the regional context. Finally, he demonstrates how spatial and statistical techniques can be used to address regional interdependence among actors and its implications.
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
Complementing their wide-ranging case-study analysis, the authors apply innovative statistical tests and new hypotheses. In unusually clear prose, they pinpoint two reasons for democracies' success at war. First, as elected leaders understand that losing a war can spell domestic political backlash, democracies start only those wars they are likely to win. Secondly, the emphasis on individuality within democratic societies means that their soldiers fight with greater initiative and superior leadership.
Surprisingly, Reiter and Stam find that it is neither economic muscle nor bandwagoning between democratic powers that enables democracies to win wars. They also show that, given societal consent, democracies are willing to initiate wars of empire or genocide. On the whole, they find, democracies' dependence on public consent makes for more, rather than less, effective foreign policy. Taking a fresh approach to a question that has long merited such a study, this book yields crucial insights on security policy, the causes of war, and the interplay between domestic politics and international relations.
The importance of domestic politics in the formulation of foreign policy;
The benefits and costs of seeking security through military power at the expense of expanding networks of shared national and transnational institutions;
The incentives of other states to bandwagon with a strong but unthreatening hegemon and 'free-ride' on benefits it may provide rather than to balance against a powerful hegemon.
The degree to which hegemony and democracy undermine or support each other.
By applying theories of collective action and foreign policy, Russett explores the development of American hegemony and the prospects for a democratic hegemon to retain its influence during the coming decades. This collection is an essential volume for students and scholars of International Relations, American Politics, and US Foreign Policy.
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