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© 2019

IR Theory, Historical Analogy, and Major Power War

Book

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book critically examines elements of America-First nationalism, neo-conservatism, neo-realism, neo-liberalism, environmental theories, and social constructionism by way of developing an “alternative realist” approach to the study of the origins of major power war. The author critiques concepts of “polarity” and “sovereign” decision making and diplomacy before developing the concept of “highly uneven polycentrism.” The book then develops a unique comparative historical approach that seeks to compare and contrast the pre-World War I, pre-World War II, and Cold War eras with the contemporary post-Cold War period. It is argued that the US, as it remains the leading global hegemon, must fully engage in multilateral diplomacy with major friends and rivals alike in the establishment of differing forms of power sharing and joint sovereignty accords—in order to prevent the global system from polarizing into two contending alliances more reminiscent of both the pre-World War I and pre-World War II periods than the “new Cold War.”

Hall Gardner is Professor and Chair of the International and Comparative Politics Department at the American University of Paris, France.

Keywords

Alliances Cold War nuclear war conflict resolution diplomatic history

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.International and Comparative PoliticsAmerican University of ParisParisFrance

About the authors

Hall Gardner is Professor and Chair of the International and Comparative Politics Department at the American University of Paris, France.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“Hall Gardner’s timely study, IR Theory, Historical Analogy, and Major Power War, draws powerfully on his many years of close, analytical scholarship concerning the successes and failures of international diplomacy. It is hard to imagine a moment at which his advice could be more welcome than now—when political incentives often seem to reward polarizing strategies—just the reverse of the realistic, multilateral approaches that Gardner so persuasively recommends.”  (Lee Huebner, School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University, USA)

“This original book provides a new analytical tool that can be used to dissect the major international issues of the day, especially the realignment of the major powers.” (Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs, The George Washington University, USA)

“A journey of rich intellectual exploration which ranges from the leveraging of history to alliance theory and theories of hegemony. A work of illuminating discussions and arresting observations. A must read.” (Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, and Director of LSE IDEAS, UK)

“Dr. Hall Gardner has written an original and evocative book that brings discipline to the most difficult topic of our time—how to explain and understand the uneven post–Cold War global system. It is superb.” (Robert Jackson, Fletcher Jones Professor of Government, University of Redlands, USA, and Distinguished Research Professor, Carleton University, Canada)