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  • Author: David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: From the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, China has engaged in only two large-scale conflicts with its principal neighbors, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. These four territorial and centralized states have otherwise fostered peaceful and long-lasting relationships with one another, and as they have grown more powerful, the atmosphere around them has stabilized. Focusing on the role of the "tribute system" in maintaining stability in East Asia and fostering diplomatic and commercial exchange, Kang contrasts this history against the example of Europe and the East Asian states' skirmishes with nomadic peoples to the north and west. Scholars tend to view Europe's experience as universal, but Kang upends this tradition, emphasizing East Asia's formal hierarchy as an international system with its own history and character. His approach not only recasts common understandings of East Asian relations but also defines a model that applies to other hegemonies outside of the European order.
  • Topic: International Relations, History
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, Asia, Vietnam, Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231526746
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Patrick McEachern
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: North Korea's institutional politics defy traditional political models, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent materials, such as North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions. Many scholars dismiss Kim Jong-Il's regime as a "one-man dictatorship," calling him the "last totalitarian leader," but McEachern identifies three major institutions that help maintain regime continuity: the cabinet, the military, and the party. These groups hold different institutional policy platforms and debate high-level policy options both before and after Kim and his senior leadership make their final call. This method of rule may challenge expectations, but North Korea does not follow a classically totalitarian, personalistic, or corporatist model. Rather than being monolithic, McEachern argues, the regime, emerging from the crises of the 1990s, rules differently today than it did under Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The son is less powerful and pits institutions against one another in a strategy of divide and rule. His leadership is fundamentally different: it is "post-totalitarian." Authority may be centralized, but power remains diffuse. McEachern maps this process in great detail, supplying vital perspective on North Korea's reactive policy choices, which continue to bewilder the West.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231526807
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Paul Jackson, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: In 2007, for the first time in two decades, Sierra Leone conducted a generally peaceful national election without international peacekeeping assistance. This successful election earned the praise of international election observers as free, fair and credible. Most important, these elections were conducted by and for the people of Sierra Leone, who exercised their right to vote in a generally orderly environment made possible by their own security forces.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Sierra Leone
  • Author: James Cockayne (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (2008). This provides important guidance to states in regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs). However, there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to the industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Markets
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq
  • Author: David H. Ucko
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has historically paid little attention to the nature and requirements of counterinsurgency and stability operations. Missions pitting the U.S. military against insurgents, or forcing it into stabilization tasks and policing duties abroad, have tended to be dismissed as beyond the military's remit or as “lesser-included” operations. The emphasis has instead been on achieving primacy against the armed forces of nation-states, involving an anticipated adversary shaped and operating very much like the U.S. military itself. This prioritization of “high-intensity” or “conventional” war has remained even though the U.S. military has faced “unconventional” or “irregular” challenges at a greater frequency and in campaigns of greater duration and cost. Indeed, even the major combat operations waged by the United States have often preceded or involved a less conventional phase, entailing postconflict stabilization or state-building. Notwithstanding these historical trends, the U.S. military has—in its doctrine, education, training, and, more broadly, its culture—prioritized the destruction of military targets far above the different means of creating or consolidating a new political order.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Brent L. Sterling
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: While The Above Biblical Quote reflects a prodefense sentiment oft en evident since man established boundaries, by the second half of the twentieth century a general disdain emerged for the continuing utility of walls, fortresses, and other barriers. The improved precision and destructiveness of weapons as well as the enhanced mobility of militaries appeared to render physical works obsolete. In the late 1950s, Yigal Allon, one of Israel's early military heroes and strategic thinkers, captured the prevailing view by observing that “no modern country can surround itself with a wall.” Fifty years later, however, a range of nations including Afghanistan, Botswana, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United States have increasingly been attracted to such barriers, none more than Allon's Israel. Walls stand guard along its frontiers with Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, increasingly the West Bank, and possibly soon Egypt. The relative effectiveness of these ground- based works at controlling cross- border traffic has encouraged adversary attack from the sky. Whether it be the frequent homemade Qassam rockets shot from the Gaza Strip (about three thousand through January 2008), the mixture of rockets and missiles launched by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War (more than four thousand total), or the longer- range, potentially nuclear- armed ballistic missiles potentially possessed by hostile Middle East states, a high threat perception has arisen. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has pursued multiple missile defense systems, some with colorful names such as Iron Dome and David's Sling, to be part of a multilayer network. Although the West Bank “separation barrier” has controversially deviated from the Green Line (the 1967 Israel–West Bank border) in some areas, defense efforts overall have been met with approval across the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles Villa-Vicencio
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joel H. Rosenthal (ed), Christian Barry (ed)
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, International Law, War, International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Author: Steven R. Ward
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: In 1978 Iran And Its Armed Forces seemed to stand at the peak of their power and prestige in the modern era. Bountiful oil revenues and a strategic position overlooking the vital Persian Gulf oil export routes boosted Iran's standing in the world. Cold War competition made Iran a recipient of Western and Soviet arms and attention. Iran had just passed Egypt, a far more populous country, in having the largest armed forces in the Middle East. In fact, the Iranian military was outpacing some large European countries in the quantity and sophistication of its equipment. Iran was the only country other than the United States to possess the state- of- the- art F- 14 Tomcat fighter. Iran's military also was funding the development of the advanced British Challenger tank with its then revolutionary Chobham composite armor. These programs rep- resented only the middle stages of an extravagant rearmament process, with numerous sophisticated ground, air, and naval systems on order. In addition, the Iranian armed forces, the Artesh, had polished their reputation by gaining combat experience battling rebels in neighboring Oman and by participating in a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Throughout the past three decades East Asia has seen more peace and stability than at any time since the Opium Wars of 1839-1841. During this period China has rapidly emerged as a major regional power, averaging over nine percent economic growth per year since the introduction of its market reforms in 1978. Foreign businesses have flocked to invest in China, and Chinese exports have begun to flood the world. China is modernizing its military, has joined numerous regional and international institutions, and plays an increasingly visible role in international politics. In response to this growth, other states in East Asia have moved to strengthen their military, economic, and diplomatic relations with China. But why have these countries accommodated rather than balanced China's rise? David C. Kang believes certain preferences and beliefs are responsible for maintaining stability in East Asia. Kang's research shows how East Asian states have grown closer to China, with little evidence that the region is rupturing. Rising powers present opportunities as well as threats, and the economic benefits and military threat China poses for its regional neighbors are both potentially huge; however, East Asian states see substantially more advantage than danger in China's rise, making the region more stable, not less. Furthermore, although East Asian states do not unequivocally welcome China in all areas, they are willing to defer judgment regarding what China wants and what its role in East Asia will become. They believe that a strong China stabilizes East Asia, while a weak China tempts other states to try to control the region. Many scholars downplay the role of ideas and suggest that a rising China will be a destabilizing force in the region, but Kang's provocative argument reveals the flaws in contemporary views of China and the international relations of East Asia and offers a new understanding of the importance of sound U.S. policy in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231141888
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN