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  • Author: Alexander B. Downes
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The rapid-fire overthrow of the theocratic Taliban regime in Afghanistan (2001) and Saddam Hussein’s Baathist dictatorship in Iraq (2003) by the United States—and the disastrous aftermaths of those and other recent interventions (such as the ouster of Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011)— has sparked popular and scholarly interest in the causes and consequences of foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC). One of the enduring puzzles about FIRCs is that, as highlighted in Melissa Willard-Foster’s terrific book Toppling Foreign Governments, three-quarters of them are carried out by great powers against minor powers in situations of extreme power asymmetry. “Though this asymmetry of power makes an imposed change feasible,” writes Willard-Foster, a political scientist at the University of Vermont, “it should also make that change unnecessary” because “militarily weak leaders who are bereft of allies should back down when confronted by stronger states” (pp. 2–3). The 133 regime changes in Willard-Foster’s study, however, testify that the weak regularly defy the strong—and pay the price for it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Regime Change, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Robert Jervis reviews Robert Gates's recently published memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. The reviewer argues that the memoir is very revealing, but inadvertently so insofar as it shows for example Gates's failure to focus on the key issues involved in the decisions to send more troops to Afghanistan and his inability to bridge the gap between the perspectives of the generals and of the White House.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Paul D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: If anyone has earned the right to say "I told you so," it is Barnett Rubin. One of the foremost authorities on Afghanistan, Rubin saw earlier than most the dangers emerging from that blighted land. In his work–as author of The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, an adviser to the United Nations for several years after 2001, a professor at New York University, and an adviser to the U.S. State Department's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 200–Rubin worked to warn against, prevent, and mitigate the perennial crises afflicting Afghanistan and South Asia.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia