Political Traditions in Foreign Policy Series

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Political Traditions in Foreign Policy Series

1

Results 1-4 of 4

:
restricted access This search result is for a Book

Aristotle's "Best Regime"

Kingship, Democracy, and the Rule of Law

The collapse of the Soviet Union and other Marxist regimes around the world seems to have left liberal democracy as the only surviving ideology, and yet many scholars of political thought still find liberal democracy objectionable, using Aristotle's Politics to support their views. In this detailed analysis of Book 3 of Aristotle's work, Clifford Angell Bates, Jr., challenges these scholars, demonstrating that Aristotle was actually a defender of democracy. Proving the relevance of classical political philosophy to modern democratic problems, Bates argues that Aristotle not only defends popular rule but suggests that democracy, restrained by the rule of law, is the best form of government. According to Aristotle, because human beings are naturally sociable, democracy is the regime that best helps man reach his potential; and because of human nature, it is inevitable democracies will prevail. Bates explains why Aristotle's is a sound position between two extremes—participatory democracy, which romanticizes the people, and elite theory, which underrates them. Aristotle, he shows, sees the people as they really are and nevertheless believes their self-rule, under law, is ultimately better than all competing forms. However, the philosopher does not believe democracy should be imposed universally. It must arise out of the given cultural, environmental, and historical traditions of a people or its will fall into tyranny. Bates's fresh interpretation rests on innovative approaches to reading Book 3—which he deems vital to understanding all of Aristotle's Politics. Examining the work in the original Greek as well as in translation, he addresses questions about the historical Aristotle versus the posited Aristotle, the genre and structure of the text, and both the theoretical and the dialogic nature of the work. Carting Aristotle's rhetorical strategies, Bates shows that Book 3 is not simply a treatise but a series of dialogues that develop a nuanced defense of democratic rule. Bates's accessible and faithful exposition of Aristotle's work confirms that the philosopher's teachings are not merely of historical interest but speak directly to liberal democracy's current crisis of self-understanding.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

A Politics of Understanding

The International Thought of Raymond Aron

Reed Davis

Frequently hailed as one of the greatest defenders of democratic liberalism in postwar Europe, French philosopher, sociologist, and political commentator Raymond Aron (1905–1983) left behind a staggering amount of published work on a remarkably wide range of topics both scholarly and popular. In A Politics of Understanding, Reed M. Davis assesses the originality and consistency of Aron’s body of work, drawing a connection between Aron’s philosophy of history and three of his abiding interests: the nature of industrial society, international relations theory, and strategic theory. Davis begins with a brief biography of Aron, known for his skepticism toward political ideologies in the post–World War II era and as an intellectual opponent of Jean-Paul Sartre. After spending three years in Germany in the early 1930s, Aron, a Jew, returned to France in 1933. When war broke out, he fought for a year in the French army and, after the fall of France, escaped to London, where he edited the newspaper of the Free French, La France Libre. He returned to Paris after the war and remained there for the rest of his life, working as a professor and journalist. He wrote an influential political column for Le Figaro for thirty years and authored many books, including The Opium of the Intellectuals (1935), The Algerian Tragedy (1957), and Peace and War (1962). From World War II onward, Davis shows, Aron sought to construct a science of human action that had as its goal charting the way of human progress in light of two fundamental realities, industrialization and the existence of nuclear weapons. Throughout his long career, he continually asked himself whether human life was becoming better as it became more technologically rationalized and more scientifically advanced. In his close analysis of Aron’s thought, Davis carefully describes how Aron fused Max Weber’s neo-Kantianism with Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology to create an original theory of historical knowledge. The central theoretical impulse in all of Aron’s works, Davis explains, is that of reconciling freedom and necessity. The ways in which Aron attempted to reconcile these two polarities in his earliest writings had a direct bearing on the manner in which he sought to reconcile realism and idealism in his international thought. By attempting to bring reason and necessity into the same loose orbit, Aron tried to construct a theoretical approach to international relations and statecraft that could hold the middle ground between realism and idealism. Many scholars have simply abandoned efforts to understand the more philosophical dimensions of Aron’s thinking because of its technical difficulty. With A Politics of Understanding, Davis provides a concise and clearly written explanation of the basic concepts at work in Aron’s philosophy and ties them directly to his later thinking, especially concerning international relations.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

U.S. Military Intervention in the Post-Cold War Era

How to Win America's Wars in the Twenty-first Century

Glenn J. Antizzo

During the post–World War II era, American foreign policy prominently featured direct U.S. military intervention in the Third World. Yet the cold war placed restraints on where and how Washington could intervene until the collapse of the former Soviet Union removed many of the barriers to—and ideological justifications for—American intervention. Since the end of the cold war, the United States has completed several military interventions that may be guided by motives very different from those invoked before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Likewise, such operations, now free from the threat of counterintervention by any other superpower, seem governed by a new set of rules. In this readily accessible study, political scientist Glenn J. Antizzo identifies fifteen factors critical to the success of contemporary U.S. military intervention and evaluates the likely efficacy of direct U.S. military involvement today—when it will work, when it will not, and how to undertake such action in a manner that will bring rapid victory at an acceptable political cost. He lays out the preconditions that portend success, among them a clear and attainable goal; a mission that is neither for “peacekeeping” nor for “humanitarian aid within a war zone”; a strong probability the American public will support or at least be indifferent to the effort; a willingness to utilize ground forces if necessary; an operation limited in geographic scope; and a theater commander permitted discretion in the course of the operation. Antizzo then tests his abstract criteria by using real-world case studies of the most recent fully completed U.S. military interventions—in Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1991, Somalia in 1992–94, and Kosovo in 1999—with Panama, Iraq, and Kosovo representing generally successful interventions and Somalia an unsuccessful one. Finally, he considers how the development of a “Somalia Syndrome” affected U.S. foreign policy and how the politics and practice of military intervention have continued to evolve since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, giving specific attention to the current war in Afghanistan and the larger War on Terror. U.S. Military Intervention in the Post–Cold War Era exemplifies political science at its best: the positing of a hypothetical model followed by a close examination of relevant cases in an effort to provide meaningful insights for future American international policy.

1

Results 1-4 of 4

:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Political Traditions in Foreign Policy Series

Content Type

  • (4)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access