1st Edition

Coercion, Cooperation, and Ethics in International Relations

By Richard Ned Lebow Copyright 2007
    460 Pages
    by Routledge

    460 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume brings together the recent essays of Richard Ned Lebow, one of the leading scholars of international relations and US foreign policy.

    Lebow's work has centred on the instrumental value of ethics in foreign policy decision making and the disastrous consequences which follow when ethical standards are flouted. Unlike most realists who have considered ethical considerations irrelevant in states' calculations of their national interest, Lebow has argued that self interest, and hence, national interest can only be formulated intelligently within a language of justice and morality. The essays here build on this pervasive theme in Lebow's work by presenting his substantive and compelling critique of strategies of deterrence and compellence, illustrating empirically and normatively how these strategies often produce results counter to those that are intended. The last section of the book, on counterfactuals, brings together another set of related articles which continue to probe the relationship between ethics and policy. They do so by exploring the contingency of events to suggest the subjective, and often self-fulfilling, nature of the frameworks we use to evaluate policy choices.


    Part 1: Deterrence

    1. "Cognitive Closure and Crisis Politics," in Richard Ned Lebow, Between Peace and War: The Nature of International Crisis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1984), pp. 101-47.

    2. "Beyond Deterrence," Journal of Social Issues 43, no. 4 (1987), 5-71.

    3. "Windows of Opportunity: Do States Jump Through Them?," International Security 9 (Summer 1984), 147-86.

    Part 2: Compellence

    4. Beyond Parsimony: Rethinking Theories of Coercive Bargaining," European Journal of International Relations 4, No.1 (1998), pp. 31-66.

    5. "Reason Divorced from Reality: Thomas Schelling and Strategic Bargaining," to appear in International Politics.

    6. "Robert McNamara: Max Weber's Nightmare," to appear in International Relations.

    Part 3: Cooperation

    7. "Reason, Emotion and Cooperation," International Politics, 42, no. 3 (2005), pp. 283-313.

    8. "Transitions and Transformations: Building International Cooperation," Security Studies 6 (Spring 1997), pp. 154-79.

    9. "The Long Peace, the End of the Cold War, and the Failure of Realism," International Organization 48 (Spring 1994), pp. 249-77.

    Part 4: Ancient Greeks and Modern International Relations

    10. "Thucydides the Constructivist," American Political Science Review 95 (September 2001), pp. 547-60.

    11. "Power and Ethics," Millennium 33, no. 3 (Spring 2005), pp. 551-82.

    12. "Tragedy, Politics and Political Science," International Relations 19 (Spring 2005), pp. 329-36.

    Part 5: Counterfactuals

    13. "What's So Different About a Counterfactual?," World Politics 52 (July 2000), pp. 550-85.

    14. "Contingency, Catalysts and International System Change," Political Science Quarterly 115 (Winter 2000-01), pp. 591-616

    15. "If Mozart Had Died at Your Age: Psycho-logic vs. Statistical Inference," to appear in Political Psychology 27 (February 2006).


    Richard Ned Lebow is the James O. Freedmen Presidential Professor of Government at Dartmouth University. He is a past president of the International Society of Political Psychology.