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.
Introduction Part I Colonialism and its aftermath 1. Colonial policies and their payoffs 2. Divided nations and portioned countries, coauthored with Gregory Henderson Part II Deterrence 3. Cognitive Closure and crisis politics 4. Beyond deterrence, coauthored with Janice Gross Stein 5. Nuclear deterrence in retrospect, coauthored with Janice Gross Stein Part III Compellence 6. Beyond parsimony: rethinking theories of coercive bargaining 7. Thomas Schelling and strategic bargaining 8. Robert McNamara: Max Weber’s worst nightmare Part IV Cooperation 9. Reason, emotion, and cooperation 10. Building international cooperation Part V Ancient Greeks and modern international relations 11. Thucydides the constructivist 12. Power, persuasion, and justice 13. Tragedy, politics, and political science Part VI Conclusions 14. The future of international relations theory