National Security  book cover
6th Edition

National Security

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ISBN 9781138640931
Published July 26, 2016 by Routledge
406 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This text analyzes the history, evolution, and processes of national security policies. It examines national security from two fundamental fault lines--the end of the Cold War and the evolution of contemporary terrorism, dating from the 9/11 terrorist attacks and tracing their path up to the Islamic State (ISIS) and beyond. The book considers how the resulting era of globalization and geopolitics guides policy. Placing these trends in conceptual and historical context and following them through military, semi-military, and non-military concerns, National Security treats its subject as a nuanced and subtle phenomenon that encompasses everything from the global to the individual with the nation at its core.

New to the Sixth Edition

  • Fully updated with expanded coverage of ISIS, the "new cool war" with Russia, cybersecurity challenges, natural resource wars and development, negotiations with Iran, border threats, and much more.
  • Includes a completely new chapter on "lethal landscapes" such as developing world international conflicts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; the "siren song" of the Islamic State; and the dilemmas of guns, butter, and boots on the ground.
  • Shifts the focus from globalization to a more widely-ranging look at security, from the individual level to the regional to the global.

Table of Contents


Part I: The Conceptual Nexus

Chapter 1: National Security for a New and Changing Era

Chapter 2: The Concepts and Logic of National Security

Part II: The Historical Context

Chapter 3: Influences from the Past: The American Historical Experience

Chapter 4: The Post-1945 Challenge: The Nature and End of the Cold War

Chapter 5: Moving to the Present: The Post-Cold War World

Part III: Intermestic Environments and Change

Chapter 6: The Domestic Environment

Chapter 7: Domestic Battlegrounds and National Security

Chapter 8: "Legacy" Military Problems

Part IV: The Contemporary Environment and Changes

Chapter 9: The Structure and Consequences of Modern Violence: Asymmetrical Warfare

Chapter 10: Residues of 9/11: Terrorism, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Chapter 11: Lethal Landscapes: The Future Menu

Chapter 12: The Menu of Activism: Peacekeeping, State Building, Development, and

Part V: On the Horizon

Chapter 13: New Dimensions and Approaches to National Security: Borders, Energy and the

Chapter 14: Looking Ahead


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Donald M. Snow is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Alabama, where he specialized in international relations, national security, and foreign policy. He has also served as visiting professor at the U.S. Air, Army, and Naval War Colleges and the U.S. Air Command and Staff College.


Donald Snow offers a compelling approach to understanding the complexities of US national security. By moving beyond worst-case threat analysis, he grounds foreign policy in American domestic politics to reinvigorate thinking on the future of national security.

Derek S. Reveron, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

I recommend the sixth edition of National Security without reservation. It is a readable and informative text, and students find it useful and engaging. In addition, Donald Snow’s use of contemporary as well as historic examples opens the door for many meaningful classroom discussions. I find the text essential in the discussion of the complexities surrounding the study of the politics of US national security issues and list it as required reading every semester.

Matthew Wahlert, Miami University

Dr. Snow has once again delivered a text for its time. Rather than focusing on the institutional aspects of national security, he looks at the real issues of national security in a post-Cold War, post September 11th world. The strong connection he makes between domestic politics and international threats goes beyond the normal "guns v. butter" debate. I am looking forward to the publication of this book so that I can adopt it for my courses.

Michael Kanner, University of Colorado-Boulder

This book offers readers an excellent introduction to national security. It skillfully combines a clear conceptual framework with thorough applications to both historical and contemporary security challenges. The book carefully guides readers through the abstract logic of interests, power, security and domestic politics, before examining the concrete manifestations of these concepts in the context of US national security from the early days of the nation to the post-9/11 world and the rise of ISIS.

Benjamin T. Jones, University of Mississippi