Social Order and the General Theory of Strategy
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Is there a place left in international politics for the real use of violence as an instrument of policy in the nuclear age? Originally published in 1981, Dr Atkinson attempts to answer this question with new considerations in the presentation of a general theory of strategy. He argues that the classical theory of strategy, so influential for the 19th century and for the better half of the 20th century, was built on a mainly hidden structure of reasoning that still infested theory at the time. The larger and socially-rooted lessons that insurgent warfare can inform, as best exemplified in the primary sources of the Chinese Civil War period, reveal in a new light this hidden structure of which Clausewitz is the earliest and most eloquent example. By this analysis of the insurgent and classical paradigm opposites the author intends to strip away the blinds of convention still circulating in theory at the time so that observers and students of international politics may see where new forms of politically motivated violence in the nuclear age seem more than ever to be headed.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. Introduction. Abbreviations. 1. Social Order and Strategic Theory 2. The Social Premise of Protracted War 3. The Death of Classical Theory 4. Strategic Revisionism 5. The Chinese Theory of Land Revolution 6. Block-House and Guerrilla Warfare 7. The Cinderella of Classical Theory 8. Clausewitz and the Silent Contract. Notes. Appendixes A-D. Selected Bibliography.