Edited by Ingo Trauschweizer
“As the consensus around global institutions and alliances shatters around us, this marvelous volume is a timely intervention. Trauschweizer gathers a stellar team of historians to recover the forces that produced the postwar liberal international order and to help us understand the structural and ideational challenges it faces today.”
Mark Philip Bradley, Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History, University of Chicago
“An optimistic volume that concludes it is quite premature to talk about the imminent demise of the liberal postwar order. Anyone with a serious interest in global affairs will benefit from reading these inspiring contributions.”
Klaus Larres, coeditor of Understanding Global Politics: Actors and Themes in International Affairs
“At a time when the value of international organizations, including the United Nations and NATO, is increasingly questioned, the contributors present stimulating, balanced and insightful accounts of the limits and possibilities of international cooperation. A must-read for everyone who is curious about the past, present, and future of the liberal international order.”
Nukhet A. Sandal, author of Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation: Northern Ireland and Beyond
This collection raises timely questions about peace and stability as it interrogates the past and present status of international relations.
The post–World War II liberal international order, upheld by organizations such as the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and similar alliances, aspired to ensure decades of collective security, economic stability, and the rule of law. All of this was a negotiated process that required compromise—and yet it did not make for a peaceful world.
When Winston Churchill referred to the UN framework as “the temple of peace” in his famous 1946 Iron Curtain speech, he maintained that international alliances could help provide necessary stability so free people could prosper, both economically and politically. Though the pillars of international order remain in place today, in a world defined as much by populism as protest, leaders in the United States no longer seem inclined to serve as the indispensable power in an alliance framework that is built on shared values, human rights, and an admixture of hard and soft power.
In this book, nine scholars and practitioners of diplomacy explore both the successes and the flaws of international cooperation over the past seventy years. Collectively, the authors seek to address questions about how the liberal international order was built and what challenges it has faced, as well as to offer perspectives on what could be lost in a post-American world.
Ingo Trauschweizer is a professor of history and director of the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University, where he teaches courses on American and global military history, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. His books include The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War and Maxwell Taylor’s Cold War: From Berlin to Vietnam. More info →
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In case studies from the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iraq, and Colombia, the contributors argue that early intervention to stabilize social, economic, and political systems offers the greatest promise, whereas military intervention at a later stage is both costlier and less likely to succeed.
At the end of World War II, the Allies were unanimous in their determination to disarm the former aggressor Germany. As the Cold War intensified, however, the decision whether to reverse that policy and to rearm West Germany led to disagreements both within the US government and among members of the nascent NATO alliance.
David Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences as the initial US observer of the 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha to seek out what led to the Rwandan genocide. The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis of the crisis and of what happens generally when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.
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