From War to Peace

Altered Strategic Landscapes in the Twentieth Century

Edited by Paul Kennedy and William I. Hitchcock

View Inside Price: $65.00


October 11, 2000
336 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300080100
Cloth

In this timely collection, a dozen leading scholars of international affairs consider the twentieth century’s recurring failure to construct a stable and peaceful international order in the wake of war. Why has peace been so hard to build? The authors reflect on the difficulties faced by governments as they sought a secure world order after the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War.

Major wars unleashed new and unexpected forces, the authors show, and in post-war periods policymakers were faced not only with the reappearance of old power-political issues but also with quite unforeseen challenges. In 1918, a hundred-year-old order based on a balance of power among the states of Europe collapsed, leaving European and American leaders to deal with social, ideological, and ethnic crises. After World War II, hopeful plans for peace were checked by nuclear rivalry, international economic competition, and colonial issues. And unexpected challenges after the Cold War—global economic instability, ethnic conflict, environmental crises—joined with traditional security threats to cast a pall again over international peace efforts. In drawing out historical parallels and comparing how major states have adapted to sharp and sudden changes in the international system during the twentieth century, this book offers essential insights for those who hope to navigate toward peace across today’s altered and uncertain strategic landscape.

Contributors to this volume:

Carole Fink, Gregory Flynn, William I. Hitchcock, Michael Howard, Paul Kennedy, Diane B. Kunz, Melvyn P. Leffler, Charles S. Maier, Tony Smith, Marc Trachtenberg, Randall B. Woods, Philip Zelikow

Paul Kennedy is J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History at Yale University. William I. Hitchcock teaches in the history department at Wellesley College.

"A fine set of essays that individually and collectively illuminate the way nations and their leaders have tried to build new structures on the ‘altered strategic landscapes’ at the end of the two world wars and the Cold War. This book helps us understand how we got here and where we might go."—Robert L. Jervis, Columbia University

“This work is crucial for policymakers and scholars alike attempting to understand the implications of past transformations on the present period.”—Virginia Quarterly Review