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In War's Wake: International Conflict and the Fate of Liberal Democracy Paperback – June 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"War, Otto Hintze argued in a classic essay, builds strong autocratic states. Democracies, we are told by Harold Lasswell and others, have a hard time maintaining their open political systems during wartime. But this fascinating collection of essays suggests that the relationship between war and democracy is much more complex than these classic works propose. Depending upon the process of mobilization for war, democracy can either thrive or wither. This book revisits classic themes at a time when many of us worry about the future of American democracy in the face of the long-war on terror."
- Michael C. Desch, University of Notre Dame

"In War's Wake is an unusually lively edited volume: the multi-method, multi-disciplinary essays are thoughtful, well-grounded, provocative, and contentious. The authors pull no punches in their disagreements with each other, and in so doing, clearly lay out key questions for future research."
- Lynn Eden, Stanford University

"This riveting collection by a cohort of leading scholars in social science and history does more than advance our understanding of the protean relationship of war and democracy. By tracing war's complex and variegated effects, this volume sets a standard for how analytical history can advance by showing how fundamental questions should be adduced, how rigorous investigation should proceed, and how vexing instances should be probed."
- Ira Katznelson, Columbia University

"This important book begins and ends with a paradox: while democracies often compromise their principles during war, war's effects on democratic institutions are often positive. Following in the footsteps of Charles Tilly, Kier and Krebs and their contributors explore different dimensions of the war/democracy paradox, applying it to cases as diverse as World Wars I and II, the Yom Kippur War, and the War on Terror. This book will become a standard accompaniment to Tilly's Coercion, Capital and European States and to Lasswell's and Huntington's work on the military and politics."
- Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University

Book Description

War has diverse and seemingly contradictory effects on liberal democratic institutions and processes. But scholars have typically focused more on the causes than on the consequences of war, with the result that our understanding of these outcomes and processes remains underdeveloped. This volume brings together distinguished historians, sociologists, and political scientists to examine the impact of war on liberal democracy. This volume is unique in its interdisciplinary orientation, its range of methodological approaches, and its comparative scope. The result is a landmark contribution on a timeless and timely question.

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