"Academic tradition separates revolution and war. . . . Walt defies that tradition in his sober, well-reasoned new book. The result is a worthy exploration of these two most important, and most dangerous, political events—and particularly of how revolution can lead to war."—New Leader
"Walt finds balance-of-threat theory the most plausible explanation for the wars that follow . . . large-scale upheavals. . . . In his concluding policy recommendations, Walt argues that with revolution, neither appeasement nor intervention is appropriate for foreign leaders. Revolutions are practically impossible to export and very difficult to reverse. Optimism that liberal capitalism means an end to revolution is unwarranted, Walt observes, given religious fundamentalism, cultural diversity, and the emergence of protest movements. A detailed, valuable work."—Choice
"Walt has written a book to ponder, and to value. It enriches our understanding of the causes of war, and suggests how—in conditions still relevant to us—we might hope to avoid it."—Security Studies
"Stephen M. Walt has once again written a landmark work of social science. The war-prone nature of revolutionary states has been noted, but never adequately explained. It is not, says Walt, that such regimes want to export their revolution out of the barrel of a gun. Rather, they and their status quo neighbors get caught in a conflict spiral fueled by a paradoxical mix of insecurity and overconfidence. In unraveling the causes of this spiral, Walt uses the dramatic history of the French, Russian, and Iranian revolutions to reveal the subtle interplay of power, perceptions, and domestic politics that shapes international relations."—Jack Snyder, Columbia University
"Controversial and valuable because it so directly and clearly challenges major ideas in the dominant view of international relations."—Charles Tilly, New School for Social Research
About the Author
Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of The Origins of Alliances, Revolution and War (both from Cornell), and Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy.