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The peace of illusions : American grand strategy from 1940 to the present / Christopher Layne.

By: Layne, Christopher.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Cornell studies in security affairs: Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2006Description: xi, 290 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 080143713X (cloth : alk. paper); 9780801437137 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): United States -- Foreign relations -- 20th century | United States -- Foreign relations -- 2001-2009 | United States -- Foreign relations -- Philosophy | Hegemony -- United States -- History -- 20th century | National security -- United States -- History -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 327.73009/045 LOC classification: JZ1480 | .L38 2006Other classification: 15.85
Contents:
Theory, history, and U.S. grand strategy -- World War II and the foundations of American global hegemony -- U.S. grand strategy and the Soviet Union, 1945-1953 -- The open door and American hegemony in Western Europe -- The containment of Europe : American hegemony and European responses -- Liberal ideology and U.S. grand strategy -- The end of the unipolar era -- The strategy of offshore balancing.
Review: "The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Christopher Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance." "Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history."--BOOK JACKET.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
JZ1480 .L38 2006 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001881903

Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-282) and index.

Theory, history, and U.S. grand strategy -- World War II and the foundations of American global hegemony -- U.S. grand strategy and the Soviet Union, 1945-1953 -- The open door and American hegemony in Western Europe -- The containment of Europe : American hegemony and European responses -- Liberal ideology and U.S. grand strategy -- The end of the unipolar era -- The strategy of offshore balancing.

"The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Christopher Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance." "Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Books on American hegemony, pro and con, are in vogue. Layne (Texas A & M Univ.) resurrects the open-door policy concept popularized by William A. Williams in the 1960s to explain American foreign policy since the beginning of WW II. The Williams argument, developed in greater sophistication by a number of scholars until it fell from fashion with the end of the Cold War, depicts American policy not as defensive but as offensive in pursuit of a liberal capitalist global empire, or in Layne's terms, "extraregional hegemony." Layne contends that Bush's claim of expanding democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere is actually a continuation of the pursuit of global hegemony, and that this grand strategy inevitably provokes geopolitical backlash. Layne's alternative is "offshore balancing" (defensive realism), a form of neoclassical balance of power politics. This is the pursuit of the minimum amount of power needed to ensure survival. A blend of diplomatic history and international relations theory, the volume is a counterpoint to John J. Mearsheimer's The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (CH, May'02, 39-5464). Layne's book is not a particularly engaging work, and is likely to be read only by advanced international relations theory students. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students and faculty. J. P. Dunn Converse College

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