Preface

Revolution and war are among the most dramatic and important events in political life, yet few of the countless works on either topic devote much attention to the relationship between them. Students of revolution generally focus on the causes of revolution or its domestic consequences, examining its international aspects only insofar as they shaped the origins or course of the revolution itself. Students of international politics, by contrast, tend to take the state for granted and spend little time on those moments in history where one state structure dissolves and a new one arises in its place. With a few notable exceptions, therefore, the literatures on revolution and war do not overlap. Indeed, the two fields do not even engage in much of a dialogue.

This book is an attempt to bridge the gap. Specifically, I seek to explain why revolutions intensify the security competition between states and sharply increase the risk of war. I do so by examining the international consequences of the French, Russian, Iranian, American, Mexican, Turkish, and Chinese revolutions, drawing both on the theoretical and empirical literature on revolutions and on several important ideas from international relations theory.

My interest in this subject stems in part from a broader interest in U.S. foreign policy. Throughout the Cold War, the United States repeatedly sought to prevent revolutionary movements from coming to power and often tried to overthrow them when they did. U.S. relations with most revolutionary states were predictably poor, even when these states were neither Marxist nor pro-Soviet. The U.S. experience was hardly unique: revolutions have been equally troublesome for others. By exploring how and why revolutions lead to war, therefore, I hope to provide practical guidance for national leaders who face an unexpected revolutionary upheaval.

-vii-

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Revolution and War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Revolution and War *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - A Theory of Revolution and War 18
  • 3 - The French Revolution 46
  • 4 - The Russian Revolution 129
  • 5 - The Iranian Revolution 210
  • 6 - The American, Mexican, Turkish, and Chinese Revolutions 269
  • 7 - Conclusion 331
  • Index 353
  • Cornell Studies in Security Affairs *
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