World Disorders: Troubled Peace in the Post-Cold War Era

By Eland, Ivan | Freeman, December 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

World Disorders: Troubled Peace in the Post-Cold War Era


Eland, Ivan, Freeman


World Disorders: Troubled Peace in the Post-Cold War Era

by Stanley Hoffmann

Rowman & Littlefield * 1998 * 279 pages * $29.95

Reviewed by Ivan Eland

Harvard professor Stanley Hoffmann is an unbridled interventionist. Although he decries any American role as the global policeman, he proposes intervening for so many purposes and under so many circumstances that chevrons begin to form on his shoulders.

Hoffmann rejects the argument that the United States should withdraw from entanglements and international commitments. Although he admits that few threats to American vital interests exist-he makes an exception for the Middle East-he declares that a world of diffuse disorder could rapidly become a dangerous place. He argues that societies and economies are too interdependent for the United States to be sure that what happens in small, poor, weak nations will not affect Americans. He maintains that apathy about what happens in "far away countries of which we know nothing" can lead through contagion-and through the message that passivity sends to troublemakers-to "creeping escalation of disorder and beastliness that will, sooner or later, reach the shores of the complacent, the rich, and the indifferent." In short, Hoffmann endorses the domino theory of instability.

He then goes even further, taking issue with those who say that U.S. foreign policy should be based on interests and not values. Hoffmann asserts that morality is a national interest.

Thus Hoffmann advocates intervention in foreign internal crises when the turmoil threatens regional or international security or when human rights violations become so massive that they cannot be ignored. His broad definition of massive human rights violations includes genocide, mass killings short of genocide, ethnic cleansing, brutal and large-scale repression, mass rape, famines, epidemics, massive breakdowns of law and order, and flights of refugees.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

World Disorders: Troubled Peace in the Post-Cold War Era
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?