The Tragedy of Great Power Politics

By John J. Mearsheimer
(W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393323962, 555pp.)

Publication Date: January 2003

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Description
A decade after the cold war ended, policy makers and academics foresaw a new era of peace and prosperity, an era in which democracy and open trade would herald the "end of history." The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, sadly shattered these idyllic illusions, and John Mearsheimer's masterful new book explains why these harmonious visions remain utopian. To Mearsheimer, great power politics are tragic because the anarchy of the international system requires states to seek dominance at one another's expense, dooming even peaceful nations to a relentless power struggle. Mearsheimer illuminates his theory of offensive realism through a sweeping survey of modern great power struggles and reflects on the bleak prospects for peace in Europe and northeast Asia, arguing that the United States's security competition with a rising China will intensify regardless of "engagement" policies. "This is the definitive work on offensive realism." "Choice.



About the Author
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy. He authored Liddell Hart and the Weight of History and Conventional Deterrence, and his articles have appeared in International Security, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, and The Atlantic Monthly, among others.
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