Falls in the must-read category for all serious students of attitudes toward war and interstate relations. . . . [Their] careful analysis of the correlational patterns in the data yields provocative and testable hypotheses for future work.
Choice 1997 Outstanding Academic BookWhy have some traditional cold warriors opposed involvement in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, while many vocal critics of the Vietnam war supported the use of U.S. forces in Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans? What do these debates tell us about American attitudes toward the use of military force to achieve foreign policy goals? The authors examine the ethical and moral underpinnings of U.S. international relations by exploring the attitudes of decision makers and foreign policy elites toward war. Their unique contribution is to bring together the various doctrines in the literature and to characterize them using behavioral methodologies, in an attempt to bring normative questions back into the mainstream of political science.
A welcome attempt to bridge the empirical-normative gap in the study of international politics. The authors briefly demolish the realpolitik myth that elites are narrowly self-interested utility maximizers, and then explore the ways in which moral commitments shape people's judgments about the use of force and nuclear deterrence.
No reader of this volume can fail to emerge with less than a significantly deeper appreciation of the normative roots of cognitions about conflict. That is an important achievement.
This exciting book interweaves propositions from traditional ethical doctrines with empirical studies using factor analytic procedures to yield a three-dimensional model. . . . All this is written in skillfully constructed prose, enriched with excerpts from one-on-one interviews with many respondents.