The Foreign Policy Puzzle Interests, Threats, and Tools

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-12-04
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Keith Shimko's The Foreign Policy Puzzle: Interests, Threats, and Tools provides a unique framework for students to think critically about issues in American foreign policy, concentrating on the dilemmas that face policy makers today.

Author Biography

Keith Shimko is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University. He is the author of The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution (2010) and Images and Arms Control (1992).

Table of Contents


What's the subject?
What's the objective?
Who's the audience?
Invitations to struggle
Plan of the book

Chapter 1: Understanding the Iraq War Debate
The threat

Chapter 2: Interests
The "national interest"
Thinking about national interests
Types of interests
Prioritizing interests
The problem of interest inflation
Values and interests
A harmony of interests and values?
Interests over values
Duties beyond borders

Debating Interests, Past and Present
Past: Vietnam
Present: Syria

Chapter 3: Threats
Inferring intentions: knowing the unobservable
What others say
What others have
What other do

Assessing Threats, Past and Present
Past: The Soviet Union and Détente
Present: China's Peaceful Rise?

Chapter 4: Tools
Hard power I: military force
Hard power II: economic coercion
Soft power

Evaluating Tools, Past and Present
Past: Iraq and economic sanctions, 1990-1991
Present: economic sanctions and Iran, 2006-?

Chapter 5: Putting the Puzzle Together: Competing Visions for U.S. Foreign Policy
Restraint: interests
Restraint: nuclear proliferation
Restraint: terrorism
Restraint: values and interests
Primacy: interests
Primacy: threats
Primacy: tools
Liberal internationalism: interests
Liberal internationalism: tools

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