The Tragedy of Great Power Politics

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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""

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User Review  - brleach - LibraryThing

Mearsheimer's writing is extremely clear and his arguments are assertively made. However, he cherry-picks from the historical record and distorts even the examples he chooses to make his point. Even ... Read full review

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User Review  - Oceanwings07 - LibraryThing

Mearsheimer takes the "offensive realist" approach, that in an unstable, anarchic world, countries will do what is necessary to a. maintain the balance of power, and b. gain any additional power they ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

He is R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago & a regular contributor to The New Republic & The Atlantic.

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