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Resnick, Evan N.

Allies of Convenience

A Theory of Bargaining in U.S. Foreign Policy


    30,95 € / $34.99 / £27.50*

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    Publication Date:
    August 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    Evan Resnick examines the negotiating tables between the United States and its allies of convenience since World War II and sets forth a novel theory of alliance bargaining. Resnick’s neoclassical realist theory explains why U.S. leaders negotiate less effectively with unfriendly autocratic states than with friendly liberal ones.


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    Evan Resnick is assistant professor and coordinator of the United States Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


    Robert Jervis, co-editor of Chaos in the Liberal Order:Standard bargaining theories are puzzled by the ability of allies that are not only weak but distasteful to get so much advantage when dealing with the US. In an important contribution, Evan Resnick shows that the answer lies in the open nature of the American domestic political system that allows the ally to build support within the US and cripple the ability of the president to use his bargaining leverage. In these cases, the power of the United States does not translate into the power of the president.T.V. Paul, author of Restraining Great Powers: Soft Balancing from Empires to the Global Era:In this outstanding book on a much neglected subject, Evan Resnick unpacks the motivations of alliances among non-compatible states. With the aid of historical cases, the book shows why these alliances emerge periodically despite the general skepticism toward them. The book is a must read for policymakers who many times engage in alliance formations for balancing and bandwagoning purposes without carefully considering their pros and cons.David A. Baldwin, Princeton University:Evan Resnick’s Allies of Convenience is an incisive analysis of the role of alliances in U. S. foreign policy. This book will be of interest not only to international relations scholars but also to the current architects of American foreign policy. Coming at a time when alliances are currently being questioned and re-evaluated, this book is a most welcome contribution.John Schuessler, Texas A&M University:Allies of Convenience addresses an important but under-studied topic; advances a novel argument; pits that argument against plausible competitors drawn from the literature; compiles a rich body of historical evidence to adjudicate among rival claims; and derives provocative implications, especially for policy. There is no book that deals with alliances of convenience per se, and certainly not one that deftly combines theory, history, and policy import. This book should have an easy time standing out.Timothy Crawford, Boston College:Allies of Convenience spotlights a domain of alliance politics that often bedevils US foreign policy but eludes careful thought. It cleverly combines concepts, theory, and case studies to explain why the US struggles to influence allies that need it more than it needs them. An important advance in neoclassical realist scholarship, it offers sharp insights into alliance management problems the U.S. must grapple with today and in the years to come.

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