Cover image for Soldiers, statecraft, and history : coercive diplomacy and international order
Soldiers, statecraft, and history : coercive diplomacy and international order
Nathan, James A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 188 pages ; 24 cm
Westphalia and the rise of modern diplomacy -- Force, order, and diplomacy in the age of Louis XIV -- The heyday of the balance of power: Frederick the Great and the decline of the old regime -- The French Revolution: "a virus of a new and unknown kind" -- War and order: the "juggernaut of war" meets a "legitimate" peace -- On appeasement and parvenus: managing the challenge of new power -- On coercive diplomacy and the American foreign affairs experience.
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JZ6360 .N38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The increasing capacity of states to muster violence, the concomitant rise of military power as a meaningful instrument of foreign policy, and the frequent episodic collapse of that power are considered in this examination of force, order, and diplomacy. Nathan points to periods of relative order and stability in international relations-the time immediately prior to the rise of Frederick the Great, for example, or the half century after the Napoleonic Wars-as times when states have been most vulnerable to spoilers and rogues. Only the power of the Cold War blocs fostered durable order. Now, notwithstanding novel elements of globalization, international relations appear as dependent as ever on the prudent management of force.

Students, scholars, and soldiers are frequently exposed to Clausewitz, Westphalia, Napoleon, World War I, and the like. But what makes these events and individuals so important? This book is Clausewitz's successor, insisting that soldiers and statesmen know and master the integrative potential of force. Nathan provides a narrative account of the people and events that have shaped international relations since the onset of the state system. He asserts that an understanding of the limits and utility of persuasion, as well as the corresponding limits and utility of force, will help assure national security in a world filled with more uncertainties than ever in the last 50 years.

Author Notes

JAMES A. NATHAN is Khaled bin Sultan Eminent Scholar and Professor of International Relations at Auburn University. His most recent book is Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Greenwood, 2000).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This small volume is as timely as the evening's news, as profound as the classics in history and politics. In 174 pages plus a bibliographic essay, Nathan (Auburn Univ.) provides a well-packed treatise on war, international order, and diplomacy in major segments of Western history. The book is as rich in history as in theories of international relations. Its historical range is awesome, spanning the centuries from the Treaty of Westphalia to the management of conflict in US foreign policy from the 1960s to 1990s. It explores the connections between force and coercive diplomacy by Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, Napoleon and the French Revolution, the Congress of Vienna, the US and Britain in South America and in the Balkans crises. Documentation through extensive quotations is encyclopedic. Nathan tracks the rise and fall of world leaders, determined by separating diplomacy and force. For example, Louis XIV undercut and cast aside French diplomats whom Cardinal Richelieu had trained for "ceaseless negotiation." He gathered all power and responsibility to himself and his colossal army. Militarily, the French Revolution ushered in the levee en masse, and Napoleon carried its ideas across Europe. Nathan demonstrates the high price of divorcing war from coercive diplomacy; the two must link. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduate collections and above. K. W. Thompson University of Virginia

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Chapter 1 Westphalia and the Rise of Modern Diplomacyp. 1
Notesp. 19
Chapter 2 Force, Order, and Diplomacy in the Age of Louis XIVp. 25
Chapter 3 The Heyday of the Balance of Power: Frederick the Great and the Decline of the Old Regimep. 41
Notesp. 55
Chapter 4 The French Revolution: ""a Virus of a New and Unknown Kind""p. 59
Chapter 5 War and Order: the ""juggernaut of War"" Meets a ""legitimate"" Peacep. 79
Chapter 6 On Appeasement and Parvenus: Managing the Challenge of New Powerp. 105
Chapter 7 On Coercive Diplomacy and the American Foreign Affairs Experiencep. 131
Chapter 8 Conclusionp. 157
Bibliographical Essayp. 175
Indexp. 185
About the Authorp. 189