Free hand abroad, divide and rule at home

Jack Snyder, Robert Y. Shapiro, Yaeli Bloch-Elkon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Why did America invade Iraq? The glib answer is “because it could.” In the unipolar moment the immediate costs and risks of using military force against Saddam Hussein's hollow, troublesome regime seemed low to US leaders. But this explanation begs the important questions. Dispro-portionate power allows greater freedom of action, but it is consistent with a broad spectrum of policies, ranging from messianic attempts to impose a new world order to smug attempts to insulate oneself from the world's quagmires. How this freedom is used depends on how threats and opportunities are interpreted when viewed through the prism of ideology and domestic politics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Relations Theory and the Consequences of Unipolarity
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9780511996337
ISBN (Print)9781107011700
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Trustees of Princeton University 2011.


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