Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition by Jack SnyderMyths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition by Jack Snyder

Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition

byJack Snyder

Paperback | March 28, 1993

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Overextension is the common pitfall of empires. Why does it occur? What are the forces that cause the great powers of the industrial era to pursue aggressive foreign policies? Jack Snyder identifies recurrent myths of empire, describes the varieties of overextension to which they lead, and criticizes the traditional explanations offered by historians and political scientists.

He tests three competing theories—realism, misperception, and domestic coalition politics—against five detailed case studies: early twentieth-century Germany, Japan in the interwar period, Great Britain in the Victorian era, the Soviet Union after World War II, and the United States during the Cold War. The resulting insights run counter to much that has been written about these apparently familiar instances of empire building.

Jack Snyder is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science and Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of The Ideology of the Offensive: Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914; Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and Internation...
Title:Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International AmbitionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.27 inPublished:March 28, 1993Publisher:Cornell University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801497647

ISBN - 13:9780801497643

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Table of Contents

1. The Myth of Security through Expansion

2. Three Theories of Overexpansion

3. Germany and the Pattern of Late Development

4. Japan's Bid for Autarky

5. Social Imperialism in Victorian Britain

6. Soviet Politics and Strategic Learning

7. America’s Cold War Consensus

8. Overexpansion: Origins and Antidotes


Editorial Reviews

"A superb analysis of one of the most dangerous ills that can beset the foreign policy of a great power. Political scientists will benefit from Snyder's mastery of history and the challenging case he makes for the significance of the politics of domestic coalitions as the root of overextension."—Michael Doyle, author of Empires