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June 1996
248 pages  

6 x 9
9780822955856
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Understanding Attitudes About War
Brunk, Gregory , Secrest , Donald , Tamashiro , Howard
The authors examine the ethical and moral underpinnings of U.S. international relations by exploring the attitudes of contemporary decision makers and foreign policy elites toward war. They bring together various doctrines in the literature and characterize them using behavioral methodologies.

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Gregory G. Brunk has graduate degrees in political science, economics, and history.
Donald Secrest was professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma.
Howard Tamashiro is associate professor of political science at Allegheny College.
“Falls in the must-read category for all serious students of attitudes toward war and interstate relations. . . . [Their] careful analysis of the correlational patterns in the data yields provocative and testable hypotheses for future work.”—American Political Science Review

“A welcome attempt to bridge the empirical-normative gap in the study of international politics. The authors briefly demolish the realpolitik myth that elites are narrowly self-interested utility maximizers, and then explore the ways in which moral commitments shape people's judgments about the use of force and nuclear deterrence.”—Political Studies

“No reader of this volume can fail to emerge with less than a significantly deeper appreciation of the normative roots of cognitions about conflict. That is an important achievement.”—Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

“This exciting book interweaves propositions from traditional ethical doctrines with empirical studies using factor analytic procedures to yield a three-dimensional model. . . . All this is written in skillfully constructed prose, enriched with excerpts from one-on-one interviews with many respondents.”—APSA Religion and Politics Newsletter

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Political Science/Policy, Theory, Law
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Choice 1997 Outstanding Academic Book

Why have some traditional cold warriors opposed involvement in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, while many vocal critics of the Vietnam war supported the use of U.S. forces in Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans? What do these debates tell us about American attitudes toward the use of military force to achieve foreign policy goals? The authors examine the ethical and moral underpinnings of U.S. international relations by exploring the attitudes of decision makers and foreign policy elites toward war. Their unique contribution is to bring together the various doctrines in the literature and to characterize them using behavioral methodologies, in an attempt to bring normative questions back into the mainstream of political science.

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