Competitive Interference and Twentieth Century Diplomacy

An important contribution to the literature of American foreign policy. . . . A final quality worthy of note is Professor Cottam's use of data and findings from the area studies field. . . . It would be difficult to underestimate the value of the specific findings that someone familiar with a foreign area can bring to the analysis and study of international politics. More efforts of this kind would be welcomed, for they help to refute the popular criticism that theory must, for all time, be abstract and remote from reality.
Political Science Quarterly

With nuclear proliferation essentially eliminating full-scale warfare, governments have increasingly turned to what Richard W. Cottam calls competitive interference. This type of policy invokes counter-insurgency, political, economic, and psychological manipulations, and often involves looking deeply into the internal affairs of a country, often secretly. Cottam describes and defines competitive interference, explores the United States' institutional adjustment to it, and provides a theoretical framework for projection and evaluation of foreign policy in this changing diplomatic arena. He uses case studies of international relationships involving the United States, India, China, Vietnam, Iran, and the former USSR and East Germany to evaluate his theoretical stance, and proposes long-term institutionalization of policy, rather than covert operations.

248 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

September, 1967

isbn : 9780822983996

about the author

Richard W. Cottam

Richard W. Cottam was professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh.

learn more
Richard W. Cottam