Thursday, August 10, 2006

Barbarism begins at home

Here's an interesting book about Iranian domestic politics. Sounds oxymoronic, does it? Well, too often countries are viewed as monolithic. While states do have long term behavior that can be indentified, domestic politics plays a role in foreign policy as well. Graham Allison investigated the Cuban Missile Crisis in this light and created whole new fields of investigation. Does that sound dreadful? Well it's a bit like a mental plate of unseasoned tofu and bok choy, immensely good for you, but not terribly exicting. Anyway, the point is to think about or at least try to understand the potential domestic motivations for foreign action. Every one has heard about scapegoating, the distraction of the domestic discontented by attacking a foreign enemy, but there is more and books like Allison's and hopefully Takeyh's help you understand that.


Brack said...

"domestic politics plays a role in foreign policy as well"

I'll take Pakistan for $200, Alex.

Tripp said...

Yes sir Pakistan is a great example. Musharraf has much to manage including his wayward intelligence service, the restive frontier and the army. Let alone the US and India