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The Limits of American Power

Prosecuting a Middle East Peace Douglas Sturkey, formerly of The Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Canberra
Douglas Sturkey’s book presents a detailed and enlightening analysis of the projection of state power in international relations. As a case study, he considers the projection of the United States’s power to attain international objectives by means other than force.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84720 243 7
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • International Politics
  • International Relations
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Migration
Douglas Sturkey’s book presents a detailed and enlightening analysis of the projection of state power in international relations. As a case study, he considers the projection of the United States’s power to attain international objectives by means other than force.

The Limits of American Power discusses how any country, including the US, has a range of instruments, short of force, at its disposal by which it may project power in pursuit of its diplomatic objectives. The use of the instruments is subject to domestic and international constraints and, particularly in the case of the US, its global position must also be considered.

This is a fascinating and rigorous study of how, from 1991, the US projected its power to attain its declared objective of a negotiated settlement of the Arab–Israel dispute, yet despite these efforts, failed to achieve it. The author reveals the disinclination of Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush to employ all the means available to them, and discontinuities in their approaches, which resulted in an ineffective projection of power during their presidencies to 2006. This analysis reveals measures that could be applied for a more effective projection of state power in relation to the Middle East dispute and also in other circumstances around the globe.

This book’s penetrating analysis and lessons to be learnt from the US experience in relation to the Arab–Israel dispute, will appeal strongly to scholars and practitioners in international relations, political science, and diplomacy.
Contents: Introduction 1. Power and Diplomacy: The United States’s ‘Unipolar Moment’ 2. Failures and Success: The Road to Madrid 3. Expectation and Disappointment: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, 1991–96 4. Progress and Regional Cooperation: The United States, Israel and Jordan; and the Multilateral Negotiations, 1992–97 5. Advance and Retreat: The United States, Israel and Syria, and Lebanon 6. Frustration and Failure: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, 1996–2001 7. Distrust and Disengagement: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, 2001–2006 8. Vision and Reality: A Post Hoc Evaluation 9. Conclusion Bibliography Index