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The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change, 1510-2010

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Some blame the violence and unrest in the Muslim world on Islam itself, arguing that the religion and its history is inherently bloody. Others blame the United States, arguing that American attempts to spread democracy by force have destabilized the region, and that these efforts are somehow radical or unique. Challenging these views, The Clash of Ideas in World Politics r Some blame the violence and unrest in the Muslim world on Islam itself, arguing that the religion and its history is inherently bloody. Others blame the United States, arguing that American attempts to spread democracy by force have destabilized the region, and that these efforts are somehow radical or unique. Challenging these views, The Clash of Ideas in World Politics reveals how the Muslim world is in the throes of an ideological struggle that extends far beyond the Middle East, and how struggles like it have been a recurring feature of international relations since the dawn of the modern European state. John Owen examines more than two hundred cases of forcible regime promotion over the past five centuries, offering the first systematic study of this common state practice. He looks at conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism between 1520 and the 1680s; republicanism and monarchy between 1770 and 1850; and communism, fascism, and liberal democracy from 1917 until the late 1980s. He shows how regime promotion can follow regime unrest in the eventual target state or a war involving a great power, and how this can provoke elites across states to polarize according to ideology. Owen traces how conflicts arise and ultimately fade as one ideology wins favor with more elites in more countries, and he demonstrates how the struggle between secularism and Islamism in Muslim countries today reflects broader transnational trends in world history.


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Some blame the violence and unrest in the Muslim world on Islam itself, arguing that the religion and its history is inherently bloody. Others blame the United States, arguing that American attempts to spread democracy by force have destabilized the region, and that these efforts are somehow radical or unique. Challenging these views, The Clash of Ideas in World Politics r Some blame the violence and unrest in the Muslim world on Islam itself, arguing that the religion and its history is inherently bloody. Others blame the United States, arguing that American attempts to spread democracy by force have destabilized the region, and that these efforts are somehow radical or unique. Challenging these views, The Clash of Ideas in World Politics reveals how the Muslim world is in the throes of an ideological struggle that extends far beyond the Middle East, and how struggles like it have been a recurring feature of international relations since the dawn of the modern European state. John Owen examines more than two hundred cases of forcible regime promotion over the past five centuries, offering the first systematic study of this common state practice. He looks at conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism between 1520 and the 1680s; republicanism and monarchy between 1770 and 1850; and communism, fascism, and liberal democracy from 1917 until the late 1980s. He shows how regime promotion can follow regime unrest in the eventual target state or a war involving a great power, and how this can provoke elites across states to polarize according to ideology. Owen traces how conflicts arise and ultimately fade as one ideology wins favor with more elites in more countries, and he demonstrates how the struggle between secularism and Islamism in Muslim countries today reflects broader transnational trends in world history.

36 review for The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change, 1510-2010

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Henne

    This book will be a classic in the field of IR, and is recommended reading for anyone interested in the topic. Owen presents a grand historical theory for changes in IR, focusing on one specific aspect: forcible regime change. He also suggests broader theoretical directions for the field, focused on the interaction between transnational networks, state security, and ideological conflicts. The book is also incredibly accessible, and would be of interest to general readers as well as scholars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This book looks at ideological clashes in international relations since the early modern period, including the Protestant Reformation, the clash between aristocracy and republicanism, capitalism vs. communism, and radical Islamist visions of the state. The author looks at what all of these clashes have in common, and designs a model of conflicting visions of world politics. The book makes interesting points in terms of putting contemporary ideological clashes in context, and the author does a go This book looks at ideological clashes in international relations since the early modern period, including the Protestant Reformation, the clash between aristocracy and republicanism, capitalism vs. communism, and radical Islamist visions of the state. The author looks at what all of these clashes have in common, and designs a model of conflicting visions of world politics. The book makes interesting points in terms of putting contemporary ideological clashes in context, and the author does a good job of presenting his evidence. The main weakness of the book is that the vast majority of the time period that the author looks at has at last one ideological clash ongoing, but the author focuses on explaining why these clashes occurred rather than looking at the (relatively fewer) times when ideological clashes did not occur.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael McCluskey

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ameen Mitwally

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Denison

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex Burns

  7. 5 out of 5

    Albert B. Wolf

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kinga Niemczyk

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bernard M.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dave Blair

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Garafalo

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nick Anderson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric Thrond

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luna Felo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pablo

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ibnu Najib

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Cheatham

  21. 5 out of 5

    Foppe

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shahzada

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jusup

  25. 4 out of 5

    VirgĂ­nia Brito

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amira

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian Delgado

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Maher

  30. 4 out of 5

    C.

  31. 4 out of 5

    John Turner

  32. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  34. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  35. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  36. 5 out of 5

    Waleed AlSaab

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