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The Puzzle and the Argument

The Puzzle and the Argument

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction The Puzzle and the Argument
Source:
Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump
Author(s):
Benjamin MillerZiv Rubinovitz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226735153.003.0001

This chapter introduces the key puzzles addressed in the book. Rather than providing a comprehensive history of U.S. grand strategy since 1945, this book focuses on explaining such key puzzles, while presenting a relatively parsimonious theoretical model. The book develops the argument that this model can provide a useful account of the key changes in American grand strategy. While showing that popular explanations based on domestic and individual-level factors do not provide a sufficient explanation for the variations and changes in U.S. grand strategy, this book proposes a theoretical model for explaining great power choices of grand strategy based on international systemic effects.

Keywords:   IR theory, international system, ideational

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