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Governance, Security and Development

Great Powers, Weak States, and Insurgency

Explaining Internal Threat Alliances

Authors: Quirk, Patrick W.

  • Covers a blind spot in IR theory by focusing on the increasing threat that intra-state violence poses to weak states and great powers alike
  • Offers detailed and politically relevant case studies, including U.S collaboration with Afghanistan and Colombia as well as Russia's involvement with Syria's Assad regime
  • Speaks to policy-makers and national security professionals by offering an accessible framework for understanding and predicting state responses to internal threats 
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47419-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47418-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book offers an original and theoretically rich examination into the dynamics of alliances that great powers and weak states form to defeat threats, such as rebellion or insurgency, within the smaller state’s borders. The author examines contemporary examples of such “internal threat alliances,” including Russia’s collaboration with Syria’s Assad regime to defeat anti-government rebels and U.S. cooperation with Afghanistan’s ruling political elite to combat the Taliban. In each case, the weaker state’s leadership wanted to remain in power while the great power sought to safeguard its interests linked to the regime’s stability. The book adds to International Relations (IR) theory by presenting a distinct conceptual framework that explains why internal threat alliances form, why some are more cohesive than others, and why some are effective while others are not. It thus promises to be of interest to IR scholars and students working in the areas of security studies, alliance dynamics, political violence, and civil war, but also to policy-makers grappling with how to salvage interests, such as access to natural resources or regional stability, imperiled by violence in weak states.

About the authors

Patrick W. Quirk is a Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the US Department of State and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, USA.

Reviews

“Patrick Quirk provides the reader with a novel and elegant theoretical explanation of when alliances between great powers and weak states are likely to succeed against insurgencies. Explaining one of the most common kind of alliances after 9/11, the book appeals to both scholars and practitioners.” (Troels Henningsen, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College, Denmark)

“Patrick Quirk offers a brilliant and insightful analysis of how threats within countries endanger the interests of both great powers and weak states. As Quirk shows in examples drawn from Colombia, Afghanistan and Syria, internal challenges have become far more important in a world where interstate warfare has all but disappeared while domestic threats such as terrorism abound. Because these internal threats rarely remain within one country, understanding their implications for alliance formation and international security is critical. Policymakers, academics and the general public will find Quirk’s clearly presented analysis indispensable and fascinating.” (Steven R. David, Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University, USA)

“Patrick Quirk’s Great Powers, Weak States, and Insurgency is an essential contribution to the scholarship on great power intervention in the internal conflicts of weaker states. By delving deeply into the workings of both the weaker power and the relationship between the stronger and weaker power, Quirk succeeds in crafting a highly nuanced and convincing explanation for the conditions under which a great power can successfully intervene in a foreign insurgency.” (Jeffrey W. Meiser, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Portland, USA)

“This is a refreshing new approach to alliance formation. Incisive and far-sighted, it sheds light on blind spots in existing paradigms and is a must read for scholars and policy-makers, especially those interested in the new geopolitical realignment unfolding in the Mideast as China and India join Russia in the Syrian war.” (Christina Lin, Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University, USA)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

  • Internal Threat Alliances: A New Conceptual Framework

    Quirk, Patrick W.

    Pages 1-36

  • US–Colombia Internal Threat Alliance (1980–2010)

    Quirk, Patrick W.

    Pages 37-100

  • US–Afghanistan Internal Threat Alliance (2001–2012)

    Quirk, Patrick W.

    Pages 101-177

  • Russia–Syria Internal Threat Alliance (2010–2016)

    Quirk, Patrick W.

    Pages 179-213

  • Conclusions

    Quirk, Patrick W.

    Pages 215-223

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47419-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47418-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Great Powers, Weak States, and Insurgency
Book Subtitle
Explaining Internal Threat Alliances
Authors
Series Title
Governance, Security and Development
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-47419-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-47419-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-47418-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 278
Topics