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Outlier States: American Strategies to Change, Contain, or Engage Regimes

by Robert S Litwak Woodrow Wilson Center Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 256 pages
AU$54.99 NZ$58.25
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In the Bush era Iran and North Korea were branded 'rogue' states for their flouting of international norms, and changing their regimes was the administrations goal. The Obama administration has chosen instead to call the countries nuclear 'outliers' and has proposed means other than regime change to bring them back into 'the community of nations.' Outlier States, the successor to Litwaks influential Regime Change: U.S. Strategy through the Prism of 9/11 (2007), explores this significant policy adjustment and raises questions about its feasibility and its possible consequences. Do international norms apply only to states external behavior, as it might relate, for example, to nuclear proliferation and terrorism, or do they matter no less for states internal behavior, as it might affect a populations human rights? What is the appropriate role for the United States in the process of reintegration? Americas military power remains unmatched, but can the nation any longer shape singlehandedly an increasingly multi-polar international system? What do the precedents set in Iraq and Libya teach us about how current outliers can be integrated into the international community? And perhaps most important, how should the United States respond if outlier regimes eschew integration as a threat to their survival and continue to augment their nuclear capabilities?

1. Outlier States and International Society
Policy Shifts in Washington
Power Shifts in the International System
The Anarchical Society Revisited
2. Pathways into the "Community of Nations"
The Assimilation of a Defeated Great Power
The Evolution of Revolutionary States
Regime Change from Without
Regime Change from Within
Assessment and Implications
3. Strategies to Contain, Engage, or Change
Sources of Outlier Conduct
Iraq: "Rogue" Rollback
Libya: U.S.-Assisted Regime Change
Assessment and Implications
4. Nuclear Outliers
Proliferation Dynamics and U.S. Policy
North Korea: A Failed State with Nuclear Weapons
Iran: A Nation or a Cause?
Living with Nuclear Outliers
Appendix: Excerpts from National Security Strategy Documents of September 2002 and May 2010

"This is an authoritative, substantive, and well-written account that will be essential reading for students, scholars, and the attentive public who wish to understand the problems of outlier states and the policy changes they represent."

Robert S. Litwak is vice president for scholars and director of International Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He is author of Regime Change: U.S. Strategy through the Prism of 9/11.