Systems, Stability, and Statecraft: Essays on the International History of Modern Europe

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Few scholars have provided as much insight into the struggle of leaders, ideas, and policies as Paul W. Schroeder. Constantly challenging conventional views, and drawing upon a masterly command of the sources and literature, Schroeder provides new answers to old questions about international history and politics since the age of Napoleon. Were European international relations really driven by balance of power politics, or has that traditional view blinded us to an underlying normative consensus on the 'rules of the game' that frequently contributed to cooperation among the leading states in the system? Are alliances primarily a means of the aggregation of power against stronger states, or do states often use alliances as instruments of influence or control over their allies? Was World War I contingent upon a confluence of independent processes that intersected in 1914, or was it the product of more deeply-rooted and interconnected structural forces that pushed inevitably toward war? What is the role of moral judgment in historical investigation? Raising new questions and offering provocative new interpretations, Schroeder encourages historians and political scientists alike to reconsider their long-standing beliefs about the evolution and dynamics of modern diplomacy.