Aftershocks
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Aftershocks : Great Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century

4.44 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Over the past century, democracy spread around the world in turbulent bursts of change, sweeping across national borders in dramatic cascades of revolution and reform. Aftershocks offers a new global-oriented explanation for this wavelike spread and retreat--not only of democracy but also of its twentieth-century rivals, fascism and communism. Seva Gunitsky argues that waves of regime change are driven by the aftermath of cataclysmic disruptions to the international system. These hegemonic shocks, marked by the sudden rise and fall of great powers, have been essential and often-neglected drivers of domestic transformations. Though rare and fleeting, they not only repeatedly alter the global hierarchy of powerful states but also create unique and powerful opportunities for sweeping national reforms--by triggering military impositions, swiftly changing the incentives of domestic actors, or transforming the basis of political legitimacy itself.
As a result, the evolution of modern regimes cannot be fully understood without examining the consequences of clashes between great powers, which repeatedly--and often unsuccessfully--sought to cajole, inspire, and intimidate other states into joining their camps.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 22.86mm | 454g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 23 line illus. 4 tables.
  • 069117234X
  • 9780691172347
  • 924,167

Back cover copy

"Ambitious and lucid, Aftershocks offers an alternative way to view twentieth-century global history, and is a book that belongs in the company of works by Gilpin and Ikenberry. In our own time of global power shifts, Gunitsky's fundamental claim--that hegemonic transitions explain the spread and contraction of democracy across entire regions--is vitally important and impossible to ignore."--John M. Owen IV, University of Virginia

"By delving into how international dynamics shape the spread of democracy and autocracy over time, Gunitsky presents a much-needed theoretical and empirical synthesis for anyone interested in international relations and domestic politics. As the world faces changing global powers and declining support for democracy, Gunitsky's book is essential reading with significant practical implications."--Susan D. Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

"Aftershocks examines the role of international factors in shaping the rise and fall of regime types. Contending that a regime cannot be understood in purely domestic terms, Gunitsky explores the nature of global influences and how they work. This book has a big historical sweep and is filled with well-chosen examples."--Peter Gourevitch, University of California, San Diego

"Aftershocks makes a strong and creative theoretical argument while providing a wide variety of convincing evidence. This is a really great book."--Jon Pevehouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations vii Preface and Acknowledgments ix 1 Introduction: A Century of Shocks and Waves 1 2 From Crests to Collapses: The Sources of Failure in Democratic Waves 33 3 The Alchemy of War 60 4 A Low Dishonest Decade 101 5 Two Ways of Life 152 6 The Winds from the East 198 7 Conclusion: Beyond the Great Plateau 231 Appendix 1: Regime Classifications, 1900-2000 245 Appendix 2: Regime Impositions 247 Bibliography 253 Index 279
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Review Text

"Aftershocks examines the role of international factors in shaping the rise and fall of regime types. Contending that a regime cannot be understood in purely domestic terms, Gunitsky explores the nature of global influences and how they work. This book has a big historical sweep and is filled with well-chosen examples." - Peter Gourevitch, University of California, San Diego
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Review quote

"One of Foreign Affairs Best of Books 2017 - Political and Legal / Globalization" "Aftershocks is a tour de force, traveling across the twentieth century, simultaneously providing a parsimonious theoretical map of the entire century's experience with democratic breakthroughs and breakdowns, while also remaining immersed in rich historical detail. . . . Gunitsky has given us a powerful lens to understand not only the past but the present as well."---Daniel Ziblatt, Perspectives on Politics "In this landmark study, Gunitsky . . . illuminates the deep connections between global shfits in power and waves of domestic regime change. . . . No book has made a stronger case that the fate of democracy is tied to the rise and fall of great powers and the leadership of liberal hegemonic states." * Foreign Affairs * "Highly recommended. . . . The conclusion is especially strong and provocative, speculating that though democracy has advantages that prevent crises from becoming so severe they threaten stability, autocratic capitalism may be a viable alternative if democracy fails to provide security and prosperity for its people." * Choice *
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About Seva Gunitsky

Seva Gunitsky is assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto.
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Rating details

9 ratings
4.44 out of 5 stars
5 67% (6)
4 22% (2)
3 0% (0)
2 11% (1)
1 0% (0)
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