Rowman and Littlefield International
The Return of the State of War

The Return of the State of War

A Theoretical Analysis of Operation Iraqi Freedom

By Dario Battistella

Publication Date: Mar 2008

Pages 212

ECPR Press

Paperback 9780955248856
£30.00 €41.00 $46.00

On 18 March 2003, the United States attacked Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 16 January 1991, the US had attacked Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. The two wars were radically different. Whereas Operation Desert Storm had been launched with the hope that a new world order might emerge, Operation Iraqi Freedom signified the return of an imperial America unilaterally resorting to preventive warfare representative of a Hobbesian conception of international politics. Why did the promise of a privileged resort to peaceful inter-state conflict resolution implied during the first Gulf War give way to the explicit triumph of the 'might-is-right' principle during the second Gulf War? Is the shift in America's foreign behaviour but a mere parenthesis or potentially the first stage of a long term process likely to undermine the currently prevailing Lockean anarchy? This book aims to answer some of these questions.


Introduction: Operation Iraqi Freedom and the International Order 1

Part one: Towards an International Society 11

Chapter one: The Westphalian Equilibrium 15

Chapter two: The ‘British Concert’ 33

Chapter three: The American Order 51

Part two: From Lockean to Hobbesian Anarchy


Chapter four: From Rivalry to Enmity 73

Chapter five: From Just War to Preventive War 90

Chapter six: From Multilateralism to Unilateralism 109

Part three: A Proto–systemic War 129

Chapter seven: Security Dilemma and Opportunistic

Expansionism 133

Chapter eight: Domestic Politics and Sinister Imperialism


Chapter nine: Power Cycles and Hegemonic Decline 168

Conclusion: The Open Anarchy


Select Bibliography and Online Sources 191

Index 197

Dario Battistella is a professor of political science and international relations. He has been Visiting Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, the Université Laval in Québec, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of a handbook of international relations theory and a dictionary of international relations concepts, both in French. (Théories des relations internationales: http://www.pressesdesciencespo.dr/livre/?GCOI=27246100415280)

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