Sarah E. Kreps

in Coalitions of Convenience

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753796
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827152 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to examine why powerful states such as the United States intervene multilaterally more often than not. When does the United States instead sidestep multilateral channels and intervene alone? When it sticks with multilateralism, how does it choose from the menu of multilateral institutions, whether a formal institution such as the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or an informal coalition of the willing? To answer those questions, this book looks at instances of American military intervention after the Cold War. The combination of theoretical and empirical analysis shows why multilateralism often prevails even for the one player on the field that counts. It clarifies why unilateralism is desirable in some cases but why these are exceptions. Finally, it spells out why multilateralism can take many forms and how lead states choose among them. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords: United States; multilateralism; NATO; intervention; UN; unilateralism

Chapter.  4744 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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