Defensive Internationalism

Providing Public Goods in an Uncertain World
Davis B. Bobrow and Mark A. Boyer


In this pathbreaking study, authors Davis B. Bobrow and Mark A. Boyer argue for "muted optimism" about the future of international cooperation. Leaders of a growing movement that integrates constructivism into traditional international studies concepts and methods, Bobrow and Boyer analyze four key international issues: development cooperation, debt management, peacekeeping operations, and environmental affairs. Their approach integrates elements of public goods theory, identity theory, new institutionalism, and rational choice. Defensive Internationalism is a well-written, creative and coherent synthesis of ideas that have up to now been considered irreconcilable. It is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in international relations, conflict studies, and political economy, and promises to become a foundational work in its field.

Davis B. Bobrow is Professor of Public and International Affairs and Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mark A. Boyer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut.

Praise / Awards

  • “Global problems requiring cooperative solutions are multiplying rapidly in our time. Rejecting the pessimism that often characterizes serious debate on the prospects for systemic reform, Bobrow and Boyer raise our hopes for the future. Their realistic and convincing analysis of the challenges and constraints ahead rests on a rich and well-presented base of evidence. This exemplary, multi-dimensional book deserves a wide readership, both inside and outside the academy.”
    —Louis W. Pauly, Director, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto
  • "Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank, described the G7's summit meeting in 2004 as "reflecting everyone's consensus." This is quintessential defensive internationalism -- a huge contrast to the G5's plaza agreement in 1985. Bobrow and Boyer have done a great job thoroughly analyzing the G7's thoughts and actions with nuance and dexterity. A must read."
    —Takashi Inoguchi, University of Tokyo
  • "Through the application of public goods theory, Defensive Internationalism provides important insights on major global challenges involving foreign assistance, debt management, peacekeeping, and environmental preservation. The authors’ carefully crafted analysis will influence thought and the policy debate on the tradeoff between unilateralism and multilateralism for decades to come. Its muted optimism represents a refreshing change from other analyses."
    —Todd Sandler, University of Southern California
  • "This is an excellent book. Bobrow and Boyer’s goal of explaining why 'privileged' states contribute to global order is a critical issue and their 'club theory' answer is inventive and enlightening. So is their approach: a blending of rational choice and constructivist perspectives, solid empirical evidence, and the integration of international politics with domestic political issues. Reading their work is essential for understanding the future contours of international politics."
    —Tom Volgy, University of Arizona, and Director of the International Studies Association
  • "Boyer and Bobrow take on the daunting task of assessing the prospects for global order by surveying the attitudes toward and involvement of the major players. Their well-written, data-rich analysis of such pressing issues as development assistance, debt management, UN peacekeeping, and environmental protection makes Defensive Internationalism a highly original and provocative contribution to the study of global governance."
    —Yale H. Ferguson, Co-director, Center for Global Change & Governance, Rutgers University
  • "While never dismissing rationalist arguments about the costs and benefits of international cooperation, the authors suggest rationalist arguments are incomplete - the shared identities of a population and variance in beliefs and identities across the populations of different states help to account for variance in global giving."
    Perspectives on Politics

Look Inside

Copyright © 2005, Davis B. Bobrow and Mark A. Boyer. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 424pp.
  • 2 drawings, 55 tables, 23 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2004
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06879-1

Add to Cart
  • $44.95 U.S.

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