Secular Morality and International Security

American and British Decisions about War
Maria Fanis
The impact of national moral standards on international diplomacy


Combining insights from cultural studies, gender studies, and social history, Maria Fanis shows the critical importance of national identity in decisions about war and peace. She challenges conventional approaches by demonstrating that domestic ethical codes influence perceptions of threat from abroad. With an in-depth study of U.S.-British relations in the first half of the nineteenth century, and with an application to the recent War in Iraq, she ties changes in U.S. and British national interest to shifts in these nations' domestic codes of morality.

Fanis's findings have important implications for contemporary international relations theory. Apart from its relevance to current events, her work also makes a contribution to the literatures on foreign policy—specifically American and British foreign policies—and the causes of war.

"[Fanis] demonstrates an impressive ability to travel nimbly between abstract theoretical concepts and a messy reality. In each one of the case study chapters, her analysis is rich, thoughtful, and imaginative."
—Ido Oren, University of Florida

Maria Fanis is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio University.

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Copyright © 2011, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 252pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2011
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11755-0

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  • $74.95 U.S.

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  • National identity, War, U.S.-British relations, National interest, Morality, War in Iraq, Foreign policy, U.S. Foreign Policy, British Foreign Policy, International Relations