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A Stability-Seeking Power: U.S. Foreign Policy and Secessionist Conflicts

Recent conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq, and Georgia have reminded the world that secessionist conflicts will continue to pose security challenges in the twenty-first century. While the United States has been reluctant to support independence movements within established nation-states, in practice it has recognized more secessionist states in the last twenty years than the previous fifty years of the Cold War. A Stability-Seeking Power provides key insights and analysis to explain this inconsistency.rnrnBy examining several cases of U.S. management of secessionist crises in the Balkans and Africa, Jonathan Paquin shows that American foreign policy occasionally recognizes breakaway states if it believes that supporting them will help re-establish regional stability. Analyzing examples of such situations reveals that even though US policy apparently favours stable international borders, Washington’s primary concern is not to maintain the status quo but rather to seek stability. An illuminating study of foreign policy, A Stability-Seeking Power will have broad implications for understanding U.S. involvement in international affairs, and assessing the security concerns that secessionist conflicts raise.

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