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The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru
National Efficacy Beliefs and the Making of Foreign Policy

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  • Date Published: December 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521193511

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  • Why do leaders sometimes challenge, rather than accept, the international structures that surround their states? In The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru, Andrew Kennedy answers this question through in-depth studies of Chinese foreign policy under Mao Zedong and Indian foreign policy under Jawaharlal Nehru. Drawing on international relations theory and psychological research, Kennedy offers a new theoretical explanation for bold leadership in foreign policy, one that stresses the beliefs that leaders develop about the “national efficacy” of their states. He shows how this approach illuminates several of Mao and Nehru's most important military and diplomatic decisions, drawing on archival evidence and primary source materials from China, India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. A rare blend of theoretical innovation and historical scholarship, The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru is a fascinating portrait of how foreign policy decisions are made.

    • Offers a novel theoretical perspective on why political leaders sometimes act with surprising boldness in foreign policy
    • Offers a historically rich account of Chinese foreign policy under Mao and Indian foreign policy under Nehru, drawing on newly discovered archival documents from China, India, the UK and the US
    • The only extant book that systematically and in detail compares the foreign policies of Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru
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    Reviews & endorsements

    The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru is the work of a gifted scholar, one knowledgeable of both Chinese and Indian foreign relations. Indeed, there are very few individuals working in the field of Asian security studies who have shown a comparable mastery of both countries. Moreover, Kennedy has broader aspirations than to simply study Chinese and Indian foreign policy, rather through his development of the concept of national efficacy beliefs he aims to speak to debates in international relations theory and security studies about fundamental aspects of international politics.” — Allen Carlson, Cornell University

    “Andrew Kennedy has written a terrific book that challenges the conventional wisdom about the constraints on leaders in international politics. By combining theoretical creativity with careful historical research, he demonstrates how Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru chose to pursue bold and risky strategies in their relations with other states. The result is persuasive study that advances international relations theory as well as our knowledge of Chinese and Indian foreign policy.” —M. Taylor Fravel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    “Andrew Kennedy has focused on a most unlikely comparison of the leadership styles and foreign policies of two twentieth-century Asian nationalists of extraordinary significance: Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Mao-Tse-Tung of the People’s Republic of China. Nehru was an aristocratic, Anglophilic, and erudite nationalist passionately committed to the principles of liberal democracy at home and in the world. Mao was a peasant revolutionary who ushered in a violent revolution and created a totalitarian state which presided over the deaths of millions through ill-conceived policies of social and economic transformation. Despite these obvious contrasts, both individuals sought to pursue significant foreign policy goals for their respective nations. Kennedy’s carefully researched, historically-grounded and theoretically supple work makes an important contribution to studies of both leadership and foreign policy.” — Sumit Ganguly, Indiana University, Bloomington

    “An insightful, well argued, and solidly documented re-interpretation of the psychology and foreign policy choices of Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru. Kennedy convincingly links the historical experience of India’s independence movement and China’s revolutionary upheaval to differing belief systems of Mao and Nehru, and then those beliefs to the foreign policy choices of the two leaders. He argues convincingly that India’s long and successful non-violent struggle for independence, and the victory of the Chinese revolution against seemingly overwhelming odds, gave rise to different beliefs about the efficacy of moral suasion and war, and that Nehru’s and Mao’s embrace of these varying world views deeply influenced those leaders management of their nation’s foreign relations. An important contribution to the study of the psychology of political leadership and comparative foreign policy.”—John Garver, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology

    “Why do some states favor combat, others conversation? In this meticulously researched, sensitively interpreted, and analytically commanding account of Mao and Nehru, Andrew Kennedy develops a striking argument, centered around the concept of ‘national efficacy.’ This is an exemplary study in comparative international history and international relations – rich in detail, clear in its argument, it highlights the critical importance of historical and political context in shaping the beliefs of leaders, and explaining state actions. For anyone interested in grasping the international outlooks of two states today poised to reshape the global order, this book is an essential starting point.”—Sunil Khilnani, Avantha Professor and Director, India Institute, King’s College London

    “This book is admirably clear and intelligible for students—I have already assigned it to our undergraduates—and is also a delight for those researchers who have wondered what the original sources say and how those kinds of decisions were reasoned and understood. This approach succeeds because of the special magnifying lens the author uses, closely contrasting two people who are, as Kennedy says, “usually studied in isolation.” The result takes the reader beyond the conventional historic limits of “China” and “India,” and is ground-breaking.” -Robert S. Anderson, Simon Fraser University, Pacific Affairs

    The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru: National Efficacy Beliefs and the Making of Foreign Policy is a useful enquiry into two Asian personalities who consciously or unwittingly shaped their respective inter-state relations in lasting ways…the author has indeed provided a new perspective on Mao and Nehru. Regardless of the book’s narrow focus in juxtaposing the two iconic leaders, Kennedy’s original conceptualization of their national efficacy provides a tool for researchers to assess political leaders, their policy platforms and the direction of their decision making. The theoretical conceptualization of moral and martial efficacy beliefs thereby has definitive utility in providing avenues for future research.” -Melissa M. Cyrill, Strategic Analysis

    “Kennedy is theoretically innovative and provides rich and detailed case studies based upon research in India, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His in-depth cases cannot be ignored by any scholar trying to understand Chinese and Indian foreign policy behavior under Mao and Nehru, respectively.” -Manjeet S. Pardesi, Indiana University, Perspectives on Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521193511
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. National efficacy beliefs and foreign policy
    Part I. Mao's China:
    3. Same revolution, different dreams
    4. Mao's adventure in Korea
    5. Persistent pugnacity
    Part II. Nehru's India:
    6. Gandhi's dissimilar disciples
    7. Nehru's misstep in Kashmir
    8. Determined diplomacy
    9. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Andrew Kennedy, Australian National University, Canberra
    Andrew Kennedy teaches international politics at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. He received his Ph.D. in 2007 from Harvard University, where his dissertation received the Edward M. Chase Award for the best dissertation on a subject related to world peace. He holds a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.S. summa cum laude in Psychology from Duke University. He has also held postdoctoral appointments at Princeton University and Harvard University. His work has appeared in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, The China Quarterly, Asian Survey, The Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor.

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