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Vengeful Citizens, Violent States
A Theory of War and Revenge


  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108734493

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • From crusading in the Middle Ages to genocide in the twentieth century, from ancient blood feuds to modern urban riots, from tribal warfare to suicide terrorism, revenge has long been recognized as a root cause of violence in human societies. Developing a novel theory linking individual vengefulness to state behavior, Rachel M. Stein brings the study of revenge into the field of international relations. Stein argues that by employing strategically crafted rhetoric, leaders with highly vengeful populations can activate their citizens' desire for revenge and channel it into support for war, thereby loosening the constraint of democratic accountability and increasing their freedom to use military force as a tool of foreign policy. This book will change the way scholars think about how citizens form their opinions regarding the use of military force and about the role those opinions play in shaping when and how democracies go to war.

    • Develops a novel theory linking individual vengefulness to state behavior, which provides a new framework for thinking about how ordinary individuals matter in international relations
    • Demonstrates that attitudes towards war vary cross-nationally due to cultural differences in core values
    • Collects and synthesizes the diverse scholarly literature on revenge which challenges conventional wisdom and will provide both an inspiration and a resource for new work on revenge in other areas of political science research
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108734493
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Vengeful citizens, violent states: a theory of war and revenge
    3. Wrongs must be repaid: revenge as a core value
    4. Framing war as punishment: rhetoric, revenge and public support for war
    5. Dangerous democracies: cross-national variation in revenge and conflict initiation
    6. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Rachel M. Stein, George Washington University, Washington DC
    Rachel M. Stein is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, Washington DC.

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