- The future in the past: Victory, defeat, and grand strategy in the US, UK, France and Germany
- Award date
- 27 January 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This book argues that victory and defeat in war shape the post-war grand strategies of states, specifically their use of military force and diplomacy. It focuses on the experiences of the belligerent states of the Second World War, and in particular on those of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. To explore the argument, the book utilises regression analysis, historical analysis, counterfactual thought experiments, content analysis of documents, and a series of fifty interviews with American, British, French, and German policymakers.
The findings show that victory increases the propensity of states to use force and decreases their propensity to use diplomacy, while defeat fosters the opposite. Experiences with war also shape the types of military capabilities and alliances that policymakers prefer, and their perception of threats. Finally, victory strengthens the legitimacy and influence of policymakers, while defeat constrains them, thereby reinforcing the lessons drawn from war.
Together, the three effects of victory and defeat establish enduring patterns of national strategic behaviour that continue to define transatlantic relations.
Thesis (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter one: Introduction (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter two: Legacies of war, origins of grand strategy (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter three: Victory, defeat, force, and diplomacy: Second World War belligerents 1946-2006 (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter four: Strategic beliefs, domestic relations: The United States and Germany (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter five: Strategic beliefs, domestic relations: The United Kingdom and France (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter six: The illusion of inevitability: Counterfactual thought experiments (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter seven: Content analysis of policy documents (1960 to 2010) (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter eight: Perpetual past: The use of history in policymaking (Embargo until 12 May 2019)
Chapter nine: The future past (Embargo until 12 May 2019)