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Worse Than a Monolith by Thomas J. Christensen

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Chapter 1INTRODUCTION

It should seem obvious that the more united and organized one’s enemies, the worse one’s own lot. This book makes the counterintuitive assertion that this need not always be the case. Poor coordination, internal mistrust, and intramural rivalry in enemy alliances can be dangerous for one’s own side because such internal divisions make engaging in successful coercive diplomacy with those enemies more difficult. During all-out war—pure competitions of brute force—internal divisions and lack of coordination within the enemy camp are clearly to one’s advantage. But such wars are the exception, not the rule, in international security politics. More commonplace is coercive diplomacy—the use of threats and assurances in combination ...

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