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War, States, and ContentionWar, States, and Contention

A Comparative Historical Study

Sidney Tarrow

Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Approximately 11.5 hours

Unabridged


Downloadable edition:

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Book published by Cornell University Press


For the last two decades, Sidney Tarrow has explored "contentious politics"—disruptions of the settled political order caused by social movements. These disruptions range from strikes and street protests to riots and civil disobedience to revolution. In War, States, and Contention, Tarrow shows how such movements sometimes trigger, animate, and guide the course of war and how they sometimes rise during war and in war's wake to change regimes or even overthrow states. Tarrow draws on evidence from historical and contemporary cases, including revolutionary France, the United States from the Civil War to the anti–Vietnam War movement, Italy after World War I, and the United States during the decade following 9/11.

In the twenty-first century, movements are becoming transnational, and globalization and internationalization are moving war beyond conflict between states. The radically new phenomenon is not that movements make war against states but that states make war against movements. Tarrow finds this an especially troublesome development in recent U.S. history. He argues that that the United States is in danger of abandoning the devotion to rights it had expanded through two centuries of struggle and that Americans are now institutionalizing as a “new normal” the abuse of rights in the name of national security. He expands this hypothesis to the global level through what he calls “the international state of emergency.”

Sidney Tarrow is Maxwell Upson Emeritus Professor of Government and Visiting Professor of Law at Cornell University. He is the author of many books, including most recently The Language of Contention: Revolutions in Words, 1688–2012 and Strangers at the Gates: Movements and States in Contentious Politics.

REVIEWS:

“With Sidney Tarrow's framework, we can ask how things might be different, what our limitations are, and what we can do to shape the future.”

—John R. Hall, Trajectories

“The analysis of contemporary U.S. political events will be of interest to those concerned about the recent abuses perpetrated by the U.S. government in the name of democracy and freedom. However, comparative-historical scholars everywhere will appreciate the breadth of Tarrow's theoretical vision and applaud his illumination of the knotty relationship between war, contentious politics, and civil rights.”

—Ann Hironaka, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“Here, a towering scholar of contentious politics links his long-standing concerns to the historical study of war and state making with powerful analytical results. Crossing boundaries of time, place, and disciplinary emphasis, this compelling book teaches many lessons about law and liberty, nationalism and globalization, democracy and emergency, protest and power.”

—Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time

“Sidney Tarrow has shown richly and persuasively the intimate connections between domestic contention and warfare—civil, interstate, and against transnational movements. War makes states, but so does internal contention, and the effects on democracy, especially on civil liberties, can be long-lasting and profound.”

—Robert O. Keohane, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, coeditor of Anti-Americanisms in World Politics

“Sidney Tarrow breaks important new ground by showing, from the French Revolution to the War on Terror, how in wartime the 'inside' of domestic contentious politics fundamentally shapes, and is shaped by, the ‘outside’ of international relations. This nuanced and impressively sweeping account makes clear that to understand the dynamics of war-making, one must simultaneously examine the internal domestic conflict of the state and civil society.”

—David Cole, Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University Law Center, coeditor of Secrecy, National Security and the Vindication of Constitutional Law

“In War, States, and Contention, Sidney Tarrow brings his unusual insight into social movements to war-making and state-building. The result is an intellectually ambitious and deeply passionate book that ranges widely across time and space, illuminating both common patterns and distinctive trajectories from the French Revolution to the War on Terror. It is a remarkable book.”

—Ronald R. Krebs, University of Minnesota, author of Fighting for Rights: Military Service and the Politics of Citizenship





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