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Appeasing Bankers


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Appeasing Bankers seamlessly combines historical, economic, and political analysis and adds much to our understanding of the domestic foundations of national security policy. Kirshner's logic is impeccable and his prose highly engaging. This book is a tremendous accomplishment. -- Louis W. Pauly, University of Toronto Appeasing Bankers makes a pathbreaking contribution to the study of conflict in international relations. With characteristic verve, Jonathan Kirshner argues that 'bankers dread war'--a comforting thought in an era of financial globalization. Historical case studies, explored with a meticulous attention to detail, persuasively demonstrate that financial interests tend to be among the most resistant of all societal elements to appeals for war or policies that risk war. This book is a must read for specialists in international relations or international political economy. -- Benjamin J. Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara Appeasing Bankers is beautifully written and a genuine pleasure to read. Kirshner artfully manages the difficult task of balancing rich and engaging historical detail with cogent analytic force. His arguments are original and important, and they are carefully supported by an array of primary and secondary sources. This book promises to become a classic of international political economy. -- Jacqueline Best, "University of Ottawa" This insightful, well-written book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of interest groups in foreign policy and the relation between economics and security in international politics. Kirshner finds a strong generalization--namely, that financial interests are cautious about war, more so than other interest groups, regardless of time period or country. It is rare in the study of politics to find an empirical regularity as deep-seated and significant as this one. -- Michael Mastanduno, Dartmouth College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix CHAPTER 1: What Does Finance Want? 1 CHAPTER 2: Ourselves Alone: Financial Opposition to the Spanish-American War 31 CHAPTER 3: Meet the New Boss: The Rise of the Military and the Defeat of Finance in Interwar Japan 58 CHAPTER 4: Interwar France: Your Money or Your Life 89 CHAPTER 5: "National Security Rests on the Dollar": The Early Cold War and Korea 122 CHAPTER 6: Taking One for the Team? Finance and the Falklands War 154 CHAPTER 7: Speculations: Finance, Power Politics, and Globalization 203 Index 227

About the Author

Jonathan Kirshner is professor of government at Cornell University.


Winner of the 2008 Best Book Award, International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association "The book is richly rewarding and full of insights into the behind the scenes power plays that lay behind the major, and far reaching, policy decisions reviewed through the five case studies."--Richard C. K. Burdekin, "Scholars have long debated the role of bankers and businesspeople in matters of war and peace. Some claim that states frequently go to war in search of markets and profits, whereas others see economic interests as the great constituency for peace. In this richly historical and wonderfully written book, Kirshner provides the definitive account of the policy preferences of the financial community in countries on the brink of hostilities."--Foreign Affairs "[T]his is a most stimulating book; attractively written, and demonstrating a thorough grasp of all the wide-ranging historical circumstances that it treats."--Forrest Capie, The International History Review "Appeasing Bankers is a must read for students and scholars of international finance. Kirshner provides evidence of the historically consistent and global regularity of the financial destructiveness of war, and a compelling case for the pacific preferences of bankers that should prompt further study of additional cases."--Anastasia Xenias, Political Science Quarterly "Kirshner's book is interesting as it avoids multifaceted liberal concepts but rather sticks to one key argument based on rich historical accounts. As such, this book should interest any student of globalization and any scholar questioning the role of bankers and financiers in war and peace."--Lars Seland Gomsrud, Journal of Peace Research "Kirshner is able to construct a well-theorised, thoroughly researched study on how the financial community reacts to the possibility of war. This in itself is no small feat, as it convincingly contradicts various theories that indict finance as the catalyst of Western imperialism."--Patrick Shea, Political Studies Review

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