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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $30.95

232 pp.
6.125" x 9.25"


Publication date:
February 2019

Imprint: OUP US

The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth

Michael Mandelbaum

In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth, the eminent foreign policy scholar Michael Mandelbaum examines that remarkable quarter century, describing how and why the peace was established and then fell apart. To be sure, wars took place in this era, but less frequently and on a far smaller scale than in previous periods. Mandelbaum argues that the widespread peace ended because three major countries - Vladimir Putin's Russia in Europe, Xi Jinping's China in East Asia, and the Shia clerics' Iran in the Middle East - put an end to it with aggressive nationalist policies aimed at overturning the prevailing political arrangements in their respective regions. The three had a common motive: their need to survive in a democratic age with their countries' prospects for economic growth uncertain.

Mandelbaum further argues that the key to the return of peace lies in the advent of genuine democracy, including free elections and the protection of religious, economic, and political liberty. Yet, since recent history has shown that democracy cannot be imposed from the outside, The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth has a dual message: while the world has a formula for peace, there is no way to ensure that all countries will embrace it.

Readership : General readers interested in Cold War politics, Eastern Europe, and peace studies; Foreign policy strategists, scholars of international relations and security studies.

1. Europe: The Lost Peace
The Blunder
From Yeltsin to Putin
The End of Peace
The New/Old Europe
2. East Asia: The Commercial Peace
Chinese Singularity
Chinese Revisionism
The Korean Conundrum
The New/Old East Asia
3. The Middle East: The Hegemonic Truce
The Bomb
The Arab Spring
The New/Old Middle East
4. Peace Regained?
Accident or Precedent?
Perpetual Peace?
Universal Democracy?

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Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the author of sixteen books, including Mission Failure (Oxford), The Ideas That Conquered the World, The Meaning of Sports, The Frugal Superpower, and That Used To Be Us (with Thomas L. Friedman).

Mission Failure - Michael Mandelbaum
Temptations of Power - Shadi Hamid
The Allure of Battle - Cathal J. Nolan

Special Features

  • Examines that singularly peaceful quarter century after the end of the Cold War in 1989.
  • Explains how conditions for peace faded away due to the autocratic policies of individual countries.
  • Explores prospects for the revival of peace in the future.