Joseph Nye

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Joseph Nye
The cure to misunderstanding history is to read more, not less.

Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. (born January 19, 1937) is an American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964. In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.

Sourced[edit]

Understanding International Conflicts - An Introduction to Theory and History (Sixth Edition)[edit]

  • The world at the beginning of the twenty-first century is a strange cocktail of continuity and change. Some aspects of international politics have not changed since Thucydides. There is a certain logic of hostility, a dilemma about security that goes with interstate politics. Alliances, balance of power, and choices in in policy between war and compromise have remained similar over the millennia.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 2
Some aspects of international politics have not changed since Thucydides.
  • I have found in my experience in government that I could ignore neither the age-old nor the brand-new dimensions of world politics.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 2
  • Any sense of global community is weak.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 4
  • Cooperation is difficult in the absence of communication.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 16
  • No one can tell the whole story of anything.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 19
  • The cure to misunderstanding history is to read more, not less.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 19
  • At some point, consequences matter.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 21
  • Anarchy means without government, but it does not necessarily mean chaos or total disorder.
    • Chapter 1, Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?, p. 23
  • The international system consists not only of states. The international political system is the pattern of relationships among the states.
    • Chapter 2, Origins of the Great Twentieth Century Conflicts, p. 34
  • Systems can create consequences not intended by any other of their constituent actors.
    • Chapter 2, Origins of the Great Twentieth Century Conflicts, p. 34
  • Humans sometimes make surprising choices, and human history is full of uncertainties.
    • Chapter 2, Origins of the Great Twentieth Century Conflicts, p. 51
  • Power, like love, is easier to experience than to define or measure.
    • Chapter 3, Balance of Power and World War I, p. 60
  • Power conversion is the capacity to convert potential power, as measured by resources, to realized power, as measured by the changed behavior of others.
    • Chapter 3, Balance of Power and World War I, p. 61
  • Some say precipitating events are like buses - they come along every ten minutes.
    • Chapter 3, Balance of Power and World War I, p. 77
  • Chamberlain's sins were not his intentions, but rather his ignorance and arrogance in failing to appraise the situation properly. And in that failure he was not alone.
    • Chapter 4, The Failure of Collective Security and World War II, p. 111
  • Some observers feel it is harder to change public opinion in democracies than it is to change policies in totalitarian countries.
    • Chapter 5, The Cold War, p. 125
  • The best hope for the future is to ask what is being determined as well as who determines it.
    • Chapter 6, Intervention, Institutions, and Regional and Ethnic Conflicts, p. 169
  • When words are both descriptive and prescriptive, thyey become political words used in struggles for power.
    • Chapter 6, Intervention, Institutions, and Regional and Ethnic Conflicts, p. 187
  • Some economists believe that the Great Depression of the 1930s was aggravated by bad monetary policy and lack of American leadership. Britain was too weak to maintain an open international economy, and the United States was not living up to its new responsibilities.
    • Chapter 7, Globalization and Interdependence, p. 218
If Thucydides were plopped down in the Middle East or East Asia, he would probably recognize the situation quite quickly.
  • Governments now have to share the stage with actors who can use information to enhance their soft power and press governments directly, or indirectly by mobilizing their publics.
    • Chapter 8, The Information Revolution and the Diffusion of Power, p. 246
  • Attention rather than information becomes the scarce resource, and those who can distinguish valuable information from the background clutter gain power.
    • Chapter 8, The Information Revolution and the Diffusion of Power, p. 252
  • The territorial state has not always existed in the past, so it need not necessarily exist in the future.
    • Chapter 9, A New World Order?, p. 262
  • Just as gunpowder and infantry penetrated and destroyed the medieval castle, so have nuclear missiles and the internet made the nation-state obsolete.
    • Chapter 9, A New World Order?, p. 265
  • If Thucydides were plopped down in the Middle East or East Asia, he would probably recognize the situation quite quickly.
    • Chapter 9, A New World Order?, p. 281
  • The bipolar world is over, but it not going to be replaced by a unipolar world empire that the United States controls alone. The world is already economically multipolar, and there will be a diffusion of power as the information revolution progresses, interdependence increases, and transnational actors become more important. The new world will not be neat, and you will have to live with that.
    • Chapter 9, A New World Order?, p. 282

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