Can Intervention Work? by Rory Stewart

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Synopsis

Best-selling author Rory Stewart and political economist Gerald Knaus examine the impact of large-scale interventions, from Bosnia to Afghanistan.


“A fresh and critically important perspective on foreign interventions” (Washington Post), Can Intervention Work? distills Rory Stewart’s (author of The Places In Between) and Gerald Knaus’s remarkable firsthand experiences of political and military interventions into a potent examination of what we can and cannot achieve in a new era of nation building. As they delve into the massive, military-driven efforts in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the authors reveal each effort’s enormous consequences for international relations, human rights, and our understanding of state building. Stewart and Knaus parse carefully the philosophies that have informed interventionism—from neoconservative to liberal imperialist—and draw on their diverse experiences in the military, nongovernmental organizations, and the Iraqi provincial government to reveal what we can ultimately expect from large-scale interventions and how they might best realize positive change in the world. Author and columnist Fred Kaplan calls Can Intervention Work? “the most thorough examination of the subject [of intervention] that I’ve read in a while.”
 

About Rory Stewart

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Rory Stewart is a member of the British Parliament and the former Ryan Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School. Gerald Knaus, founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative, is a Carr Center Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School.
 
Published August 15, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 273 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Can Intervention Work?

Kirkus Reviews

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British Parliament member Stewart (The Places In Between, 2006, etc.) and Knaus, the founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative, are not opposed to intervention per se, but they argue that many of its premises, and certainly the implementation, are faulty.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

Publishers Weekly

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Stewart and Knaus convincingly argue for new approaches to understanding and executing political and military intervention in the modern world.

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

The Telegraph

“He told The New Yorker,” Stewart drily notes, “that contact on the ground was so important that he aimed to visit the region at least every other month.” Here is the key lesson that Stewart and Knaus seek to draw.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

Macleans

Stewart and Knaus grapple with the seminal question of modern international affairs: can intervention work?

Sep 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

The New Yorker

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Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

Artswrap

Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus distil their remarkable firsthand experiences of political and military interventions into a potent examination of what we can and cannot achieve in a new era of "nation building".

| Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

eInternational Relations

International policy-makers often “underestimate the intelligence and competence of local politicians and overlook their ability to compromise with their armed opponents.” (xxi) Both authors stress the importance for any successful intervention of working with local officials, not only to better...

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Can Intervention Work?

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