Military Power and Democratic Transition

  • Robert J. Jackson
  • Philip Towle


Just as great wealth gives people freedom of choice and encourages them to hope that they can buy happiness, so great military power tempts strong states to believe that they can shape weaker states in their own image. In the nineteenth century the colonial powers tried to spread their civilization to Africa and Asia, but it was only later when the Asians and Africans found this cultural intrusion incompatible with their own civilizations that its ultimate effects, if any, could be seen. Similarly, for four decades after 1945 the Soviet Union was able to impose communist governments on Eastern Europe, a process that led to rebellions in 1956 and 1968. However, the overextension of its territorial control and the consequent strain on its resources contributed greatly to the Soviet Union’s collapse at the beginning of the 1990s. Since the Soviet demise, America’s leaders have come to believe that they can persuade states in the Middle East and elsewhere to adopt democracy, and are ready to consider the use of force against key states that resist their demands.


Foreign Policy Bush Administration Military Power Democratic Transition Colonial Power 
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Copyright information

© Robert J. Jackson and Philip Towle 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Jackson
    • 1
  • Philip Towle
    • 2
  1. 1.University of RedlandsUSA
  2. 2.Centre of International StudiesCambridge UniversityUK

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