A sound principle, but not a playbook

James B. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Security First: For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy, by Amitai Etzioni, offers a promising effort to transcend the sterile debate between realism and idealism in U.S. foreign policy by arguing that the pursuit of security is a precondition to the longer-term objective of promoting democracy and human rights. Although conceptually appealing as a way to prioritize among potentially competing objectives, the book struggles with thorny problems of implementation that plague real world policy makers, including how to deal with the nuclear threats posed by North Korea and Iran, how to improve counterterrorism cooperation by ambivalent partners like Pakistan and when to intervene in the case of failed states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1361
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • American FP
  • Democracy promotion
  • Diplomacy
  • Intervention
  • National interest
  • Use of force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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