Taming the Revisionist State: The Effects of Military Defeats on the War-Proneness of Germany vs. Iraq.

Benjamin Miller, Moran Mandelbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Why do some militarily defeated states become war-like, while others peaceful? We argue that one of the keys to answer this question is what we define as the state-to-nation balance, which refers to the degree of congruence between the division of the region into territorial states and the national aspirations and political identifications of the region’s peoples. Hence, external intervention, which strengthens the balance – namely, it brings about strong, functioning and nationally congruent states – will have stabilizing effects. Conversely, military defeats that exacerbate or even create an imbalance will have destabilizing consequences. In order to examine the theoretical argument, we compare Germany and Iraq in four milestones – post-World War I and post-World War II Germany, with post-1991 and post-2003 Iraq. The effects, however, vary greatly between the cases and within them. While the post-WWI peace settlements failed, post-WWII Germany and Europe became a role model for peacemaking. Post-1991 Iraq was partially contained by the great powers, while post-2003 Iraq is facing an ongoing and problematic attempt at stabilization of a failed state. This assessment will provide us with policy implications for relevant issues, while also contributing to the growing literature regarding post-conflict peace building.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIPSS Workshop on International Security and Political Economy
Place of PublicationMontreal
PublisherMcGill University
Number of pages50
StatePublished - 24 Sep 2010


  • IRAQ
  • EDUCATION & the military
  • WORLD War I
  • WORLD War II


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