Ofer Israeli, Complex Effects of International Relations: Intended and Unintended Consequences of Intentional Human Actions in Middle East Conflicts (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2020
Identifies the many ways in which unexpected outcomes are endemic to international relations due to the complexity of world politics.
In this comprehensive and unique theory-practice study, Ofer Israeli examines complex effects of international relations relating to various indirect—intended and unintended—consequences of intentional human action. These effects may be desirable or undesirable, overt or covert, anticipated or surprising, foreseeable but unanticipated, and anticipated but simultaneously neglected or discounted. Israeli focuses on six case studies from the Middle East, analyzing the unexpected and accidental results of interventions in this region by the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western powers during the Cold War. From this research, he develops a complex-causal mechanism or practical tool that countries may use to implement foreign policy, with the goal of reducing the number of conflicts and wars globally, especially in the Middle East.
“An international relations theory stunner. Relying on key concepts of complexity theory and based on penetrating and comprehensive case studies focusing on the international politics of the Middle East, this exceptionally conceived and researched book is one of the most ambitious studies of dynamic complex international systems since Robert Jervis’s System Effects.” — Emanuel Adler, author of World Ordering: A Social Theory of Cognitive Evolution
“Statesmen make critical decisions amid intense pressure and daunting uncertainties. They almost always do so with incomplete information and uncertainty of outcomes. With these contingencies in mind, Ofer Israeli’s new book offers a welcome and provocative treatment of the intended and unintended consequences of human actions in Middle East conflicts.” — Robert J. Lieber, author of Retreat and Its Consequences: American Foreign Policy and the Problem of World Order
Ofer Israeli is a Lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a Senior Lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College. He also teaches at the Israel Defense Forces Academy for Strategic Commanders, the Israeli Air Force Academy, and the Israeli Naval Academy. His books include International Relations Theory of War.