Austin Carson - "Secret Wars" - John J. Mearsheimer

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Austin Carson

This is the first thorough exploration of the role of secrecy in war—not to keep things from the adversary, but to control the pressures for escalation and to collude with the adversary in order to keep a war limited. With important arguments and case studies, this excellent book offers new information and interpretations of facts. It will have a major impact.”—Robert Jervis, Columbia University
Austin Carson discusses Secret Wars: Covert Conflict in International Politics. He will be joined in conversation by John J. Mearsheimer. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
At the Co-op
RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)
About the book: Secret Wars is the first book to systematically analyze the ways powerful states covertly participate in foreign wars, showing a recurring pattern of such behavior stretching from World War I to U.S.-occupied Iraq. Investigating what governments keep secret during wars and why, Austin Carson argues that leaders maintain the secrecy of state involvement as a response to the persistent concern of limiting war. Keeping interventions “backstage” helps control escalation dynamics, insulating leaders from domestic pressures while communicating their interest in keeping a war contained.
About the author: Austin Carson is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the politics of secrecy and publicity in International Relations. His first book Secret Wars: Covert Conflict in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 2018), analyzes how outside powers covertly meddle in foreign conflicts and the ways conflict escalation gives rise to unexpected forms of secrecy. A second book project, in collaboration with Allison Carnegie (Columbia), assesses the role of intelligence and other forms of sensitive information in the operation of international organizations. In everything from trade disputes to clandestine nuclear proliferation, the book shows that international institutions are developing secrecy capabilities to allow their integration of sensitive information disclosures from governments. Dr. Carson received his Ph.D. from Ohio State, B.A. from Michigan State, and has held research fellowships at Princeton University's Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance and George Washington University's Institute for Security and Conflict Studies.
About the interlocutor: John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago.
Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637