Is the world destined to suffer endless cycles of conflict and war? Can rival nations become partners and establish a lasting and stable peace? How Enemies Become Friends provides a bold and innovative account of how nations escape geopolitical competition and replace hostility with friendship. Through compelling analysis and rich historical examples that span the globe and range from the thirteenth century through the present, foreign policy expert Charles Kupchan explores how adversaries can transform enmity into amity—and he exposes prevalent myths about the causes of peace.
Kupchan contends that diplomatic engagement with rivals, far from being appeasement, is critical to rapprochement between adversaries. Diplomacy, not economic interdependence, is the currency of peace; concessions and strategic accommodation promote the mutual trust needed to build an international society. The nature of regimes matters much less than commonly thought: countries, including the United States, should deal with other states based on their foreign policy behavior rather than on whether they are democracies. Kupchan demonstrates that similar social orders and similar ethnicities, races, or religions help nations achieve stable peace. He considers many historical successes and failures, including the onset of friendship between the United States and Great Britain in the early twentieth century, the Concert of Europe, which preserved peace after 1815 but collapsed following revolutions in 1848, and the remarkably close partnership of the Soviet Union and China in the 1950s, which descended into open rivalry by the 1960s.
In a world where conflict among nations seems inescapable, How Enemies Become Friends offers critical insights for building lasting peace.
Awards and Recognition
- Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize
- Honorable Mention for the 2011 Arthur Ross Book Award, Council on Foreign Relations
Charles A. Kupchan is professor of international affairs at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served on the National Security Council during the Clinton presidency and is the author of The End of the American Era (Knopf).
"Kupchan's book is fascinating, thought provoking, and consequential."—Henry Kissinger
"Using historical studies of rapprochement, security community, and union as pillars for a stable world order in the twenty-first century, Charles Kupchan once again leapfrogs conventional foreign policy wisdom. He rightly foresees the elements of and a blueprint for a new global commons, one constructed of mutual interest. This is a mature work produced by a mature thinker."—Gary Hart, former U.S. Senator
"This is a work of admirable breadth and unusual interest. Combining an interesting theoretical framework with an extraordinarily diverse set of case studies, Kupchan has produced a lucid work that should be valued by both the academic and policymaking worlds in sorting out the relationships among classic diplomacy, democracy, and peace."—Anthony Lake, Georgetown University
"In this intellectual tour de force Charles Kupchan provides a theoretically ambitious, admirably eclectic, and empirically rich account of the different worlds of international relations that are normally studied in isolation: anarchy, rapprochement, security community, and union. Statecraft not regime attributes, and politics not economic interdependence, put enemies on the pathway to peace, starting with unilateral accommodation and ending with the generation of new narratives and identities. This is a big book in every sense of the word and a major scholarly achievement."—Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University
"Theoretically ambitious and historically audacious, How Enemies Become Friends is an invaluable and timely contribution to our understanding of the causes of war and peace. Grounded in international relations scholarship and informed by an intimate knowledge of the actual practice of international security, Kupchan's book deserves to be read by scholars and practitioners alike."—Michael Barnett, University of Minnesota
"This is an extremely ambitious book about a very important topic. It delivers through a well-crafted combination of theoretical innovation and detailed case studies. Kupchan offers a powerful and carefully assembled argument that will have a substantial impact on the field of international relations."—Daniel Deudney, Johns Hopkins University