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Rethinking American Grand Strategy$
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Elizabeth Borgwardt, Christopher McKnight Nichols, and Andrew Preston

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190695668

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190695668.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

The Blob and the Mob

The Blob and the Mob

On Grand Strategy and Social Change

(p.49) 2 The Blob and the Mob
Rethinking American Grand Strategy

Beverly Gage

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores social movements as a new lens through which to approach grand strategy. Although grand strategists and social movement strategists often view each other as opposites, they have more to learn from each other—and more in common—than either group might think. Within the realm of strategic thought, there has long been significant intellectual overlap between military, political, and social-movement approaches. Far from standing apart from questions of war and peace, stability and instability, conflict and diplomacy, nearly every significant movement for social change has actively engaged these questions, including the real or potential use of violence. Around the world, still more radical movements, many of them at least nominally Marxist in orientation, produced vast literatures on the virtues and vices of revolutionary strategy, as well as the complex task of transforming members and leaders, after victory, from revolutionaries into statesmen. In modern Western democratic societies, social-change strategists tend to favor non-violent methods, but debates rage nonetheless.

Keywords:   social movements, grand strategy, grand strategists, social movement strategists, strategic thought, social change, revolutionary strategy, democratic societies, culture, social-change strategists

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