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ODU Professor Steve Yetiv is the Author of Two News Books on the Middle East

Old Dominion University political science professor Steve Yetiv, an expert on American foreign policy, global energy, globalization and international relations, explores the complex global geopolitical landscape of the Middle East in two new books.

In "Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-Making in the Gulf Wars," second edition, from Johns Hopkins University Press, Yetiv dissects the U.S.-led wars in 1991 and 2003, with the help of newly released declassified documents emphasizing the how and why of these conflicts. The book is now available at Johns Hopkins University Press and in outlets such as Amazon. His second work, "The Petroleum Triangle: Global Oil, Globalization and Transnational Terrorism" (Cornell University Press), scheduled for release this summer, explores how a relatively small group of terrorists has threatened global security.

The central argument of "The Petroleum Triangle" is that Al Qaeda (including its many affiliates) has developed into a real and perceived threat to global security and has been hard to eliminate due to a combination of factors and issues that have emerged from the Middle East oil and modern globalization eras. The book explores the causes of Al Qaeda terrorism, and the key effects of these eras. Yetiv also examines the extraordinary attention, money and power devoted to eliminating the Al Qaeda threat to national and global security.

Since its first printing in 2004, "Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-Making in the Gulf Wars" has served as an original academic work for the undergraduate and graduate classroom, and has been adopted by more than 30 schools across the country and internationally. Drawing on the widest set of primary sources to date - including a trove of recently declassified documents - and on interviews with key actors, Yetiv illuminates the decision-making process in the two Gulf wars in the book's second edition, developing theoretical notions about foreign policy.

According to Johns Hopkins University Press, Yetiv's methods include five key models: rational actor, cognitive, domestic politics, groupthink and bureaucratic politics. "What Yetiv discovers, in addition to original empirical evidence about U.S. decision making in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, is that no one approach provides the best explanation, but when all five are used, a fuller and more complete understanding emerges." Douglas A. Borer, professor at the Naval Post Graduate School, calls the book an important and timely contribution. "Rarely does one find a book that both thoroughly presents a theoretical framework and then actually tests that framework against reality by the rigorous use of history," said Borer.

Yetiv, a widely sought expert on the Middle East, has published articles in Security Studies, The British Journal of Political Science and The Middle East Journal. He is also the author of "Explaining Foreign Policy," "Crude Awakenings: Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy" and "The Absence of Grand Strategy: The United States and the Persian Gulf." Yetiv has served as a consultant to the Department of State, Department of Defense, General Accounting Office and CNN International. He appears regularly in the media and has published more than 250 opinion and editorial pieces.


This article was posted on: February 23, 2011

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