International Politics 37: 345-368, September 2000 o 2000 Kluwer Law International.

Printed in the United States


Defeat, National in International

Humiliation, Politics

and the Revenge


Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

between national defeat, and the resultant humiliation and compulsion to revenge, constitute a critical understudied area of international relations. Recent historical illustrations abound: Russian after the Cold War, the Arabs, France after several defeats, Germany after World War I, Argentina, etc. The salience of this factor may also call for critical adjustments to realist and rational choice theories hinged on assumptions of rational behavior. There is no existing relevant scholarship directly on this subject. But there are some strands of the literature which, in combination, may form the basis for future research: general works on revenge, territorial irredentism, and military defeat; psychological studies of shame and “narcissistic rage;” and applications of concepts in the clinical psychology of individuals as possibly applied to nation-state aggregates.

Abstract. The complex relationships

Introduction One of the curiosities of contemporary international relations is that someof its presumably most important dimensions remain ignored or “understudied.” Most notable is the absence attention to the interconnection - on a comparative basisof between defeat (usually but not always military defeat), national (or other levels of identity) humiliation or shame,and the consequentand resultant quest for compensatory revenge.Whether this involves an outright “taboo” on the subject of revenge, as is actually claimed by SusanJacoby in a recent work, is a question to which we shallreturn.1 Further, whether this is the result of methodological or political bias, or just becausethesesubjectsappear to be un-measurablein an empirical sense, also is an interesting point of speculation. Whether or not subject to actual measurementor empirical research,this subject lends itself to an implicit model (See Figure 1 below). Amidst obvious complexity, and begging some definitional problems that will be addressedin the following analysis,the core of the model is fairly simple. It depicts a relationship between military defeat, the psychological absorption of such defeat by a collective body, subsequent widespreadand persistent shameand humiliation, and a resulting collective rageand an almost ineradicableneed for vengeance.The model allows for somevariants of “defeat,” for the nuanced distinction between deep psychological humiliation and “mere” revisionism, and the possibilities for alternative responses other than vengeance, withdrawal (acceptance)or internal revolution. i.e.

tt Figure 1: A Model of Defeat, Humiliation, and Revenge

Narcissistic injury, shame, humiliation, revisionism, lowered testosterone at individual level

/ -cl
Chronic collective narcissistic rage \ \ Cultural produce response differences variations in


Withdrawal or lnternrl revolution

Begs questions of long-term persistence

Humiliation, Revenge, and International Relations Theory Humiliation and revenge relate, directly or tangentially, to several important, even pivotal issues of international relations theory. Indeed, the accepted wisdom associated both with realist and liberal perspectives may confront questions arising from this analysis. Were revenge seen as a major component of international politics, foreign policy models based on assumptions of realism, rational choice or rationality, would be weakened as would notions that have been labeled “endism” and “the obsolescence of war.” In traditional realist or neo-realist models, in the tradition running from Hans Morgenthau to Kenneth Waltz and others, such psychological issues are simply submerged or altogether marginalized relative to those involving system structure and the security dilemma. Morgenthau’s brief nod to the concept of revisionism is the only exception - but, even then, his view of revisionism was absent any mass psychological component, and more or less coterminous with imperialism.2 For the most part, too, the realist scholarly tradition does not allow much for cultural differences in foreign-policy making - a topic to which I return later. Psychological factors such as humiliation and revenge at first blush would appear also to run against the grain of rational choice models with their built-in assumptions about value maximizing and a bias towards economic determinism. Or do they? Some rational choice scholars might claim, to the contrary, that vengeance can very easily fit within preference functions and that, indeed, there is nothing to preclude vengeance from being a dominant preference in some situations. They would claim, in other words, that vengeance is not necessarily “irrational,” even pathological, as assumed by psychiatrists and psychologists who deal with this subject.

a German-led European bloc. The role of the nation-state is said to be in decline. 7 If these trends are permanent. per Fukuyama. for instance. neo-mercantilist economic competition between a US-led Americas bloc. even unthinkable. fall under the colloquial labels of “endism” or “the obsolescence of war. in which ideological competition has defined international bloc rivalries. be less prone to collective fantasies about revenge. But.” which results from the “unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism” and “the exhaustion of viable systemic alternatives. is now seen to have come to a permanent end. the “democratic peace thesis” claims that. to the extent that analogies are drawn with the disappearance of slavery.10 Is the syndrome from shame and humiliation through collective narcissistic rage. . the long period dating back at least to the 1930s. then the old tradition of balance of power politics would be dead. nibbled at from above by international organizations and multinational corporations. a recent and frequently reviewed work by Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky dwells on the coming sharp bifurcation between “zones of peace” (peaceful economic competition between the major democracies. etc. in the modern zeitgeist.” And. or at least among some nation-states. democracies have not committed aggression against each other. Islamic . indeed. characterized the present period as one of a “concert of powers” similar to what transpired after the Napoleonic wars and World War I . to vengeance. singly or en bloc) and “zones of turmoil” (the assumption of looming chaos and neo-Malthusian disaster . an anachronism rooted in the family structures and cultures of less-thanfully modern societies. one finds the assumption that warfare among modern and relatively wealthy democracies has become anachronistic.6 Additionally. “the end of history as such. Richard Rosecrance has. 4 In their writings. But the jury is still out. by their very natures. and from below by increased regionalism and the strengthening of sub-national identities.9 “Endism” and the “obsolescence of war” are not without their critics. the humiliation/vengeance syndrome runs against the grain of theses that.poverty. modern consumer societies and/or democracies would. are coming to an end and. the revenge motif might be relegated to the developing world or to areas characterized by Singer and Wildavsky as “zones of turmoil.5 Further.) in the developing would be a good example? According to this thesis.the end of the Cold War (indisputable). “low politics” (trade competition) is said now permanently to have superseded anachronistic “high politics” (national security) as the central focus of competition among the major contending powers. by way of partial dissent.” The central point of “endism” is that “bad things are coming to an end. historically and with few exceptions. to the extent such concepts are prophetic. Replacing it is.a concert likely to break up and lead to a renewal of big power security rivalries.Defeat. AIDS.” Huntington sees endism as manifest at three levels . of which the Arab . accumulated humiliations in northern zones of peace are more likely to be worked out through economic competition (as with Japan and Germany) or conventional and nuclear arms sales (as France and China utilize). an image of the emerging international system that centers on a three-bloc. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 347 Most of all. In a related vein.or more broadly. for instance.“3 The related “obsolescence of war” thesis is closely associated with political scientist John Mueller and military historian John Keegan. and a Japan-led Asian bloc.8 Otherwise. the proposition that wars among nation-states. in practice and in theory. tribal warfare.

13 There are numerous other recent examples.Some writers have questionedwhether a permanent Arab-Israeli settlement is truly possible. raisesserious doubts about the sustainability of optimistic views on limiting war and conflict particularly in long-term conflicts and serial wars where somenations’ national pride hasbeen wounded. nominally. were in part of the victorious coalition..everyone was questioning themselvesafter the war.During the recent mini-war between Ecuador and Peru.12 Indeed. In such a case. and often expects. even if largely mythical. The New York Times cited an Arab sourceassaying: Tallal’sdepressionand subsequentturn toward a more fundamental belief in Islam after the 1967war is. one Ecuadorian journalist wasquoted assaying that “Ecuador is a nation wounded in its dignity.they kept asking what it was about our society.striking at the core of self-respect.” Immediately after the 1967 war..honor. not uncommon. Such a contrarian thesisallows for.. Such action was meant to relieve them of enough shame and humiliation to allow for making peace. provides a vivid portrayal of the workings of the related themesof humiliation and revenge with respectto France’slossof Alsace-Lorraine in the previous war with Germany in the early 1870s: . Harkavy The humiliation/revenge thesisthus raisesquestionsabout realism. in her work on the origins of World War I. what some might deem “irrational” national behavior basedmore on emotions than narrowly defined interests. In the latter case.rational choice theory and the basic tenets of liberalism applied to international relations. our culture. our political system that could pave the way for sucha defeat.” The subsequentlossof the war must have enhanced that Argentinean humiliation and need for vengeance. hasbeen noted. and pride. this is a classical historical theme. one designed to allow the Arabs a limited victory.It is a nation with a defeat complex. for instance. The Guns of August.“14The Argentine bid to take the Falklands/Malvinas islandsin 1982 was discussed the context of in historical grievance and national humiliation over foreign occupation of a “part of Argentina. Recent Historical Examples The importance of this subject is brought to mind via numerous analysesof the interminable Arab-Israeli conflict. Many people feel that the resurgenceof Islamic militancy in Egypt dates to that overwhelming defeat.15 Not all such examples are contemporary. and Morocco who. This rage may have beenheightened by Iraq’s humiliating defeat in the second Gulf War. Barbara Tuchman.given the Arabs’ deep rage over a succession humiliating of defeatsby Israel dating back to 1948.. Given the disparity in rival populations and the magnitude of the military defeats.the deep humiliation felt by Arabs over the lossto Israel of at leastfive wars... even among the masses Egypt. Syria.such loseshave been humiliating. the recognition of a linkage between suchhumiliation and the subsequent need for revenge prompted Henry Kissinger’s strategy at the outset of the 1973war.348 Robert E. by all accounts.

l8 One study of nuclear proliferation attributes French aggressiveness sellingweaponstechnology to a need for compensation in in relation to a long string of national defeats. With a US-Japanstruggle for global economic hegemony looming a few years ago.” ashighlighted in the title of one recent widely read book). whether old guard or republican.royalism.wasa primary. where one is reminded constantly of the roots of Serb bitternessand humiliation that originated with the Serbs’defeat by Ottoman Turks at KosovaPolje. denial and bypassingof shame.Defeat.”which he calls “a counsel of obsession. choked and dumb with emotion. Only many years later did Iranians begin. the Caucasus. some analystsquietly worried that Japan’s defeat in 1945 lay just under the surface (in what was. Others can be seenin Northern Ireland. Peruvian mountains. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpoli~ics 349 Through returning prosperity and growing empire. albeit rarely acknowledged.much of Iran’s animus was directed against the US or the West.” Sometimes.defeatscan be of a sort other than outright or easily identified military losses.or supra. strikes. think of it always. devastating Dreyfus Affair . In the aftermath of its defeat by Iraq in 1988. tribal or religious wars in the Third World.“16 Thomas Scheff quotes Gambetta’s legendary advice to the French about this defeat: “Speak of it never. These themes are almost omnipresent in discussionsof contemporary affairs. “On our return from those clandestineexpeditions our columns reformed. Kurdistan. sometimes.“17 also arguesthat France’ssense shameand He of loss. The one thing that held together all elements of the army.the sacredanger still glowed. Boulangism.we should not forget. The seemingly endlessspiral of defeat and revenge involved in the struggle between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi is but one of many examplesin connection with ethnic. and Afghanistan. a “war without mercy. they may not involve contests between nation-states or national identities.contributing causeof World War I. to mull over the reasons their defeat againstwhat normally would for have beenthought of asa weaker foe. 21 The current and much discussedIslamic rage againstthe West (perhapsyet to be expanded to a “clash of civilizations” b la Hunt- . Indeed.‘9 So common are these themes that they may not be dismissedeasily or entirely as excessive “psychologizing.was the mystique d’Alsace.A captain of infantry confessed 1912that he usedto lead the men of his comin pany in secretpatrols of two or three through the dark pines to the mountaintops where they could gaze down on Colmar. Some sub. and the culminating.And. especiallyin the army.from the Napoleonic wars to Algeria.national identities may be strong enough to provide the basis for collective shamerequiring vengeance.20 Not all casesof humiliation/revenge involve military lossesby nation-states. and with the Jasenovicconcentration camp in World War II. Jesuit or Freemason.the need for vengeancefollowing a defeat may be displacedon other objects. clericalism. The eyesof all were fixed on the blue line of the Vosges. through the perennial civil quarrels . publicly. the Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the caseof ex-Yugoslavia.and its needfor revenge.or time-delayed.

French Canada is a good example. Added to these momentous shifts was shame over losing the first war in Chechnya and shame produced by the need for Western economic aid.. plus retaliation. Harkavy ington) is obviously connected to a history of humiliation. Growing discussions about the role of national humiliation and revenge in Russia are also worth noting.i. usually accompanied by the prediction that the next century will be Asia’s century .*5 Thomas Scheff also underscores this point. frequency. revisionism and irredentism. On the other side of the equation are revenge and vengeance. of further humiliating the Cold War loser to the point that it may strike back and seek revenge. payback. one of the major Arab terrorists of the recent period utilized a nom deguerre that meant “father of revenge. In .350 Robert E. instead. defeat. Article after article in press coverage of the late 1990s into 2000 portrays Russian’s susceptibility to appeals rooted in the shame and humiliation of the loss of the Cold War and its status as a superpower.there is more than a hint of revenge in that. is my principal interest. French Canada psychologically confronts its own humiliation by military defeat in I759 . Rather. are humiliation. The meanings of defeat and loss would appear to be self-evident if we leave aside questions about the depths. with an arrow between them running from left to right. and constitute examples of the permanent effects of defeat. various esoteric (to an outsider) constitutional issues. stating that Hitler’s appeal lay in his public being in a chronic state of humiliation over Versailles. some fairly important nuances may be masked by these terms. That problem is not merely a matter of minority status within Canada. deemed by the Nazis responsible for Germany’s defeat and humiliation and. 22 Indeed. On the left side of this equation. centered on the perceived dilemma of security policy “practicalities” and a desire to push forward European integration versus what some see as the danger of “piling on” . and loss. perhaps. These are no mere quibbles. Visitors to the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem will see a vivid exhibition of German primary school books in the 1930s which focused on the theme of the dolchstoss (stab in the back) attributed to Jewish anti-war leftists towards the end of World War I.26 Some of the examples of humiliation/revenge are deeply rooted in past centuries.e.a defeat also associated with ethnic cleansing. the discussion of which can shed light on important causal relationships. defeat. or a desire for a more solidly rooted national identity. Much of that rage is openly couched in the rhetoric of revenge. much of the current policy debate in the US . Concepts and Definitions: From Humiliation to Revenge The causal nexus between humiliation and revenge. and other dimensions of such an occurrence.27 Indeed.” although most of the region’s nations (Mexico is an exception) have never suffered a military defeat at the hands of the US. shame. A bit of terminological and definitional confusion may surround these and related terms. culminating in Desert Storm. “tit for tat” and. 24 Latin America has long seethed with resentment of the Yanquis from the “Colossus of the North. and dominance by the West.particularly as pertains to the eastward extension of NATO . requiring revenge. so to speak.“*3 Asian leaders in recent years have hinted often at a psychological requirement for overturning centuries of humiliation rooted in racism as well as defeat and domination.

works that touch on the problem of national humiliation and revenge.” and “vindictive retaliation.” “ With great violence. but centered on ethnography and the geography of borders and largely devoid of related psychological content.” The term “with a vengeance” is noted here as reflective of the underlying force involved. mostly involving the study of lost wars. . In recent years. literary and psychological theme. legal. several major works have appeared which come at the subject from different angles.D@at.” and goes with “to reduce to a lower position in one’s own eyes or in the eyes of others. with vengeance at the one extreme and revenge close by. “Retaliation” does not appear to capture the meaning sought here. captures a deeply rooted and primordial rage associated with humiliating defeat.on identification theory. Convergent Strands of an Emergent Literature on Humiliation and Vengeance Several disparate and otherwise seemingly unconnected strands of social science literature are germane to the study of humiliation and revenge. religious. . however. Third one can identify several works on military defeat and misfortune. Two important works devoted explicitly to the concept of revenge as an historical.. involving shortterm or transitory matters. in the context of how nations adjust strategies and tactics after losing . Nevertheless. they provide the basis for a more serious look at the revenge motif in international relations. Two recent studies are a fourth touchstone within the social science literature on the nexus between personal and national identity .” Vengeance seems defined a little more strongly: “punishment inflicted in return for an injury or an offense. a split exists between an emphasis on domestic and family situations and two cases involving national shame and vengeance. . leaving a nation or other identity group seething in mass hatred. We must still confront a dearth of badly needed basic data. i.” and further refers to “disgrace” and “dishonor” or (in verb form) “to cover with reproach or ignominy. A second theme is evident in a major work on territorial irredentism. retribution . national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 351 defining humiliation. force and the like.wars. These books probe questions about collective .” The key definitional fragments for revenge are “to inflict harm or injury in return for. the analysis is more centered on the individual level and on criminal behavior than on the application to international relations. There may be a scale here.” Shame is defined as “a powerful emotion excited by consciousness of guilt. and daunting methodological problems that render truly empirical work in this area a difficult proposition. shortcoming or impropriety. Webster’s Dictionary employs cognates such as “humbling” and “mortification. require our attention.or winning . In the other. often. Together. in one case. various strands within expert literature can be discerned: . passionate or unrestrained revenge.e.” “to vindicate by avenging. devoid of much deep emotion (such as retaliating to the imposition of a tariff with one of your own). . . Vengeance. because it is more redolent of the “tit for tat” familiar in a game theoretical context.

the as sick vestige of a more primitive stageof human development. much of it years ago. raising the crucial issueof whether some peoples or nations may be abnormally prone to shameor humiliation . although the urge to retaliate may be universal. Sheaddresses the popular fascination with revengeexpressed literature. . focusedon the conceptsof “narcissisticrage” and “shame-rage cycles. Harkavy moodsand actionsand the extent to which one can legitimately utilize concepts applicable to individuals to gauge the behavior of national or other aggregates. a significant body of writing in psychiatry. past and present.Sleepers. noting that 17th Century revengethemesin English tragedieswould strike a familiar chord in connection with any number of contemporary works. Jacobyseems agreewith Karen Horney and others to the extent that vengeance to is discussed an archaic. patriotism. being largely devoted to the interplay of revenge and justice as an historical problem largely cast in legal and religious terms. . it makesonly occasional references to international relations. socio-psychologicalresearchand writing. has dealt with nationalism. Wild Justice. or historical tribal behavior. it is deemed . film and theater. group loyalty and the “wethey” phenomenon.“30 Indeed. A small literature on comparative political culture and comparative cultural psychiatry is a sixth strand. the Bible. although researchingsuch matters for large populations and in historical retrospective confronts obvious impediments.epitomizesher point. the problem of isomorphism and i.z8 in Works on Revenge work devoted explicSusanJacoby’swork.and hence to compulsions to vengeance . .“.352 Robert turn rooted in family and small group relations and patterns.e. Fifth. featuring Robert DeNiro .” claimed to underpin neurotic individual vengeance and vindictiveness. A late 1990sfilm that appearedmore than a decadeafter Jacoby’sbook . .. anthropomorphism. Jacoby reviews the historical record of the revenge motif as expressedin literary works and embeddedin legal systemsand associated codesof legal ethics in Ancient Greeceand Rome. and Europe sincethe Medieval period. referring to in “the popularity of revenge as a theme in modern massentertainment. Jacoby refers to the “semi-pornographic fascination” with revenge themes in literature and drama. Finally.“31Vindictiveness is seenas neurotic and. . is one extant social science itly to the study of revenge(Scheff’s is the other). Some recent work in sociobiology suggests seventh strand that a involves decreases testosteronelevelsafter individuals are defeatin ed in sports contestsor suffer a lossof social status. illegitimate and neurotic emotion and activity . Each of theseis discussed more detail below. 29As noted. .This raisesan intriguing question about the applicability of such patterns to nations in the aftermath of defeat.

respectively.” Such an emergence occurred “when issues of state formation and national awakening converged over the delineation of political boundaries. a virtual taboo exists on the subject of revenge. underlie the study of international conflict. a defacto taboo does. cultural. a number of case studies are provided: Alsace. linguistic. One has to do with “attempts by existing states to annex adjacent lands and the people who inhabit them in the name of historical. In a related vein. during the latter part of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth century. perhaps. religious. i.” a reference to Nazi revenge against the Jews as manifested in the Holocaust.indeed. however. Africa. First. And. the authors in this collection stress the sentimental and subjec- . One might argue that. otherwise. In domestic systems. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 353 unhealthy.33 This volume provides concepts and historical context of several “waves” of irredentism after its emergence as a “distinct process. she concedes that. during the decolonialization process after World War II. retributive systems. exhibit tension over the relative importance of people versus territory. one might speculate that the taboo Jacoby perceives in connection with domestic legal systems has been extended to the field of international relations. In summary. And. she says that “a taboo has been attached to the subject of revenge in a century that has witnessed the fearful union of mass vengeance with technology. she notes the paucity of literature on this subject in psychoanalysis. between symbolic and instrumental aspects of international relations. certainly in the modern world and even when compared to recent centuries. between politics and culture . Turkey. This would seem all the more so in view of the pervasive importance of the vengeance theme in Greek mythology.e. and. to the extent that “liberal” analysts project the normative illegitimacy of revenge onto the field. whereas Jacoby and others may decry the emotion and practice of revenge in domestic systems where courts may provide surrogate avengers of sorts. again.. and over the centrality of the nationstate which demands that territory be seen as a part of national heritage. indeed. and Africa in toto in the wake of the decolonialization process. In many but not all of these cases. defeat in war accompanying humiliation and striving for revenge all have been involved.except. and Asia. another view asserts that “intrinsic to the notion of irredentism is a tension between people and territory. although that discipline would appear clearly suited to the exploration and explanation of the theme of revenge.D@at. or geographic affinity? Alternatively.“34 Those waves have occurred. Several related definitions of irredentism exist. Jacoby makes some points interesting and germane for this discussion. after the Cold War in conflict-prone areas of the Middle East. the courts. are claimed to remove the burden of revenge from individuals. no such authorities exist in the anarchic international system . In the interstices of her analysis. the occasional war crimes tribunals such as Nuremberg and The Hague. In the Chazan volume.32 By extension. irredentism in Germany since 1945. the religiously inclined are advised to look to a higher authority to provide retribution. after World War I at the time of the Paris Peace Conference. Literature on Irredentism The recent publication of at least one major edited work on territorial irredentism by Naomi Chazan coincided with growing interest in ethnic politics. post-World War I boundary problems in Europe.“36 Such competing definitions.

particularly those that have to do with identity or identification theory.1967.“38 Generally speaking. likewise. Nagorno-Karabakh in the eyes of Armenians. Similar accounts have followed the progressionof the severalArab-Israeli wars. Iran’s feelings about Persian Gulf islandsevoke similar metaphors. For many Chinese. Chazan’svolume doesnot employ the languageconceptsof clinical psychology. which is an analysisof military failures. in the Middle East. a concrete symbol of their past defeats and humiliations.41 In it. to which we shall return.and World Wars I and II.humiliation. however.however. Eliot Cohen and John Gooch have written a book on Military Misfortunes. Americans have some difficulty in understanding the persistent obsession mainland China about the reincorpoof ration of Taiwan. 1973. irredentist claims on territory appear to be closely linked to heartfelt feelings of the nation’s physical mutilation.“is like a second skin around a group. first at the hands of the West in general. Israel’s existence is.Both of thesesituations of serial war are suffusedwith the themesof defeat. But the importance of the psychology of loss. perceived at all levels of Chinesesociety ashistorical dismemberment following from earlier defeats by Japan and. One recallsthe generalization in the military history literature that winners stand pat while losersreview their failures and innovate in the expectation of future conflicts. addresses problem of territorial lossand irrethe dentism. psychologically speaking. for many if not most Arabs.354 Robert E.“37 while another contributor dubs irredentism “the atavistic call of the wild of modern nationalism. they point out that one main reasonfor Israel’sseemingintelligence failure to predict the I973 Arab onslaught was a lack of empathy among Israel’sleadersfor the Egyptians’ and Syrians’ need to overcome past feelings of shameand damaged national honor. Iraq’s irredentist emotions about Kuwait. in a senseby the US. although not by the samephysical means. and numerous other cases. humiliation.” the piercing of which can causeunbearablemassanxiety. and vengeance.40 Lessons of Lost Wars Lossin war compelschangein military doctrine and strategy. and (at least asit is perceived) physical dismemberment. The psychology of revengeis little noticed. focused on group identity and self esteemand emerging from Eric Erickson’searlier pioneering work. The contribution on Turkey notes that “Pan-Turkism is evidently romantic and emotional. Some current examples underscore that point. This deeply wounded . the Taiwan problem is symbolic and expressive of past humiliations and defeat. Harkavy tive features of irredentism. Pakistan’s about Kashmir. and then by Israel after World War II. He avers that a physical border. a significant literature follows Germany and France through the Napoleonic Wars. in the late I94Os. Recently. the France-Prussianwar of the early I87Os. In both cases.sentiments at the heart of the humiliation and vengeancetheme. 1969-70. In particular.” which “recalls the instinctive urge of humans to define their territory in the sameway that animals do. which undertook to maintain Taiwan’sseparation from China at the outset of the Korean War.39 Likewise. is implied .Many of these casesare linked to historical memories of military defeat and national humiliation.and 1982. Volkan’swork.

Bloom further attacks what he calls the “individual-aggregate problematic.J2 More recently. Such a methodological issue is not new in the application of social-psychological concepts to foreign policy. Erik Erikson. attitude. who responded to the humiliation of their weapons in 1967 by introducing whole new classes of weapons into the conflict). first “having delineated certain attributes of the international system. George Herbert the mass national population of a state just such a theoretically coherent status.for instance. This raises the issue of anthropomorphism. Bloom avers that. and opinion .” was shown up as having little if any explanatory power and certainly no methodologically coherent internal logic45. academic integrity and intellectual credibility are severely strained.what he calls identification theory . somehow. the issue seems particularly difficult dealing with “irrational” states of mind involving vengeance. more than when “rational” behavior may be attributed. for whom the status quo was psychologically unbearable. E. in making statements such as “France declared war on England. David Singer.” He draws on an essay by J.along with such notions as “national honor:’ “national prestige. Bloom recognizes that the lack of any theoretical status for the mass national population became more apparent with the advent of the behavioral revolution in the study of international relations in the 1960s. he notes that.” drawing variously upon the works of Sigmund Freud. Further. Of course.said to interact .. or other collectivities. this issue has been addressed head-on in a full-length treatment by William Bloom.all pioneers in the application of psychological concepts to the study of international relations. and Otto Klineberg .personality. when preference scales are attributed to the nation-state. that issue can be raised in various contexts of international relations . Failure to take into account the revenge motif then became a prominent cause of intelligence failure (not only with respect to the Arabs.Defeat. but also the Soviets. devoted to a variety of key areas of international relations theory. But. the language of anthropomorphism in which nation-states as apparently coherent personalities acted and reacted on the international stage. Bloom engages in a lengthy exegesis of what he refers to as “identification theory. Indeed. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 355 sense had to be addressed even at the price of still another defeat for the Arabs. and that this strain “is due to the lack of theory which in a methodologically coherent way explicates the relationship between a mass national population and its state. Talcott Parsons. by making such statements. it was cited as a major obstacle to research and understanding long ago by S.. and Jurgen Habermas.46 in which Singer.43 In it.” proposes the use of three psychological variables . Individual and National Identity: The Issue of Anthropomorphism By far the most important and daunting methodological and conceptual problem in the study of national (rather than individual) vengeance is how to apply the conceptual baggage of individual or small group psychology to nation-states.’ an implication is made that entire populations have a joint attitude.“44 He looks to the possibility of a psychological theory . Perry. he notes. In particular. In what then becomes a lengthy and complicated analysis.” and “national character. Herbert Kelman.

“55 (The author is mum. I realize that I challengean article of faith of modern social science:that structure and processat the societal level are fundamentally different from those at the level of persons. Harkavy with the system. on the one hand. and the projection or aggregation of that problem to a more collective basis.‘151 Scheff.According to Heinz Kohut.“52 Narcissistic Ragein Psychiatric Literature Moving back to the specific subjectof humiliation and vengeance.Singeris then discussed quoted asfollows. It provides the link between.asDurkheim a field where realities are multilayered and compelling. Mack discusses “collective psychologicalforces in the study of the history” and “collective myths.“54Hence. culminating at the extremes to what the author sees as the neurotic and dangerousstate of “chronic narcissisticrage. admits that “in claiming an isomorphism between interpersonal and international relations. on the samewavelength. shame and humiliation aggregatedto the collectivity of the nation .“47 Bloom concludes that “there is no psychological theory which precisely explains how to argue coherently from the individual to aggregategroup or massbehavior.“48 and cites political psychologistssuch as Kelman and Fred Greenstein as“having been acutely aware of the need for a coherent psychological theory which could be applied so as to aggregatefrom the individual out to the group. by observing the distribution and configuration of individual psychologicalproperties. however.specifically. which explainspolitical integration and mobilization.“50 refers to “the difficult methodological He problem of finding a sound.and on the other.and vengeanceis his discussionof the work of Erik Erikson . this spectrum is seento run from “the deepestand most inflexible grudge of the paranoiac to the apparently fleeting rage reaction of the narcissisticallyvulnerable after a minor slight. Bloom’sanalysisis echoedby Harvard psychiatrist John Mack and by the sociologist Thomas Scheff. the clinical term “narcissistic rage” is most commonly used. Erikson’swork on the individual need to protect and enhanceego identity.providing a good sumand mary of the methodologicalissues involved: In other words I would hold that the aggregationof individual psychological properties provides a quite sufficient basefor describing the cultural properties of the larger social entity which is Xomprised of those individuals.“49 Particularly germaneto our central focus here on collective feelingsof humiliation. is a reality sui generis.356 Robert is noteworthy that in psychiatric literature.” He repeated further on that. conceptual balance among the relevant insights of individual and group psychology . aggressiveness and vengeance. and whether such a person could really cope in . 53this actually involves a spectrum describing relative degreesof such rage. shame.” and further notes that “there is no equivalent at a group or collective level to the superegorestraints which can operate at an individual level to curb hostile or violent impulses. on whether there really is such a thing as a narcissisticallyinvulnerable person. “The position taken here is that the cultural properties of any subnational. national or extranational system may be described in a strictly aggregativefashion.

“58 Anticipating one of our later-to-be discussed researchproblems. Humiliation. and which are guilt-oriented. it meansthe discovery by outsidersthat a given individual or group committed suchan act. Vengeance Kohut joins other psychiatrists and other social scientists by asking whether propensitiesto shameand humiliation. stresses collective myths.that in Arab termsshameis not defined asthe commissionof an act condemnedby the value system. Mack.61 Comparative Cultural Propensity to Shame. The psychiatrist H. he alsosuggests that the “narcissisticallyvulnerable individual respondsto actual (or anticipated) narcissistic injury either with shamefacedwithdrawal (flight) or with narcissistic rage (fight):‘59 beggingthe important question of why and when either of thesetwo alternative responses occur.”“ the accrued grief of the centuries. “narcissistic rage belongsto the larger psychologicalfield of aggression. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 357 most human environments.“56Chronic narcissisticrage is deemed “one of the most pernicious afflictions of the human psyche .Defeat. and this fear is so pervasive that Arab society has been labeled a shame-oriented one. “the pain of their histories. externalized and acted out. in disby cussing collective psychological forces in the study of history. in disconnectedvengeful actsor in a cunningly plotted vendetta. Hence there is an intenseconcern with and catering to outward appearancesand public opinion that many observers havenoted asbeing characteristicof the Arabs. and genderrelations.either. this is perceived as derived from deeply rooted cultural legaciesof family structure. child-rearing. and Scheff aswell.and on prestige asa codeword is for honor and the avoidanceof shame. for instance.63 . Binder actually refers to Egypt asa “shameculture. however.” one with a deeply rooted masstendency for conformity in relation to fear of shaming. however. This contrasts sharply with Judaism with WesternChristian societies. and the rise and fall of national self-esteem.62 Glidden applied this explicitly to the Arabs’ hitherto incapacity or unwillingnessto make peacewith Israel. characterized Arab societies as intensely suffused with propensities to shameand humiliation. and destructiveness.instead. Thesequestionsare addressed Mack. anger.“57 Kohut elaboratesin this context on the “metapsychologicalposition of shameand rage.brings shame. Volkan. It is to be noted. Glidden and the political scientistLeonard Binder (the latter writing about Egypt’s political culture in an edited volume devoted to the comparative aspects of that subject) have. or.absentthe psychiatric terminology of narcissisticrage: Failure to conform.”which he callsthe “two principal experiential and behavioral manifestations of disturbed narcissistic equilibrium. In some writings.may be more strongly evidenced in somecultures than in others. just asthey may be more strongly evidenced in some individuals within thesecultures.” and notes. Shameis intenselyfeared among the Arabs.60Scheff’s emphasis on unacknowledgedor bypassedshame. as grudge and spite. in its still endogenousand preliminary form.) Thosein the grip of a narcissisticrage are said to “show total lack of empathy towards the defender.” the problem of historical grievances.and hence to vengefulness. and to narcissisticrage.W. in this regard.

. apparently.67 Glidden relates this analysisto the matter of vengeance. and clients are bound to help him advance his interests and to defend him unquestioningly againstoutsideforcesand agencies.. asfollows: Conformity brings honor and social prestige. defeat does not generatea desire for peace.and it alsoensuresfor the individual and his group a secureplace in society. “ingroup solidarity. this ingroup solidarity is said to demand a high degreeof conformity and “therefore imparts a strong authoritarian tone to Arab culture and society. Kohut. to more “modern” or “liberal” or “democratic” cultures. the other membersof his ingroup and its allies .” In that connection. He statesthat “for the Arabs. refers to the propensity the toward narcissisticrage in the Japanese.but not when they detect an insult or a discussing work of Ruth Benedict. regarding the issueof anthropomorphism.“e4 Benedict doesnot. i. collective shame and humiliation. The consequences shameare thereof fore much more widespread and complex than in Westernculture. posits a causal relationship between family and tribal structures.As long as the individual conforms. or to thosewith a history of successful diplomatic and military endeavors? Glidden’s article. the requirement for revengeagainstthe Jewsfor the history of Arab defeat.” Benedict is quoted as noting that in Japan.and this needis deepened rather than attenuated by each successive defeat.“@jFurther.65He posits. those of cultures or nations deemed relaat tively lessinclined to collective narcissisticrage and vengeful behavior.specifically.. culturally basedvalue systems. Why is this fear of shameso powerful among the Arabs?Shame destroys one of the key elementsin the Arab prestige system: the ability to attract followersand clients. Might this apply.“68With referenceto Bloom. attempt to project theseclaimed national attributes from the individual to the collective level much lessto national behavior.. it is not possiblefor the individual Arab . attributed to their methods of child-rearing through ridicule and the threat of ostracism and “to the sociocultural importance which maintaining decorum has in Japan.. Seeminglymissingin the literature is a discussionof cases the other end of the extreme.358 Robert E.They are roused to theseaggressions when their principles or their freedom is (sic) challenged. Glidden refers to the prevalence of an other-directed personality in Arab culture. and the compulsion to revenge.e.instead it produces an emotional need for revenge. (Arab society is and alwayshas beenbasedon a systemof client-patron relationships.. said to be characteristic both of Arab tradition and of the outlook of Islam. almost alone in the literature. stemmingoriginally from Arab tribal values. “sometimespeople explode in the most aggressive acts. for instance.and not an individual-based one.)Sinceamong the Arabs the identification betweenthe individual and the group is far closerthan it is in the West (indeed. He then proceedsto discussthe role of shameand conformity in Arab society.. it may be saidthat the group is the individual’s alter ego). meanwhile. Glidden suggests that “the first thing to note is that sincethe Arab value systemis a group. et probably the most salientcharacteristic of the mechanics of Arab society. Harkavy Numerous writers on the interminable civil war still raging in Afghanistan have observedthe deeply embeddedAfghan cultural traditions of retaliation and revenge.

The US collective psyche lacks a strong shame component. for example. or the alternations between “hot streaks” and slumps on the part of baseball players. Ireland. given that Iran’s defeat in 1988 involved the large-scale use of chemical weapons against the Iranian army? What about Pakistan’s compulsion for revenge against India. if not outright revenge. But. individual and collective images of others. who dwells on the extent to which groups and nations provide security and safety as well as status and prestige in return for loyalty and commitment. This approach has ramifications for the role of attachments. Pearl Harbor probably caused more shock than shame. also requiring a kind of psychological vindication. Chechnya or.Defeat. in his Psychohistory of Zionism -has characterized Israeli bravado and machismo as a function of the humiliation of the Holocaust. this is further claimed to explain. the denigration of outside groups.T3 This refers back to Mazur’s “biosocial theory of status. recent work in sociobiology has measured declines in testosterone levels suffered by individuals after athletic defeats such as tennis and chess. or as a result of loss of social status.T4 Winning raises testosterone levels.” which hypothesizes a feedback loop between an individual’s testosterone level and his or her assertiveness in attempting to achieve or maintain interpersonal status or dominance rank. What. Even Vietnam was a mere pinprick. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 359 states to dissociate themselves from the Arab collectivity any more than the individual can dissociate himself from his clan. one wonders about its more genera1 applicability. ingroup versus out-group loyalties. what is the applicability to Bosnia. even the social scientists among them. Whether such phenomena could be attributed or applied to international politics and victory or defeat in war may be far from trivial. given the backdrop of the 1971 defeat that led to the creation of Bangladesh? Further. among others.71 Americans.72 Sociobiological Research and Socio-Psychological Literature on Nationalism Approaching this subject from different disciplines and a different level of analysis. the role of reference groups in enhancing individuals’ self-esteem. Americans have been spared this kind of deep national trauma. and they may not easily understand it elsewhere. one writer . overall. and collective shame could easily be assuaged by the knowledge that the North Vietnamese could easily have been beaten by an all-out effort. an extensive social-psychological literature on the roots of nationalism has long focused on individuals and small interacting groups. but it did give rise to a vengeful response. for that matter. does it tell us about the future of Iranian need to extract vengeance against Iraq.“@ Hence. and negative self-identities. he concludes that all Arabs and their governments are driven “to eliminate the shame that had been visited on them and the other Arabs by their defeats by IsraeL”70 Because Glidden’s analysis is near sui generis in the literature. Japan or Peru? And. losing decreases it. often involving laboratory experiments and surveys of college students. . may less easily comprehend these problems. Finally. in a reversal of the standard analysis of humiliation and vengeance in the Middle East. perhaps to situations involving Arabs and/or Islam. national and group identities in cognitive development. in part athletic winning or losing streaks. This literature has been surveyed by Daniel Druckman.Jay Gonen. particularly with respect to its focus on revenge.

. such research would require native country specialists. could this subject further be subjected to empirical analysis. And. The literatures on nationalism (Druckman. and historical data would be acquired only with great difficulty since subjects (people) are gone and. Perry.75 Relationships Among Disparate Strands of Analysis The foregoing seven or eight somewhat disparate strands of literature and analysis. pointing the way to further research. Tying this all together. Psychological analysis as pioneered by Robert Lane in New Haven might be particularly appropriate here as objective responses in such a sensitive and threatening area might be difficult to obtain. then. and does not reveal small-group relationships involved in defeat. at the nation-state level. al. and narcissistic personalities (Kohut. This subject would require individual level analysis via survey research in nations defeated at war. al. however. even for wars a decade or two old.e. do they combine to inform scholars intent on moving the subject forward to more empirical analysis? That is not easily answered. Literature on the comparative cultural aspects (Glidden. and those attributed to a nation via its elite. treating the nation-state as a unitary actor with imputed psychological characteristics. the topic has become stale. al. particularly because the variety of defeat may be the underlying cause of shame or humiliation. et. How. i. bio-social status (Mazur. primarily the former. How Could this Subject be Researched? How. al. et. Harkavy rivalries. laid out separately. if only implicitly. shame. lies in finding a way to bridge the levels of analysis problem all too familiar in international relations.) is directed. and revenge. Jacoby). Just looking at the various types and levels of loss and defeat may help us to assemble questions that may act as a guide to research in this area. The literatures on revenge (Scheff. Druckman seems focused on symmetrical research that analyzes the asymmetrical humiliation.76 Content analysis of statements by leaders or of the press in relevant nations would be very valuable in contemporary analyses of historical cases.) and on irredentism (Chazan) and on lost wars (Cohen) involve aspects both at the national and systemic levels. The key.. focused on the issue of anthropomorphism (Bloom. perhaps with time series analysis to gauge the progression of vengeful attitudes at intervals beyond war’s end.360 Robert E. to move beyond the merely heuristic? No database exists.) are obviously focused on the individual level of analysis. humiliation. at comparative national behavior. the works on individual and national identity. but here the bridge would have to be established between public or mass attitudes. et. may have heuristic utility. et al). in most cases with requisite language skills and an ability to interpret country-specific attitudes. in a theoretical or conceptual sense. et. then. and vengeance may be fairly complex.) attempt to provide a bridge over this conceptual divide. A Research Format for the Study of Humiliation/Revenge The relationship between shame.

even by Western military experts. the 1871 loss of Alsace and Lorraine. we may be talking about an actual military defeat or a functional equivalent. was to produce high levels of shame.” i.which at least minimizes shame. to have been superior to allied armies on a man-to-man basis. all the worse at the hands of a people that historically had been considered inept in military matters. some situations of territorial irredentism may also not so easily be related to military defeat. Egypt and Syria in 1967 and 1973. some level of frustration. Versailles. Argentina’s defeat in 1982 was . Germany in both world wars may be cited as examples of clear-cut military defeat. One recent article. Volkan’s work suggests the need for further attention to what he refers to as “chosen traumas. above all the 1967 war.78 For Greek Cypriots.e. They were ultimately defeated in long and hotly contested wars by overwhelming numerical superiority on the part of their foes. portrayed the vivid symbolry involved in the memory of the Opium Wars and the humiliation by the British (representing the West) as long ago as 1848. for the Germans. Or. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 361 As noted above.a kind of “moral victory” . For the Serbs. Further. Argentina in 1982. 7’ In the case of Iraq in 1991. Otherwise. Particularly in 1967. at least in part. it is Kosova over 600 years ago. may have been equivalent to that upon an underdog football team that plays a good game and comes close to an upset . The Arabs in 1967 and Iraq in 1991 suffered overwhelming. The extent or depth or type of defeat may be very important in determining the level of resulting humiliation. Some military defeats might leave the defeated side’s honor at least partially intact. might reveal the roots and depths of historical national humiliations.Dejzat. there is some evidence that this shame was shared on the ‘Arab street” even in some countries that nominally were part of the US-led victorious coalition. In both cases. a defeat was absorbed by the side that had an overwhelming numerical advantage as well as asymmetrical levels of international support and weapons supply.. Iran in 1988. later. humiliating defeats of the kind that produces lasting shame. before-the-war boastfulness (enemies were going to drown in their own blood) was followed by almost comic-opera levels of military performance.” either via survey research or in-depth interviews.79 Research on such “chosen traumas. the Soviet Union as represented by Russia suffered a non-military defeat at the end of the Cold War. earlier for the French. It is that combination of factors that led to the shame and vengeance syndrome so well described by Glidden. But even here. psychologically speaking. there may be important distinctions. widely interpreted throughout the world as something akin to cowardice that. in discussing the growing anti-Americanism of Chinese youth. as noted. and. But the psychological impact. may suffer from various levels of shame and humiliation related to long-term subjugation that may or may not so easily be related to discrete and identifiable military defeats. powerful historical memories or images associated with major defeats and humiliations. subsequently. although they may have come to represent. numerous ex-colonial peoples. Both the German and Japanese armies in World War II were widely adjudged. various levels of dismemberment and territorial mutilation. for the Arabs. this means the defeat in 1974. with consequences in the areas of shame and humiliation. as previously noted. There is a spectrum here. now independent. with resulting narcissistic injury to the Russian people that is now becoming apparent. or at least.

would appear to be another case where there is sufficient hope for a turnaround to produce a response of revenge. 81 Even in a situation where an overwhelming defeat had been absorbed. by most people’s calculations. account for the behavior of the Arabs throughout the conflict with Israel. the Arabs. Pakistan has been bested. defeat and humiliation may become cumulative. Iraq all lost wars they had begun. that the narcissistically vulnerable individual responds to actual (or anticipated) narcissistic injury either with shamefaced withdrawal (flight) or with narcissistic rage (fight). Further. Germany after World War II. or one where it has been the victim of aggression. There is another hypothesis worth noting in this regard. in three conflicts with India. to one degree or another. and would have been I” defeated by Germany in 1914 if it had to go it alone. though only the last of these was decisive. Harkavy similar to that of the Arabs in 1967 . certainly nothing about which to feel ashamed.and hence its compulsion to revenge has resulted from serial defeats may be important. This may. having to do with nations losing wars they had expected to win. most importantly. even if preceded by numerous intermediate defeats. on the other hand. more likely. may be all the greater. 80 Implied in Kohut’s statement is the idea that these responses are somewhat optional. few manifestations of vengefulness have appeared. even to win easily. Whether the humiliation of the defeated . Of course. Whether a nation loses a war that it has started. may also be important. or combinations in which Germans wer involved. shameful embarrassment after a big rhetorical buildup. in 1870 and 1940. not withdrawal. at least on the surface. Pakistan. apathetic and submissive. with reference to an individual. others would argue that guilt over the Holocaust and Germany’s broader role during the Nazi period might have precluded that type of response. or that given individuals might respond to the same level of humiliation with either response. the factor of surprise may be important. Kohut has stated. France went down against Germany. But. notwithstanding difficulty in defining aggressors and victims in war. The Arabs were defeated by Israel in multiple wars without a compensating victory. Germany. for instance. His view was that a person or nation undergoing an overwhelming defeat where. and the shame of losing such a war (presumably begun with the expectation of success). Japan. Pakistan may have been left with a feeling that it had fought well. in discussions of this matter with the late Harold Lasswell. The factor of social distance between foes. whether randomly distributed or. the point is. hence.362 Robert E. where all signs of the humiliation/vengeance syndrome appear to be in play.82 Post-Cold War Russia. in addition. Hence. during the whole of which time they have felt that their numerical superiority would some day be translated into victory. in 1965. Years ago. fought a larger foe to a near stand-still. as a function of personality structure. might be cited as a case where there must have appeared almost no hope for winning another round against what now would be. the presence of reasonable hope for a comeback and reversal means vengefulness is likely to be a normal psychological response. would likely become withdrawn. even though defeat may have been looming at the close of the war.a horrendous. he provided another possibility. there did not appear any reasonable chance of ever getting retribution or revenge. and/or the degree of hatred or condescension involved may also be a factor in determining the level of shame and humili- . nuclear-armed foes such as Russia and the US.

at least to the point where it no longer requires a vengeful response? And.85 Some have pointed to the connection between the Soviets’ debacle in Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the regime. absent in the European wars of this century and also the Cold War. for instance. even if well short of a revolutionary situation. the question of the conduct of Islam in defeat is regarded as an anomaly and is almost totally ignored. Germany and Russia after World War I. just as they were. of course. the magnitude and the level of embarrassment of defeat? In the case of the Arabs’ narcissistic rage vis-a-vis Israel. and between peoples of vastly different cultures as well as races.Defeat. relatively speaking. Those few jurists who did deal with it maintained that the battle would be resumed no matter how long the Muslims had to wait. as all students of the Near East are aware. posits an alternative view in discussing Latin America and the concept of “xenocentrism:‘87 or. Glidden sees an almost open-ended time frame. in the period after its defeat by India in 1971. there is the long-standing generalization that internal revolutions tend to follow military defeats. according to Glidden: As for the element of time. negative self-identify was also discussed by Volkan in the context of masochism and the turning of aggression inward in anticipation of further danger and humiliation. Various wars may be compared to what John Dower called the US-Japan Pacific War: a “war without mercy. we have surmised a rough equivalence. Burrows and Windrem describe the public hero worship .83 These factors may be present in the Arab-Israeli conflict.” There are vendettas among the Arabs that have lasted for centuries. the situation in which dependent countries under-value themselves and over-value their dominators. This may. there is the factor of time. the psychological effects notwithstanding. and many others. Druckman. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 363 ation that follows defeat. That thesis has been applied to France after its defeat in the French and Indian wars in the 176Os. some have also pointed to the connection between America’s debacle in Vietnam and the accompanying domestic disarray. Argentina after the Falklands War. For instance. for instance. between defeat in wars and resulting humiliation. however. Finally. which may be related to some of the cultural factors discussed above. Hence. The vengeance factor may or may not vary accordingly. and humiliation derived from colonial domination and racial oppression as per Franz Fanon. How long does it take before shame and humiliation associated with a defeat fades away. Heretofore.84 The impact of defeat in war and the accompanying humiliation may be examined in some related contexts. be a merely pragmatic response to defeat.89 Ditto Iran after its defeat in 1988 in which it was on the receiving end of chemical weapons. Such an inward-turning.” with obvious racial overtones. Indeed. which to them is an integral part of what they conceive of as “‘justice. In Islamic law.88 One major recent work has pointed to a possible connection between defeat and the need for revenge as a driving force behind nuclear proliferation. Concerning Pakistan. psychologically speaking. the Arabs consider it to be of little account in the quest for vengeance. India appears to have reacted to its defeat by China in 1962 with a drive towards nuclear weapons. how does that relate to.

1981). 2 (1992). 12. 1992). Khan.Q.” Foreign Affairs. 5. “Egypt and the Gulf Crisis: Short-Term Tremor. 1989). “A New Concert of Powers. 1975). the in humiliation and revengepath demandsfurther scrutiny. The Real World Order (Chatham. pp. and a virtual taboo on discussions revenge in modern liberal of societies.“Threats and Capacities. and Edward S. 71. and America (New York: Morrow. See Gil Carl Alroy. the media . such efforts risk being branded as merely “intuitive” or “anecdotal” to the extent solid. No.Some survey data might be compiled. 1961). 1993). Jeffrey Garten. No. Politics AmongNations.problems of anthropomorphism and isomorphism. 1992). Greenberg. Vol. No. 341-363. “The Rise of the Region interviews might be assayed. ‘r Cold Peace (New York: Times Books. 6. 13. 3 (1991). Keichi Ohmae. 3. 2 (1993). 14.g0 Summary The relationship betweennational defeat. survey research. Bruce M. 1993).” in John O’Loughlin.PP. Europe. A History of Warfare (New York: Knopf.conflict data. and revengeis crucial to an understanding of international relations. Harkavy devoted to scientist A. Edward ttwak. Vol. See also Daniel Nelson.Vol. 1993). 125-131.364 Robert E. pp. 4 (1997). Al. The Endangered American Dream (New York: Simon and the very heart of most war and peaceissues the contemporary world. “father” of the Pakistani bomb.” The New York Times (October 27. Russett. or Quite probably. “No Exit: The Errors of Endism:’ The National Interest. and Lester Thurow. 72. See. “Rise of Militancy by Moslems Threatens Stability of Egypt. pp. Susan Jacoby. 64-82. a. Small sample. Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky. . This paradoxical point is discussed in Ahmed Abdalla. Hans Morgenthau. pp. 1994). Richard Rosecrance. 3. and John Keegan. either or both with decision-makers the public at large. The Retreat from Doomsday The Obsolescence of Major War (New York: Basic Books. No. and Robert E. 11. 1983). who is seen as personally representing that nation’s transcending of defeat and humiliation via nuclear precociousness. 161-179. 9. NOTES 1.” Contemporary Politics. Nonetheless. Samuel Huntington. 1986). No.Vol. 17 (Fall 1989). 7. 10. 1993).literary works. 2. (New York: Knopf. John Mueller.There is no data base.Truly comparative researchwill be difficult. 54-55. This relationship has received far too little attention becauseof inherent research obstacles. empirical materialsare elusive. 4.” T!re Washington Quarrerly. Long-Term Trauma. Harkavy. none of it retroactive. Grasping the Democratic Peace (Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Rise ofthe Trading State State (New York: Basic Books. among numerous sources. WildJustice: The Evolution of Revenge (New York: Harper and Row. Richard Rosecrance. pp. p. 3-11. Behind the Middle East Conflict: The Real Impasse Between Arab and Jew (New York: Putnam. NJ: Chatham House Publishers. Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle amongJapan. humiliation.. War and Its Consequences: Lessons from the Persian Gulf Conflict (New York: Harper Collins. pp. “‘After the Gulf War: The Future of Israeli Nuclear Strategy. Tom Mayer. an attempt to produce a balanced picture. eds. moving this subject forward will require detailed casestudies by country specialists(combining the efforts of political scientistsand psychologists) who would be able to tap a variety of sources. 78-89.” Foreign Afiirs. 3rd ed.

1989). “Don’t Humiliate Gorbachev. 31. p.” in Chazan. p. and Virginia Gamba-Stonehouse. 27. 142. 1991). 4 (1990). 21. “Irredentism: Nationalism Reexamined. 40. the Jews were blamed for the humiliation visited upon Germany by Napoleon. with reference to the British bombardment of the Chinese coast in 1840. arose. 8. p.” The New Yark Times (December 24. 33. No. Hedva Ben-Israel. 36. 47. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (New York: St. Ibid. Al. 23. 19. CO: Lynne Rienner. Jacoby. p. noted Iran scholar. 39. p. No. This emotion is not often analyzed or understood in coverage by the American media. cit. 24. Al 7. 3 (1993). 7. p.” “Youth for Revenge. 22. The thesis of an all-encompassing Islamic rage and its threat to the West is countered in. This writer spent a brief two weeks lecturing in China in 1995. “Portrait of Pan Am Suspect: Affable Exile. See Emil J. Others have noted that the names of various Arab terrorist organizations are often redolent of the vengeance theme. 100.. p. Irredentism and InternationalPolitics (Boulder. 1962). War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York: Pantheon Books. 1993). From theJaws ofvictory (New York: Simon and Schuster. 362. The Guns ofAugust (New York: Dell. 1994). 1988). See also Chubin and Jerrold D.. ed. A12. 15. Martin’s. Scheff. 4 (1997). p. and US support for it. 30. The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? 2nd ed.1995). 1995). Glidden notes organizations with names like “Vengeance Partisans.” Foreign Affairs. Bloody Revenge (Boulder. p. Green.” The New York Times (April 5. 1994). 33. Vamik Volkan. Thomas Scheff. 22. . cit. This may be even an older theme than many people realize. 18. “Ethnonationalist Rituals: An Introduction. 34. Samuel Huntington. Author’s private conversation with Shahram Chubin.“Germany’s Worst Enemy. “The Arab World: American Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 3 (1998). “The Clash of Civilizations.” Survival. William E. 139-140. Naomi Cha d n.. 28.. 10.” The New York Times (January 30. 87. Vol. 107-108.” Commentary. 25. whose nom de guerre is “Intiqam. Ibid. Vol.” etc. Critical Mass (New York: Simon and Schuster. op.” revenge. Among numerous items. 22-49. 1987)..” Commentary. 128. John L.Vol. earlier. Vol. Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (New York: The Free Press. Fackenheim. and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 365 16. 118. Luers. discussing Mohammed Abu Talb. Robert D. Ibid. most of whom appear very well-disposed towards Americans. p. l(l992) p. The lingering humiliation in China over past defeats by the West is noted in “Life and Death in Shanghai. would react with an extreme level of emotion when the subject of Taiwan.. 37. pp. 72. p.” Time (June 8. One article has pointed out that. Fiery Avenger. 1994). p.. Burrows and Robert Windrem. “Our Interests and Our Honor. 1986). No. Esposito.Defeat. 8 (1972). Signals of War: The Falklands Conflict of 1982 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. No. 40. A6..” The New York Times (February 9. No. No. op.. Kaplan. 1991). Dower. see “The Zhirinovsky Phenomenon: Bombast and Barbs but Devout Believers. 35. p. CO: Westview. p. among other sources.” Mind and Human Interaction. 38. as noted in Harold Glidden. 29. 139. Eliot Cohen and John Gooch. a theme closely linked to the concerns of this paper. 26. “Engaging Iran: A US Strategy. John W. See Kagan. pp. op. and was stunned at the extent to which Chinese people at all levels of society. Ibid. See for example Lawrence Freedman. Ibid. “Two Leaders Seek Laurels Along Peru-Ecuador Border. 31-34. 103. Vol. 20. In addition. See also Charles Fair. 32. ed. 42-50. Barbara ‘Iuchman. 1989). p. William H. chapter 2. Ibid. pp. 1990). pp. 17. 153-169. 1971). pp. (New York: Oxford University Press. cit. pp. 4. Donald Kagan has initiated a discussion of the role of “honor” in international affairs. national humiliation 14. 90. Britain and the Falklands War (Oxford: Basil Blackwell.. Ibid. 47.

2 1. p. Ibid. 51.. cit. recognizing its pivotal place in any attempt to work towards a psychological theory of international relations. 57. Morrison. Kohut. Ibid. 52. 3 (1972). See also Harold Lasswell. No. 47. 27. cit. See. wherein there is a discussion of “the narcissistic projection of aggressive impulses outward” (p. 58. particularly the discussion about a “Theory of Collective Mood. 43. humiliation. are Sidney Levin. op.” International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Bloom. in addition. 261). p. and Neil Smelser. p.. pp. 1953). 339-353. “The Psychoanalysis of Shame. 3 (1968). The Closed Circle: An Interpretation oftheAr& (New York: Harper and Row. Harkavy S. 1989). 1962). Otto Klineberg. Rinehart. Brown. 1974). and Narcissism. and Winston. Personal Identity. 24. pp. Ibid. pp. 54.. See also David Pryce-Jones. Moshe Halevi Spero. Mack. Among the useful pieces in this area. 355-361. S.” The Psychoanalytic Study ofthe Child. 61. pp. p. Also discussed are “narcissistic depletion and loss. p. John Mack. and especially. 1.pp. Cyprus .. op. “Narcissism and Narcissistic Rage. 396. Vol. 344-346. No. p.. E. 39 (1983). According to William Bloom. Leonard Binder. Kelman “did grasp the nettle of the crucial issue of the psychological link between the individual and the nation-state. Scheff.” Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Also valuable is Christopher Lasch. XIX.No.” Psychoanalyric Study of the Child. cit. p. “Man and World Politics: The Psycho-Cultural Interface. “The Climate of International Action. Bloom. Personality and Political Crisis (Glencoe: Free Press. David Singer.C. 1965). 4 (1991). Collective Behavior (New York: Richard C.. 653-690. p.’ in H.“Egypt: The Integrative Revolution. 59. 1979). 75. 62. Kelman. cit.” all relevant to our analysis of the underpinnings of revenge. “Social-Psychological Approaches to the Study of International Relations. 127-156. 22.. “Shame: An Object-Relational Formulation.. Wilfred Trotter. 50. XIII. and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 12.W. .War and Adaptation: A Psychoanalytic History of Two Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Charlottesville. cit.. 4 (1957). ed. pp. 379. heretofore. 46.. “Foreword. op. International Behavior (New York: Holt.” Ibid. E. p. 295-318.. Vol. 3-51. 44. 4 (1971). 1965).” in Vamik Volkan. pp.” The Review of Metaphysics.” Journal ofSocial Issues. 22-23. 1990). 13. pp. Theory ofCollective Behavior (New York: The Free Press. The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations (New York: W. 52. Kelman. esp. pp. 48.XXV. XV. cit. 259-282.““ shame personalities. 60. Kohut. Richard Berk. has attempted to tie these themes to political events. Ideal Self. “Notes on the Role of National: A Social-Psychological Concept for the Study of International Relations:’ Journal of Conflict Resolution. 396-397. No. as in her “Shame and Humiliation in the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Psychoanalytical Perspective. Ibid. pp. 1... National Identity. 396-449. 346-363. p. 53.. 1 (1971). and what is referred to as “the hairline distinctions between shame. op. Vol. 2. p. The latter has a discussion of the distinction between the two effects of shame and guilt. Scheff.Vol. p.. Robert E. 56. 45. Ibid. The methodological and philosophical problems involved in utilizing a concept such as “shame” are discussed in Charles Taylor. ed. Ibid.366 42. and Herbert C. No. Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press. “Shame. 1978). Vol. Norton. p.” on pp. op. 49. most devoted to the psychology of shame and humiliation. No. “Interpretation and the Sciences of Men. pp. pp. and mortification” (p.” Political Psychology. 39 (1984). 19. op.” in Kelman. 360-400. and Winston.” and the “severity of narcissistic trauma. VA: University Press of Virginia. cit. op. Perry and A. Rinehart. J. Stanton.” in Lucian Pye. Political Culture and Political Development (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ibid. Ibid. 386. op. Vol. Heinz Kohut. 57)..96-97. cit. and A. 1951). The Human Dimension in International Relations (New York: Holt. 3-4. Vol. 379. 1964). Perhaps only Blema Steinberg. 55. Vol. Perry. pp.. p.

humiliation and vengeance. cit. 77. circa 1968. as it were. 80. wherein. cit. pp. Alan Booth. wherein one member of the Iraqi Baath Party is quoted as saying that “in losing the war. 8 (1972). 128. there are some socio-psychological interpretations of US foreign policy behavior in a related vein. and Group Loyalty: A Social Psychological Perspective. Ian Buruma.” The Washington Post National Weekly Edition (June 10-16. 23. 83.” Social Forces. In relation to these themes. op. p. “A Biosocial Model of Status in Primate Groups. 99. “Rebels’ New Cause: A Book for Yankee Bashing. Randal. 81.’ Mershon International Studies Review. 556-571. esp. and Winning and Losing in Human Competition. 1975). wherein nationalist xenophobia is discussed as a “rallying cry for Chinese everywhere . Glidden. Brace & World. Though there is nothing in the literature that specifically focuses on shame.” Likewise. Glidden. No. This burgeoning nationalism spurred the French intervention in the American Revolution. op. 85. Glidden. 1984). Ibid. cit. 64. Ibid. Supplement 1 (1994). and take revengefor past insults and defeats.from Shanghai to San Francisco. Yet I never heard of any apologies being made by your Government. See.” Commentary. 4 (1989). Daniel Druckman. No. this work focuses on the propensity of Americans to project values onto others and to become angry when that is ill-received. Glidden.. op. Vol. Putnam’s Sons. Patriotism. This is noted in Jonathan C. 1 (1989).” The New York Times (October 24.. discusses the war guilt and post-war pacifism of Germany and Japan as largely precluding a temptation to revenge. p. 377-402. wherein a student is quoted as saying: “Britain sold opium to China and waged the Opium Wars against China. Dower. p. Greg Shelley. 72. pp. cit. No. 100. Vol. 367 66. 69. p. 76.Defeat. Vol. rise as a united nation. Behind the Middle East Conflict: The Real Impasse Between Arab and lew (New York: G. “the flip side of the anti-British resentment was a growing demand that France. is Gil Carl Ahoy. the speaker “was reflecting a sense of shame at the Iraqi military’s rapid collapse. That was a great infringement on Chinese human rights. Gerry Tharp. Vol. 380. A Psychohistory ofZionism (New York: New American Library. Ibid. 1969). 73. pp. Louis Hartz. The Liberal Tradition in America (New York: Harcourt. as Arabs and as men and so did the president. p. Ibid. A4. “Nationalism Bites Back.” op. 1996). 65. “Nationalism.” The New York Times (September 4. Lilley. 67.” According to Randal. the helplessness felt during the war. 43-68. 16. 71. in particular. Author’s conversations with Lasswell. 38.. No. op. “The Monkey on the Iraqis’ Back: Hussein Hangs on Amid His People’s Growing Bitterness.. “The Arab World. p. 74. 79. 75. 1991). 64.100. 2 (1985). 68. 1994). Jay Gonen. 18. national humiliation and the revenge motif in internationalpolitics 63. Robert Lane. Straus. 70. 46). The Islamic Conception ofJustice (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins. see also Majid Khadduri. op. 4249. “Demystifying the French Revolution. Chapters 5 and 6. but that was not enough” (p. 1975). Vol.P. cit.” Kohut. The only other useful source that pursues some of these themes. pp. “Testosterone. Allan Mazur. Allan Mazur.’ etc. 1996). 99-100. Kohut. see James R. 88. See David Ggess. and Roger Kittok. pp. we lost our dignity as Iraqis. 84. The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (New York: Farrar. Giroux. 1955) in which the author discusses America’s “liberal absolutism” and the hysteria surrounding the “red scare” after World War I and again during the McCarthy period in the 1950s. 82. if only implicitly and absent of explicitly psychological analysis..” in the context of “a century of humiliation. . 78.. See Volkan. Harold W. cit. cit. p. “Ethnonationalistic Rituals. Political Thinking and Consciousness: The Private Life of the Political Mind (Chicago: Markham. op. p.“American Journal ofpsychiatry. Absent psychological modes of analysis. p. 101. A27. pull itself together.“HormonesandBehavior.

“Ethnonationalistic Rituals. with a foreword Sartre. Druckman.108. chapter 11. Harkavy Franz Fanon. 87. 13. The Wretched ofthe Earth (New York: Grove Press..p. University Park. PA 16802. op. Ibid. 61.368 86. Phone: 814-863-0743. Harkavy..” op.cit. Fax: 814-865-3098. 88. 107. Ph. 1968). op. E-mail: reh2Gpsu. cit. p. Pennsylvania State .. Volkan. Burrows and Windrem.cit. Robert E. Department of Political Science 164N Burrowes Building.D... 90. USA. 89. pp. by John Paul Address for correspondence: Robert E.

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