International-relations theory can identify and frame important questions, but Pentagon and State Department officials will probably always be more interested in detailed case studies, prepared by area-studies experts. Theorizing about the causes of war might occasionally generate clean, law-like propositions that appeal to policy makers. But more typically, the discipline generates broad patterns that can be applied to particular cases only with a great deal of caution.

Formal Models of Mediation and Intervention: A Stocktaking and Analysis of the Implications for Policy