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In his book “Ontological Security in International Relations: Self-Identity and the IR State,” Brent Steele, assistant professor of political science, argues that states take social actions to serve self-identity needs, even when they are counter to their physical existence. He analyzes three forms of social action, or “motives,” of state behavior: moral, humanitarian and honor-driven. The book also discusses the importance of self-interrogation by states by interpreting three historical cases between 1861 and 1999.

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