Yetiv, Steve(n) A.

views updated

Yetiv, Steve(n) A.

PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Akron, B.A., 1985, M.A. 1987; Kent State University, Ph.D., 1990.

ADDRESSES: Office—Old Dominion University, Graduate Program in International Studies, Norfolk, VA 23529. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Political scientist, educator, and writer. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, postdoctoral fellow in Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1990–93, teaching fellow, 1991–92, research associate in Center for International Affairs, 1992–93; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, assistant professor of political science, 1993–98, associate professor, 1999–2003, professor, 2004–; acting director of B.A. international studies program, 1994–95, associate director of graduate program in international studies, 1996–2000. Consultant to U.S. State Department and Department of Defense.

AWARDS, HONORS: Scholar Award, Virginia Social Science Association, 1988; Secretary's Open Forum Distinguished Pubic Service Award, U.S. State Department, 1996, for "contributions to national and international affairs"; Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book, 1998, for The Persian Gulf Crisis.


America and the Persian Gulf: The Third-Party Dimension in World Politics, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1995.

The Persian Gulf Crisis, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1997.

Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-making and the Persian Gulf War, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2004.

Crude Awakenings: Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.

Author of articles for numerous journals, including British Journal of Political Science, Middle East Journal, Defense Analysis, Political Science Quarterly, Security Studies, Journal of Conflict Studies, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Naval War College Review, Asian Affairs: An American Review, and Strategic Review. Contributor to books, including New World Politics: Power, Ethnicity, and Democracy, Academy of Political Science (New York, NY), 1993; From Cold War to New World Order: The Foreign Policy of George H. W. Bush, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2002; America's War on Terror, Ashgate (London, England), 2003; and History in Dispute: The Middle East since 1948.

SIDELIGHTS: Political scientist Steve A. Yetiv told CA that his primary motivation for writing is "to communicate ideas to a broad audience … and to help people see reality in different ways. The desire to identify connections and relationships that would otherwise be missed also motivated my work." Yetiv also noted that he is inspired by the "fascinating, ever changing realm of world affairs, where the stakes for human beings and countries are sometimes great."

Yetiv has written extensively about American foreign policy in the Middle East. His first book, America and the Persian Gulf: The Third-Party Dimension in World Politics, focuses on a series of events and situations that occurred in the Middle East before 1995 and describes how they affected U.S. security. The events discussed include the Iranian revolution that occurred at the end of the 1970s, the Afghanistan war involving the Russians, and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Writing in Foreign Affairs, William B. Quandt noted that Yetiv's points are, on the whole, "sensible, but they need more development and less theory."

Yetiv's book The Persian Gulf Crisis focuses on the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and examines such issues as the growing threat of Iraq's then-leader Saddam Hussein and how he remained in power following the war. The author also looks at the manner in which key decisions were made by the U.S. government and discusses whether or not the war ultimately failed or succeeded. Yetiv presents biographies of the important people involved in the crisis, as well as primary documents and a variety of background essays. A Booklist contributor noted that The Persian Gulf Crisis includes "a variety of useful study aids."

In Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-making and the Persian Gulf War Yetiv focuses on how the U.S. government ultimately made its decisions concerning the Persian Gulf War and expounds on five models of international-relations analysis. The models discussed are the rational-actor model, the cognitive model, the domestic-politics approach, the groupthink model, and the government-politics model. A Middle East Journal contributor commented that Yetiv's "approach is unique in that most scholars apply only one model to a given foreign relations event and several of the models used are often considered mutually exclusive." Douglas A. Borer, writing in Perspectives on Political Science, noted, "This approach gives historically oriented readers a more enriched and robust understanding of one of the seminal moments in U.S. foreign policy, as well as providing those more interested in international relations theory with some new grist to chew." Borer also wrote, "Rarely does one find a book that both thoroughly presents a theoretical framework and then actually tests that framework against reality by the vigorous use of history."

Crude Awakenings: Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy delves into the prospect of a growing oil crisis and the potential effects of security issues in the Middle East and South America. In this book, Yetiv goes against popular belief that the United States and the rest of the world may be heading toward an oil crisis similar to that which occurred in the 1970s. The author argues that, despite increasing global demand spurred on primarily by China and the United States, the world has reached a higher level of oil stability. In the process of analyzing American foreign policy as it concerns oil and oil-rich countries, Yetiv discusses issues such as the idea that "the United States and its allies inadvertently contributed to transnational terrorism," the stability of the Saudi royal family in relation to stabilized oil production and prices, Saudi Arabia's perception of American foreign policy, and the use of American military power in the Middle East and its stabilizing effects on issues concerning oil. Writing in the Middle East Journal, Gawdat Bahgat noted that the author "makes several controversial assertions and arguments" and added that Yetiv's opinions about the U.S. role in fostering terrorism "are serious and controversial charges and require further explanation and detailed discussion." Bahgat also noted, "Despite, or probably because of, these controversial issues Yetiv's work is a good contribution to a growing literature on oil security."



Yetiv, Steve A., Crude Awakenings: Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.


Booklist, January 1, 1998, review of The Persian Gulf Crisis, p. 858.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 1996, William B. Quandt, review of America and the Persian Gulf: The Third-Party Dimension in World Politics, p. 151.

Middle East Journal, autumn, 2004, review of Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-making and the Persian Gulf War, p. 708; winter, 2005, Gawdat Bahgat, review of Crude Awakenings, p. 154.

Perspectives on Political Science, fall, 2004, Douglas A. Borer, review of Explaining Foreign Policy, p. 234.


Old Dominion University Web Site, (March 30, 2005), "Steve A. Yetiv."