In “You Can't Always Get What You Want,” Alexander Downes and Lindsey O'Rourke investigate whether foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC) improves interstate relations.1 With some exceptions, their answer is a resounding no. Not only does regime change rarely enhance relations between the intervening state and the target state, but it may make matters worse by exace rbating conflict. Downes and O'Rourke's study marks a significant contribution to analysts' understanding of foreign-imposed regime change and its utility as a tool of statecraft. One problem, however, is that Downes and O'Rourke do not adequately define success or failure independently of their empirical measures. This, in turn, makes it difficult to truly know whether regime change improves or worsens relations between intervener and...

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