domino theory

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Wikipedia.

domino theory,

the notion that if one country becomes Communist, other nations in the region will probably follow, like dominoes falling in a line. The analogy, first applied (1954) to Southeast Asia by President Dwight Eisenhower, was adopted in the 1960s by supporters of the U.S. role in the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The theory was revived in the 1980s to characterize the threat perceived from leftist unrest in Central America.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Domino theory can best explain the spread of Islamic State.
Though history has shown that, at least in this case, the dominoes did not fall as predicted, this in no way undermines the fact that the domino theory was at least part of the justification for going to war.
Actually, this was the real "domino theory"--and by 1989, it was in full swing.
LBJ and Nixon's "domino theory" was invented for Southeast Asia.
Bush justified attacking Iraq, citing his democracy domino theory. "A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region.
The Cold War, like the other titles, is written by a leading authority on the subject and draws heavily on primary source material; a pocket at the back contains ten facsimile documents including a Soviet propaganda poster and a map illustrating the 'domino theory'.
He covered the origins of this 'domino theory' of democracy by highlighting specific examples in Egypt, Syria and Tunisia, and linked various aspects of these cases to other neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Iran and Iraq.
Well, the ancient Hebrews were also aware of that problem and had their answer: the "Domino Theory."
Of course, the old "domino theory" in international relations was only a crude way of emphasizing that different parts of any region are linked to each other.
Since Johnson's Vietnam policy was based on the domino theory, he did not welcome the information.
(2.) Domino theory is most often associated with the Eisenhower administration's justification for American intervention in Indochina in 1954.