Balance of Power: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century
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In this book, prominent scholars pay special attention to the theoretical and historical criticisms of balance of power theory while empirically assessing its validity at both global and regional levels. The volume also looks at systemic factors favoring or hindering a return to balance of power politics. It evaluates the challenges posed by subnational actors, such as terrorist groups, and weapons of mass destruction to international order. Further, it examines the relevance of balance of power axioms in selected regions: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America.
economic growth of potential challengers such as China, and this policy seems likely to persist as long as U.S. industries continue to develop cutting-edge technologies and register relatively better economic growth. The expectation that no threat will manifest until some time in the future is thus a crucial reason for U.S. disinterest in active economic containment of potential challengers. In Part II, three chapters look at key dimensions of the security environ- 20 paul ment of the
propositions. Erik Labs investigated four cases of great-power war, asking whether the aims of participants in those wars expanded or contracted as prospects of victory approached or receded.5 If states are ever-conscious of their need for more power, then as victory in war nears, the expansion of war aims would seem an obvious way to take advantage of an opportunity to gain resources for the future. Labs claims the ebb and ﬂow of wartime opportunity corresponded consistently with the expansion
have a very diﬃcult time securing capital from international institutions like the World Bank or from private lenders in international markets. Generally speaking, the more similar a state’s domestic institutions are to those of the dominant power, the more likely that state is to expect beneﬁts from the status quo (if only in comparison to the “beneﬁts” they might anticipate from an alternate status quo), and importantly, the more likely it is to be satisﬁed with (supportive of ) the status quo.
economic assets can be converted into military strength quickly, then economic policies have to reﬂect relative-gains concerns. In this case, states may feel less secure relying on allies, and therefore prefer self-reliance. If a state needs a longer time, or if its transformation of resources into military power is costly, then economic policy might stress investment and higher levels of inter-alliance trade. Adding in these two new pieces of information—when to balance and how long it takes to
NATO conventional military buildup agreed to during the alliance’s 1952 Lisbon meeting, and instead chose to respond to the long-term Soviet threat through internal balancing. Relatively inexpensive U.S. nuclear forces would expand in size and capability to balance Soviet conventional superiority in Europe. The New Look thus capitalized on advances in nuclear technology and long-range aviation that could be developed more quickly and cheaply than the conventional capability of the NATO alliance.