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Balance of Power in World History
 
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Balance of Power in World History
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
22 Aug 2007
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£82.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780230507104
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22 Aug 2007
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£23.99
|Paperback Print on Demand
  
9780230507111
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

The balance of power is one of the most influential ideas in the theory and practice of international relations and it plays a central role in both scholarly debates about international politics and policy debates about the current dominance of the United States at the start of the twenty-first century. Although it is often treated as a universal concept, theorizing about the balance of power is almost entirely based on the experience of modern European history. The theory has never been systemically and comprehensively examined in pre-modern or non-European contexts. This book aims to redress this shortcoming. It presents eight new case studies of balancing and balancing failure in pre-modern and non-European international systems. The inescapable conclusion emerging from this collective, multidisciplinary and international research is that much of the conventional wisdom about the balance of power cannot survive contact with non-European evidence.


Description

The balance of power is one of the most influential ideas in the theory and practice of international relations and it plays a central role in both scholarly debates about international politics and policy debates about the current dominance of the United States at the start of the twenty-first century. Although it is often treated as a universal concept, theorizing about the balance of power is almost entirely based on the experience of modern European history. The theory has never been systemically and comprehensively examined in pre-modern or non-European contexts. This book aims to redress this shortcoming. It presents eight new case studies of balancing and balancing failure in pre-modern and non-European international systems. The inescapable conclusion emerging from this collective, multidisciplinary and international research is that much of the conventional wisdom about the balance of power cannot survive contact with non-European evidence.


Reviews


'[...] the authors have addressed a crucially and lamentably under-researched area, and done a very good job in bringing material into the light that will generate a great deal of positive debate both within realism and outside it.' - Professor Michael Sheehan, University of Wales Swansea, UK
 
'...a welcome addition to the growing body of interdisciplinary research in the history of world politics.' Lucas Freire, Political Studies Review 


Contents

Introduction: Balance and Hierarchy in International Systems; S.J.Kaufman, R.Little& W.C.Wohlforth
Balancing and Balancing Failure in Biblical Times: Assyria and the Ancient Middle Eastern System 900-600 BCE; S.J.Kaufman& W.C.Wohlforth
The Greek City States in the Fifth Century BCE: Persia and the Balance of Power; R.Little
Intra-Greek Balancing, the Mediterranean Crisis of ca. 201-200 B.C., and the Rise of Rome; A.M.Eckstein
The Forest and the King of Beasts: Hierarchy and Opposition in Ancient India (c.500 - c.232 BCE); W.J.Brenner
The Triumph of Domination in the Ancient Chinese System; V.Tin-bor Hui
'A Republic for Expansion': The Roman Constitution and Empire and Balance of Power Theory; D.Deudney
Hierarchy and Resistance in the American State-Systems, 1400-1800 CE; C.Jones
Stability and Hierarchy in East Asian International Relations, 1300 to 1900CE; D.C.Kang
Conclusion: Theoretical Insights from the Study of World History; S.J.Kaufman, R.Little& W.C.Wohlforth


Authors

STUART KAUFMAN is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware, USA. In 1999, he served as Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council staff. His book, Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War, won the 2003 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

RICHARD LITTLE is Professor of International Politics at the University of Bristol, UK. He is a former editor of the Review of International Studies and President of the British International Studies Association. His most recent book is The Balance of Power in International Relations: Metaphors, Myths and Models.

WILLIAM C. WOHLFORTH is Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, USA. He is Associate Editor of the journal Security Studies. His book World out of Balance: International Relations Theory and the Challenge of American Primacy, co-authored with Stephen G. Brooks, is forthcoming.