A Multipolar Peace?: Great-Power Politics in the 21st Century

Overview

Offering a consistent, future-oriented perspective, this important new study considers the positions of the United States and other world powers in a changing international system and outlines the priorities and constraints that may govern the conduct of American foreign policy in the decades to come. Focusing primarily on the breakdown of the bipolar system and its replacement by a multipolar system, the authors provide an analysis of great-power relations before and during the Cold War - one that challenges ...
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Overview

Offering a consistent, future-oriented perspective, this important new study considers the positions of the United States and other world powers in a changing international system and outlines the priorities and constraints that may govern the conduct of American foreign policy in the decades to come. Focusing primarily on the breakdown of the bipolar system and its replacement by a multipolar system, the authors provide an analysis of great-power relations before and during the Cold War - one that challenges some of the prevailing notions about the lessons of the Cold War, examine the recent changes in international alliances and the future role that transnational actors may take in minimizing conflict, and consider the different arrangements under which this multipolar system can provide the most favorable environment for world peace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312099572
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Visions of the Post-Cold War World
1 New International Realities 3
Dangers in a Disorderly New World Order 4
The Specter of Multipolarity 8
Continuity and Change in the Structure of World Power 17
2 Rethinking Cold War Lessons 22
What Was the Long Peace? 23
Potentially Mythical Causes of the Long Peace 27
Cold War Myths and Dangerous Extrapolations 40
3 Must We Fear a Multipolar Future? 46
Realist Theory, Multipolarity, and the Post-Cold War World 46
The Geometry of Multipolar Systems 53
Multipolar Systems in History 57
Pt. II Understanding the Past
4 Polarity and Uncertainty 67
Does the Number of Great-Power Competitors Matter? 68
Does the Stability of the Great-Power Hierarchy Matter? 72
Polarity, Power Transitions, and Peace 85
5 Polarization and Escalation 89
Alliances and Alignment in World Politics 89
Why Great Powers Forge Alliances 90
The Ambivalent Realpolitik Image of Alliances 91
The Consequences of Polarized Alliances 101
Great-Power Coalitions and Escalation to War 117
6 International Norms and Great-Power Cooperation 121
The Normative Context of Great-Power Interactions 122
Normative Constraints on Great-Power Rivalry? 132
The Normative Foundations of Multipolar Peace 140
Pt. III Choices for the Future
7 Paths to Peace 149
The Range of Great-Power Choice in a Multipolar System 151
Comparing Strategies for Peace 162
8 The United States: Recluse, Leader, or Balancer? 166
Constraints on U.S. Policy Options 167
Setting U.S. Priorities 180
9 A World of Special Relationships? 191
Special Relationships in the Past 192
Special Relationships in the Future 195
Implications for Great-Power Choices 207
10 A Concert-Based Collective Security System? 212
The Revival of Interest in Collective Security 213
Requirements for Concert-Based Collective Security 218
Alternative Frameworks for Concert-Based Collective Security 220
The Future Is Now 229
References 237
Name Index 265
Subject Index 272
About the Authors 278
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