Review for International Relations
Balance of Power
- From the Peace of Westphalia (1648) to the French Revolution (1789) was known as the
“golden age of balance of power” because there were no major international wars.
- It is an arrangement whereby governments temporarily agree to work together to thwart a
perceived threat to international order emanating from another state.
- Needs 4 conditions to work successfully:
o Enough states to work together to thwart the designs of a country seemingly intent
on systematic domination.
o States with relatively equal power – so that no single country can realistically
dominate international relations
o Continuous but controlled competition for scarce resources.
o Agreement that the status quo benefits all
- It’s in addition an arrangement which has wider ramifications for how power is distributed
in international relations
- Wasn’t intended to prevent all international conflicts because it wasn’t an institutionalized,
formal mechanism to ensure long term systematic stability and peace.
- A Balance of Power exists when there is relative equilibrium between the leading countries
in international relations.
- Expresses a doctrine that was intended to prevent any one state from becoming sufficiently
strong so as to enable it to enforce its will upon the rest.
World Systems Theory
- A variant of structuralism that conceptualizes world order as being structured into a (rich,
developed) CORE and a (poor, underdeveloped) PERIPHERY and a number of intermediary
or semi-peripheral states.
- An idea associated with US sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein and suggest that different
elements of the international economy cant’ be understood in isolation.
- Semi-periphery -> intermediary societies which play an important role in the functioning of
the world system as a whole.
- Neo-Marxist Theory
- Incorporates an analysis of those forces which work against the system as well as a
dominant, class-based, structures. Sovereignty
- States of legal autonomy enjoyed by states so that their g