Articles

5 Items

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter on a lamppost in front of the portrait of Mao Zedong on the Tiananmen Square to welcome the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing, China, 17 November 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

American and Chinese Power after the Financial Crisis

| October 2010

"...Asia has its own internal balance of powers, and in that context, many states continue to welcome an American presence in the region. Chinese leaders have to contend with the reactions of other countries, as well as the constraints created by their own objectives of economic growth and the need for external markets and resources. Too aggressive a Chinese military posture could produce a countervailing coalition among its neighbors that would weaken both its hard and soft power. A poll of 16 countries around the world found a positive attitude toward China’s economic rise, but not its military rise."

Journal Article - Global Governance

Terrifying Thoughts: Power, Order, and Terror after 9/11

| April - June 2005

This review essay examines a set of books and documents that illuminate the dominant American threat perceptions in the post–September 11 environment and analyse both the strategies and the new directions that have emerged in U.S. policy in response to the new threat perceptions.