The Balance of Power in International Relations: Metaphors, Myths and Models (Paperback)
  • The Balance of Power in International Relations: Metaphors, Myths and Models (Paperback)
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The Balance of Power in International Relations: Metaphors, Myths and Models (Paperback)

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£24.99
Paperback 328 Pages / Published: 13/09/2007
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The balance of power has been a central concept in the theory and practice of international relations for the past five hundred years. It has also played a key role in some of the most important attempts to develop a theory of international politics in the contemporary study of international relations. In this 2007 book, Richard Little establishes a framework that treats the balance of power as a metaphor, a myth and a model. He then uses this framework to reassess four major texts that use the balance of power to promote a theoretical understanding of international relations: Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations (1948), Hedley Bull's The Anarchical Society (1977), Kenneth N. Waltz's Theory of International Politics (1979) and John J. Mearsheimer's The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001). These reassessments allow the author to develop a more comprehensive model of the balance of power.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521697606
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Richard Little's study is set to be the definitive account of balance-of-power thinking within IR theory. He traces the role played by this idea in the work of Morgenthau, Bull, Waltz, and Mearsheimer, and manages to treat them all with remarkable freshness and originality. This book yields many new insights into a topic that continues to fascinate the IR mind, despite the many times its death has been foretold.' Ian Clark, Professor of International Politics, University of Wales Aberystwyth
'Now that academic international relations is emerging out of a metathoretical detour, the balance of power is set to regain a prominent place in the discipline. At the same time, the so-called unipolar moment has generated widespread interest among various political actors as to the merits of balancing behaviour. Richard Little's new book will appeal to both academics and practitioners. In the first half, the author brings analytical precision to the concept and in the second half he engages with a fascinating dialogue with leading theoreticians of the balance of power. The result is an original and timely appraisal of one of the discipline's founding concepts. Tim Dunne, Head of Politics, University of Exeter
'Little's book about the 'balance of power' has two great virtues: it treats that time-honored concept with respect and sophistication, while offering critical analysis along the way. Moreover, it nicely shows the clear differences among realist thinkers who employ that concept in their theories.' John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
'Every diplomat and every scholar fancies him or herself an expert on the balance of power. In this lucid, informative and provocative book, Richard Little proves them all wrong. With sophisticated theoretical reasoning, careful and novel interpretations of canonical texts, and wide-ranging historical analysis, Little provides a fresh analysis of a central but elusive concept. A landmark study of the balance of power and international relations theory.' William C. Wohlforth, Professor & Chair, Department of Government, Dartmouth College
'... a valuable contribution ...' Political Studies Review

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