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A small nation facing external threats relies on alliances to overcome such security issues (Duffield, 1992).
According to the author, alliances have been a common place in modern history. There have been close to 648 alliances since the early 19th century up to the 21st century. However, most of these alliances have been significantly small with an average of three member nations. Alliances are common in a number of European nations. The author concurs with the notion that alliances are a major influence on international relation. The author attributes a number of outbreaks and spread of the military conflict to alliances. He supports this assumption by stating that the establishment of international alliances can have significant effects on the security of the individual nation and help to determine both the likely outcome of a war (Duffield, 1992).
The author provides a number of factors that explain the persistence and collapse of alliances. Approximately 263 alliances with both defensive and offensive attributes have existed for close to 200 years. The author provides estimates of their mean of duration and standard deviation at 13.4 and 13.1 respectively. Defensive alliances with no offensive elements lasted longer. According to the author, wars and shift in the map of global politics that such wars occur are the key factors affecting the persistence or the collapse of alliances (Duffield 1992). Out of the many alliances formed in the late 19th century, a few outlived the First and the Second World War.
The author provides other factors behind the persistence and the collapse of wars. The motive behind the formation of alliances is a key determinant of whether the alliance will last for long or whether it will collapse after a short duration. According to the author, as long as the motives for the formation of alliances remain in place, then the alliance will persist. The author agrees that international relation is a key motive for an alliance
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