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The Balance of Power during the Cold War - Essay Example

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This essay “The Balance of Power during the Cold War” argues that the balance of power was a key factor in the Cold War and was the driving factor of many of the events that occurred, including the Cuban Missile Crisis. The balance of power is an international systems theory…
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The Balance of Power during the Cold War
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Download file to see previous pages Some nations have more power than others do, and this has resulted in armed conflicts throughout history including ones that have involved a large number of states such as World War I and World War II. In itself, the balance of power theory suggests that any rapid change in the international status or power of an independent state or collection of states will result in counterbalancing actions by other states. This occurs most readily when the alliances between different states are easily broken and formed based on what is beneficial to the particular state at the time. The Balance of Power The theory of the balance of power differs substantially between authors and publications and this section will attempt to determine some of the overall themes. Some authors consider that the model is a description of the international systems that are in place currently, others consider that it is a theory of coalitions, while still others consider it a guideline to peace2. In one sense, any international system is a balance of power relationship at some level. ...
 y aim to maintain, as well as their position on the international stage, their relationship to other international powers and international trading relationships. States must balance their internal needs with needs of the international environment. Regardless of exact definition, the balance of power remains one of the most central theories of international systems and relations4. One broad definition that can be used for the balance of power is that as the power, or perceived power of one state increases, balancing behavior by other states works to ensure that no state becomes entirely dominant5. One of the first principles of almost any theory on the balance of power is that leaders preferentially increase the resources of their own states, as long as this does not put the survival of their country at risk. Likewise, it is assumed that leaders of states weigh up the immediate and future costs and potential costs of any action before deciding to take it6.Two important notions in the balance of power are resource and system stability. A state needs access to resources in order to function, and the more resources that it has access to the more successful it will be. However, a state must balance its need for resources against the international environment, and as a consequence must sometimes compromise its resources in order to obtain peace internationally. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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