By Randall Schweller

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There are two reasons for this. First, increasing the number of poles in the system produces a leveling effect that results in rough equality among the major powers.

30, no. 2 (January 1978), pp. 167–214; Christensen and Snyder, “Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks”; and Ted Hopf, “Polarity, the Offense–Defense Balance, and War,” American Political Science Review, vol. 85, no. 2 (June 1991), pp. 475–493. For an analysis of the impact of actors’ misperceptions of structure on the origins of the First World War, see Wohlforth, “The Perception of Power,” pp. 353–381. Note 43: Posen, The Sources of Military Doctrine , pp. 236–239. For the problems with offensive/defensive distinctions, see Jack S.

While I agree with the basic thrust of Zakaria’s argument, I would not replace the defensive–realist assumption with an “influence–maximizing” one as he suggests. Why choose one or the other? Both assumptions are empirically valid and, throughout history, have served to differentiate states and systems of similar structures. , fn. 43, p. 194). , greed, divine right, manifest destiny, and revenge, to name a few. For extremely dissatisfied states, the expansionist urge is often stronger than the wish to survive.

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