The Balance Of Power And The Security Dilemma Essay

1894 WordsAug 19, 20168 Pages
"War seems to many to be an irrational act of passion....Yet for all the emotion of the battlefield, the premeditation of war is a rational process consisting of careful and deliberate calculations." (Bueno de Mesquita, 1981, 19) War choice is rational when the benefits exceed the costs and rational war choice should always be determined by the calculations of expected benefits versus the costs. Traces can be found from the complexities of international relationships that the choice of peace or war follows several basic rules, among which are the theories of the balance of power and the security dilemma. The balance of power is one key concept to understand about the rational choice of war. In any given system, which is comprised of several neighboring nations, major or minor according to the distinctive scale of influences it could have to the system, any change of power in one nation applies to the system as a whole. The major powers refer to the ones that are capable of influencing the system greatly and initiating a war that goes to the whole system; while the minor powers have the only limited strength and can only start wars in a smaller region rather than the whole system. Thus, major powers play the key role in a system and determines the balance of power (Lecture, August 3, 2016). The balance of power shifts from two states: stable or unstable. The stable balance of power refers to the state that the relative powers of nations or alliances are

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