Advertisement

Power Politics

  • Rob De WijkEmail author
Chapter
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 17)

Abstract

This chapter explores the consequences of power shifts. The world order will change if the West becomes less powerful relative to other countries. And if hegemonic power is so important for global stability, then a decline in American power must lead to less stability. There is much evidence to support these hypotheses. Global power transitions are accompanied by friction and even by conflicts. Countries that see their position worsening will want to counter this, whereas countries that are rising will not allow their ascent to be thwarted. Moreover, there is a much greater chance of misinterpreting each other’s intentions if not one, or two, but a number of countries are dominant. Misinterpretation of other states’ intentions is a major cause of conflict in international relations. Leaders tend to underestimate the effects of their actions on the leaders of other countries, to endow their convictions with the status of truth and to judge their opponents on moral and ethical grounds.

Keywords

Power Power shifts Multi polarity Misinterpretation Coercion 

Further Readings

  1. Bull, H. (1971) Order vs. justice in international society. Political Studies, 19(3), 269–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gaddis, J. L. (1986. Spring). The long peace: Elements of stability in the postwar international system. International Security, 10(4), 99–142. MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Gross-Stein, J. (2013). Building politics into psychology: The misperception of threat. In L. Huddy, D. O. Sears, & J. S. Levy (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of political psychology (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Jervis, R. (1978). Cooperation under security dilemma. World Politics, 30(2), 167–214. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Jervis, R.(1988, Spring). War and misperception. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18(4), 675–700. The origin and prevention of major wars. MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kissinger, H.. (1994). Diplomacy. Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  7. Mearsheimer, J. (2014). America Unhinged. The National Interest.Google Scholar

References

  1. Bush, G. (1991, January 29). Address before a joint session of the congress on the state of the union. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19253
  2. De Wijk, R. (2014). The art of military coercion: Why the West’s military might scarcely matters. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press and Chicago University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. De Wijk, R. (2015). Power politics: How China and Russia reshape the world. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Economy, E. (2010, November–December). The game changer. Foreign Affairs, 142–152.Google Scholar
  5. Godement, F. (2010), Geopolitics on Chinese Terms (European Council on Foreign Relations), September, p. 3.Google Scholar
  6. Godement, F. (2013) Divided Asia: The implications of Europe. (European Council on Foreign Relations), November, p. 3.Google Scholar
  7. Haass, R. N., (2008, May–June). The age of nonpolarity. Council on Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  8. HCSS (2014a). Strategic monitor 2014, Monograph 2. The assertions of assertiveness: The Chinese and Russian cases. The Hague: The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.Google Scholar
  9. HCSS. (2014b). Why are pivot states so pivotal? The role of pivot states in regional and global security. The Hague: The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.Google Scholar
  10. Jaishankar, D. (2014, June-July). Resilience and the future balance of power. Survival, 56(3).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Krasner, D. S. (Ed.). (1983). International regimes. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Layne, C. (1993). The unipolar illusion: Why new great powers will rise. International Security, 17(4), 5–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liao, K. (2013). The Pentagon and the pivot. Survival, 55(3), 104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Limin, L. (2010). Global political changes and China’s strategic choices. Xiandai guoji guanxi, 4, 1–10.Google Scholar
  15. Mahony, H. (2014). Orbán wants to build ‘illiberal state’. EU Observer, 28 July 2014. http://euobserver.com/political/125128
  16. Manning, R. A. (2012). US strategy in a post-Western world (p. 118). Washington: Atlantic Council.Google Scholar
  17. Mearsheimer, J. J. (2001). The tragedy of great power politics (p. 2001). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  18. Monteiro, N. P. (2011, Winter). Unrest assured: Why unipolarity is not peaceful. International Security, 36(3).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. National Intelligence Council. (2012, December). Global trends 2030: Alternative worlds, p. 16.Google Scholar
  20. Nye, J. (1990). Bound to Lead: The changing nature of American power. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Nye, J. (2011). The future of power. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  22. Phillips, T. (2016). China attacks international court after South China Sea ruling. The Guardian, 13 July, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/china-damns-international-court-after-south-china-sea-slapdown
  23. Reuters. (2014). Kerry condemns Russia’s ‘incredible act of aggression’ in Ukraine, 2 March. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/02/us-ukraine-crisis-usa-kerry-idUSBREA210DG20140302
  24. Schweller, R. L., & Pu, X. (2011). After unipolarity: China's visions of international order in an era of U.S. decline. International Security, 36(1), 41–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Talbot, S. (2002). The Russia hand: A memoir of presidential diplomacy. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  26. Taylor Fravel, M. (2005). Regime insecurity and international cooperation. International Security, 30(2), 46–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tellis, A.J., Bially, J., Layne, C. and McPherson, M. (2000). Measuring National Power in the postindustrial age, Santa Monica, ca.: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  28. United Nations. (2013). Making the most of Africa’s commodities: Industrializing for growth, jobs and transformation. Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.Google Scholar
  29. United Nations (2014). General assembly adopts resolution calling upon states not to recognize changes in status of Crimea region, 14 March.Google Scholar
  30. Waltz, K. N. (2000). Structural realism after the cold war. International Security, 25(1), 5–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilson, D., & Purushothaman, R. (2003). Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050. New York: Goldman Sachs, Global Economics Paper no. 99, 1 October.Google Scholar
  32. Wohlforth, W. C. (1999). The stability of a unipolar world. International Security, 24(2), 7–8.Google Scholar
  33. Zakaria, Z. (2008). The Post American world. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations