Theoretical Framework: Security Dilemma Reconsidered

  • Klaus Heinrich Raditio


The chapter presents the works of prominent scholars in international relations, especially from realist tradition. Security dilemma finds its foundation in the classical works of Butterfield, Hertz, and Jervis. The real definition of security dilemma must stick to the original idea of these scholars. It consists of three constitutive elements: uncertainty, lack of malign intention, and self-defeating (paradoxical) policies. These elements must exist for security dilemma to apply. In addition, this chapter also discusses the differences between offensive and defensive realism—which set a solid foundation to understand China’s behaviour in the South China Sea.


Security Dilemma Malign Intentions Offensive Realist State Defensive Realism anarchyAnarchy 
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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Heinrich Raditio
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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