Perspectives on Structural Realism

pp 61-82

From Balance of Power to Balancing Behavior: The Long and Winding Road

  • Susan B. Martin


The relation between structural realist theory and the study of foreign policy has long been problematic and controversial. Kenneth Waltz has clearly argued that structural realism is a theory of international outcomes, not a theory of foreign policy, and that indeed it cannot be a theory of foreign policy. At the same time, Waltz clearly thinks that structural realism can help us to understand state behavior, and when exploring the economic and military effects of structural causes in Theory of International Politics, he uses the behavior of particular states as illustrations.1