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  • Cited by 37
  • Edited by T. V. Paul, McGill University, Montréal
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2016
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

As the world enters the third decade of the twenty-first century, far-reaching changes are likely to occur. China, Russia, India, and Brazil, and perhaps others, are likely to emerge as contenders for global leadership roles. War as a system-changing mechanism is unimaginable, given that it would escalate into nuclear conflict and the destruction of the planet. It is therefore essential that policymakers in established as well as rising states devise strategies to allow transitions without resorting to war, but dominant theories of International Relations contend that major changes in the system are generally possible only through violent conflict. This volume asks whether peaceful accommodation of rising powers is possible in the changed international context, especially against the backdrop of intensified globalization. With the aid of historic cases, it argues that peaceful change is possible through effective long-term strategies on the part of both status quo and rising powers.


'This volume takes on an important and timely topic: how should the world manage interstate power shifts in the interest of keeping peace and stability? The contributing authors study both past and current encounters between established and rising powers. They offer valuable insights for scholars and officials alike.'

Steve Chan - College Professor of Distinction, University of Colorado, Boulder

'In a moment of transition and change, this timely collection takes stock of what theory and history tell us about peaceful and violent power transitions. Sensitive to the distinctive conditions of contemporary world politics and relying on first-rate essays by his distinguished colleagues, T. V. Paul comes down sensibly on both sides of Hegel - this owl of Minerva also flies in the twilight.'

Peter J. Katzenstein - Walter S. Carpenter Jr, Professor of International Studies, Cornell University, New York

‘T. V. Paul and his co-authors re-examine the conditions for peaceful international change in this sweeping set of theoretical and empirical studies. Including historical as well as contemporary cases, Accommodating Rising Powers illuminates the successful and unsuccessful strategies pursued by rising and incumbent powers as they bargain over the future global order.’

Miles Kahler - Distinguished Professor, School of International Service, American University and Senior Fellow for Global Governance, Council on Foreign Relations

'Perceptions of global power shifts have an immediacy that few other international relations issues have, because rising powers have historically posed a threat to international stability and a risk of conflict and war. They also challenge international theorists. The 14-essay volume edited by Paul addresses the challenge in terms of policies that could accommodate rising powers … The essays are very well footnoted. [This] book is strongly recommended for university students and scholars.'

R. P. Peters Source: Choice

'In his impressive collection, Paul leads an interdisciplinary group of scholars in exploring how rising powers and more established rivals have dealt with this dilemma in the past. The book makes clear that long-term shifts in power among states do foment insecurity and conflict, but diplomacy and steady strategies of reciprocity and self-restraint can bring countries back from the brink of war.'

G. John Ikenberry Source: Foreign Affairs

'This is, then, a thought-provoking book that addresses theoretical and practical problems of pressing concern. It fits with the general movement in the study of International Relations away from structural theories and towards mid-range theorising about diplomatic practice. As such, it is a welcome and important volume.'

Ian Hall Source: International Affairs

'Accommodating Rising Powers is a worthy read that is one of the best, if not the only elaboration on the concept of accommodation in IR.'

Hakan Mehmetcik Source: E-International Relations (

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