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Security regimes

  • Robert Jervis (a1)

Regimes are harder to establish in the security area than they are in the economic realm because of the inherently competitive cast of many security concerns, the unforgiving nature of the problems, and the difficulty in determining how much security the state has or needs. Nevertheless, there is at least one example of a functioning security regime—the Concert of Europe. Under the Concert the great powers sharply moderated their individualistic and competitive policies and exercised restraint in the expectation that others would reciprocate. The self-interest that they followed was broader and longer-run than usual. The Balance of Power, however, is a regime only if the restraints are internal, as Kaplan implies, as contrasted with Waltz's formulation in which states restrain each other. Current superpower relations should not be considered a regime because the principles, rules, and norms have little autonomy but instead can be best understood as quite direct reflections of the states' power and interests.

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John Herz , “Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 2 (011950): 157–80

Jervis , “Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 30 (011978): 167214

Richard Elrod , “The Concert of Europe,” World Politics 28 (011976), p. 168

Kaplan also expresses this view in one paragraph of his “Balance of Power, Bipolarity, and Other Models of International Systems” (American Political Science Review 51 [091957], p. 690)

David Rosenberg , “American Atomic Strategy and the Hydrogen Bomb Decision,” Journal of American History 66 (061979): 6287

Aaron Friedberg , “A History of the U.S. Strategic ‘Doctrine’—1945 to 1960,” Journal of Strategic Studies 3 (121980): 37–71

Richards Heuer Jr, “Analyzing the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan,” Studies in Comparative Communism 13 (Winter1980): 347–55

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International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
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