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Theory of Unipolar Politics

$32.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in International Relations

  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107677753

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About the Authors
  • Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States enjoys unparalleled military power. The international system is therefore unipolar. A quarter century later, however, we still possess no theory of unipolarity. Theory of Unipolar Politics provides one. Dr. Nuno P. Monteiro answers three of the most important questions about the workings of a unipolar world. Is it durable? Is it peaceful? What is the best grand strategy a unipolar power such as the contemporary United States can implement? In our nuclear world, the power preponderance of the United States is potentially durable but likely to produce frequent conflict. Furthermore, in order to maintain its power preponderance, the United States must remain militarily engaged in the world and accommodate the economic growth of its major competitors, namely, China. This strategy, however, will lead Washington to wage war frequently. In sum, military power preponderance brings significant benefits but is not an unalloyed good.

    • Reconciles structural realism with the nuclear revolution
    • Covers how US grand strategy conditions the durability of US power preponderance and US involvement in conflict
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Theory of Unipolar Politics is a signal contribution to the scholarship on the nature and functioning of today’s international system. Conceptually bold and smoothly and carefully written, it takes on central questions of the day with arguments and evidence that even skeptics have to confront. Long after dozens of speedily written tomes about contemporary rise-and-decline dynamics are forgotten, Monteiro’s book will continue to shape scholarly inquiry."
    William C. Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

    "Nuno Monteiro has written a major book on unipolarity that makes it clear he is among the very best international relations theorists in the land. Most importantly, he explains why, contrary to conventional post-Cold War wisdom, unipolarity has not been peaceful, especially for the United States. Theory of Unipolar Politics will be a must-read for those in international relations for many years to come."
    John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

    "Theory of Unipolar Politics fills an important gap in international relations theory by providing a full, careful exploration of unipolarity. Moving beyond debates about whether unipolarity will endure, Monteiro explains the central role of the unipole’s grand strategy and its critical link to international conflict. Building on these arguments, this book provides valuable guidance for the United States in dealing with China’s rise."
    Charles Glaser, George Washington University

    "… [Monteiro’s] crisp account offers a strong theoretical argument and vivid empirical evidence … Impressively, he eschews determinist claims about both the inevitability of American decline and the perpetuation of America’s international advantage. Instead, he identifies crucial choices that face policy makers in the United States, China, and in smaller states whose decisions will shape the evolution of international politics over the coming decades."
    Avery Goldstein, David M. Knott Professor of Global Politics and International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107677753
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Conceptualizing unipolarity
    3. The scope of unipolar strategic choice
    4. The sources of competition under unipolarity
    5. Competition in the post-Cold War
    6. The sources of conflict under unipolarity
    7. Conflict in the post-Cold War
    8. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Nuno P. Monteiro, Yale University, Connecticut
    Nuno P. Monteiro is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches international relations theory and security studies. Dr Monteiro's research focuses on great power politics, power transitions, nuclear proliferation, the causes of war, and deterrence theory. His articles have appeared in International Organization, International Security and International Theory. Dr Monteiro's commentary on these and other topics has appeared in The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, and Project Syndicate, among other outlets. He is a research fellow at Yale's Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and a member of the Scientific Council of the Portuguese International Relations Institute.

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