System wide: because IR is a zero-sum game, power is distributed unevenly, resulting in stratification. Some states are more powerful than others. First-tier (Great Powers), second-tier (lesser powers), and the rest. Polarity is what realists will focus on – the distribution of power within the system. The security dilemma will operate continuously in a multipolar system – any increase in the power of a single state will threaten other states in the system, so they will respond accordingly. Power in an anarchic system is not about control over the system, because this is impossible. Greater power means a greater range of action for the state in its relations to other states. Weak states must operate within narrow constraints. Strong states do not have to do this. Morgenthau: equilibrium, or balance, is a natural occurrence. Each state, however, will act out of self-interest, which threatens the equilibrium of the system. However, other states will feel threatened and respond accordingly. This, in the end, preserves the stability of the system.
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