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Unformatted text preview: 3 main realist explanations: These are competing explanations that are debated within realism: 1. Preemptive War: launched by Germany to prevent the two-front war. Alliance in a multipolar system must be flexible. By the late 19 th century, alliances had become increasingly rigid. Many realists argued that instead of a multipolar system, a bipolar system had arisen, with Germany and A-H on one side and France, Russia, and Britain on the other. Realists who advance this idea believe that bipolar systems are unstable, due to the fact that each side is hypersensitive to relative gains by the other. This creates instability, because each side will look for an opportunity to strike. Germany was encircled and threatened. In this situation, there are no other allies in the system that can be turned to for balancing and each side will focus intensely on the gains of the other side (relative gains). Both sides believed that military strategies favored offensive weaponry; thus, the aggressor has the advantage, leading to the very real possibility of offensive strkes and preemptive war to...
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- Fall '11