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Unformatted text preview: conception of state preferences. Defensive realism’s optimism about what would happen if the United States retrenched is very much dependent on its particular—and highly restrictive—
assumption about state preferences; once we relax this assumption, then much of its basis for optimism vanishes. Specifically, the prediction of postAmerican tranquility throughout Eurasia rests on the assumption that security is the only relevant state preference, with security defined narrowly in terms of protection from violent external attacks on the homeland. Under that assumption, the security problem is largely solved as soon as offense and defense are clearly distinguishable, and offense is extremely expensive relative to defense. Burgeoning research across the social and other sciences, however, undermines that core assumption: states have preferences not only for security but also for prestige, status, and other aims, and they engage in tradeoffs among the various objectives. 76 In addition, they define security not just in terms of territorial protection but in view of...
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2013 for the course DEBATE 101 taught by Professor None during the Summer '12 term at University of California, Berkeley.
- Summer '12