Unformatted text preview: t on the military/territorial order . "63 In a unipolar world, eligible states have real incentives to transform their latent
changing the international system."62 capabilities into actual hard power. Given the anarchic nature of the international political system, eligible states can gain security only by building themselves into counterweights to the hegemon's power. In this sense, unipolar systems contain the seeds of their own demise, because the hegemon's unchecked power, in itself, stimulates eligible states, in self-defense, to emerge as great powers. The emergence of new great powers erodes the hegemon's international configurations."64 The two prior unipolar moments in international history France under Louis XIV and mid-Victorian Britain-- suggest that hegemony prompts the near-simultaneous emergence of several new great powers and the consequent transformation of the international system from unipolaritv to multipolarity. It can be argued, of course, that these examples are not germane to predicting the future of American hegemony. By any
relative power, ultimately ending its dominance. Thus, from the standpoint of balance-of-power theory, "unipolarity appears as the least stable of objective measure, the United States today is far more dominant in international politics than were late seventeenth-century France and Victorian Britain. Still, the lessons of the two prior unipolar moments should not be discounted. Because it often is difficult to assess the actual distribution of power accurately, policymakers' perceptions of the balance of power are as important--often more so--than objective reality.65 With the advantage of hindsight, we can SLHS Value File
debate whether late seventeenth-century France or Victorian Britain were in fact hegemonie.66 At the time, however, leaders of eligible states did perceive that the distribution of power in the international system was unipolar, and, because they regarded this as menacing, they engaged in internal and external balancing to counter the hegemon's preponderant power. Heg hurts what it tries to help - increases terrorism...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13