After Victory: Order and Power in International Politics by G. John Ikenberry

By G. John Ikenberry

Publish yr note: First released in 2000

The finish of the chilly conflict used to be a "big bang" equivalent to past moments after significant wars, akin to the tip of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the tip of the realm Wars in 1919 and 1945. right here John Ikenberry asks the query, what do states that win wars do with their newfound strength and the way do they use it to construct order? In studying the postwar settlements in glossy background, he argues that robust international locations do search to construct solid and cooperative family members, however the kind of order that emerges hinges on their skill to make commitments and restrain power.

The writer explains that in basic terms with the unfold of democracy within the 20th century and the cutting edge use of overseas institutions--both associated with the emergence of the USA as an international power--has order been created that is going past stability of strength politics to express "constitutional" features. The open personality of the yankee polity and an internet of multilateral associations let the U.S. to workout strategic restraint and determine good kin one of the business democracies regardless of speedy shifts and severe disparities in power.

Blending comparative politics with diplomacy, and historical past with thought, After Victory should be of curiosity to somebody fascinated about the association of global order, the function of associations in international politics, and the teachings of previous postwar settlements for this day. It additionally speaks to today's debate over the power of the USA to steer in an period of unipolar strength.

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Faced with similar postwar strategic situations in 1648, 1713, 1815, 1919, and 1945, the leading states pursued different strategies. 34 The settlements after 1815, 1919, and 1945 increasingly resorted to institutional strategies to establish strategic restraint and overcome fears of domination and abandonment. 35 The argument advanced here is that the character of postwar order has changed as the capacities of states to restrain power and establish commitments has changed. The rise of democratic states and new institutional strategies allowed states capacities to develop new responses to the old and recurring problem of order.

The character of the American domestic system—which provided transparency and “voice opportunities”—and the extensive use of binding institutions served to limit the returns to power and provide assurances to states within the order that they would not be dominated or abandoned. The order that has emerged is distinctive—multilateral, reciprocal, legitimate, and highly institutionalized. The post-1945 American-centered order has found a novel and effective way to overcome the problem of order posed by the great asymmetries of power after the war.

This book does not seek to explain systematically variations in these three types of order. Rather, it looks for variations in the character of order as evidence of the extent to which institutional strategies of order building are advanced and successfully pursued by the leading postwar state. These arguments about the institutional logic of order building and variations in its manifestation are developed in Chapter Three. Assumptions are made at the outset about the basic “problems” that leading states face in rebuilding order after major wars: the breakdown of the old order, the rise of new power asymmetries, and the basic choices that they face.

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